Education, News, Politics

Tom Steyer plans to register 100,000 millennials to vote

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Tom Steyer’s NextGen America organization is working to register 100,000 students in one month at college campuses across 11 states as part of its “Welcome Week” program launching this week.

Why it matters: This is the group’s biggest voter registration effort yet, focused specifically on the most crucial bloc of non-voters, and it’s happening just three months before the 2018 midterm election.

  • They’ve already registered 80,000 millennials, and now they want to register 100,000 more through mid-September.

By the numbers: NextGen will deploy 765 organizers to 420 campuses — including 135 community colleges and 14 historically black colleges and universities — to engage with students during “Welcome Week” as they’re headed back to school.

  • In 2016, their youth voter registration effort sent 500 NextGen organizers to 300 college campuses.
  • There are 70 million eligible voters between the ages of 18-35.
  • NextGen will pledge 40,000 young people to actually show up and vote in November.
  • The group is also launching a $250,000 digital ad campaign across these campuses.
  • The 11 targeted states include Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

What they’re saying: “Young voters … are essential to propelling progressives to victory in 2018 and beyond,” said NextGen America President Tom Steyer. “In November, young people can take back the House and take a stand against the divisive policies of Donald Trump.”

Be smart: Voter registration might be a non-partisan effort, but Democrats will certainly be the ones to benefit from this. Steyer has been an outspoken advocate of impeaching President Trump, and he’s now the biggest individual source of money and resources for Democrats.

 

From Axios

By    August 14, 2018   Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Education, News, Resources, Take Action, Technology

School libraries compete with leaky roofs for money

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It’s no secret that public schools, despite getting baseline funding from the State of Washington, vary widely in the money they have to spend. In the ongoing struggle to provide equitable access for all students, school libraries play a critical, and often underfunded, part.

An article from the Seattle Times (May 7, 2016) made these points:

  • Washington state school libraries are not guaranteed any money for books or materials.
  • In 2016, for example, 75% of Seattle Public School library funding was provided by PTAs, book fairs, and grants.
  • The rest came from Seattle’s district office, averaging $2.55 a year for each student (less than the cost of one magazine).
  • The statewide average was from $1 – $10.
  • The national average was $10.­­
  • Seattle schools reported a range of $1.69 – $29.88 per student, per year.

But why such a difference? Wealthier schools have PTAs that raise money for their libraries. Other schools face difficult challenges, especially, of course, poverty: families working long hours for low pay, limited English and mobility, and the shocking reality of increasing numbers of homeless students.

Schools with inadequate funding, in fiscally challenged communities, may not have a PTA to pitch in and provide money for their libraries. They have to find the money for competing, substantial needs. These schools depend on grant money, or donations from partner school PTAs and book fairs. Underfunded school libraries with out-of-date books and materials are the rule, not the exception.

In 2016, teacher librarians requested equitable funding for all schools, with full-time librarians in every school. They asked the state to allocate $10 per student for library materials each year. Well, here it is, 2018. Did they get what they wanted?

Teacher Librarians get what they wish for. Almost.

Good news! After the passage of Senate Bill 6362, starting in fall 2018, each school district will be allocated $20 for each full-time student, per year, for school library materials.

With some school libraries spending $29.88 per student, while others scrimp by on $1.69, the chance of every library having $20 per student is a dream come true, right?

Not so fast. That amount isn’t mandated, so it’s up to each school district to decide whether or not they will comply.

Also, the 2018 Legislature didn’t actually make any new money available: since 2009 it’s been in the budget, under “other supplies.” But now the legislature has made it clear that this allocation is to be used specifically for library materials, and has provided reporting accountability.

What happens next?

  • You can help! Speak to your local school principal and ask about library funding. Share your strong support for the school library and, especially, the state’s newly identified library allocation.
  • Contact your local school board members to thank them for their service. Ask how the district will address this new legislative directive.
  • Contact your state elected officials to thank them for the allocation. Explain that without the mandate to spend the money on library materials, you’re concerned that this money may not be spent as intended. Tell them you would appreciate stronger language that mandates the money identified in SB 6362 is spent on library materials.
  • Spread the word to other interested parties and ask that they take action too.

Advocates in the school library community, like members of the Washington Library Association, are gearing up to ensure this opportunity isn’t lost in “other supplies.” They’re making lists of what they need to update obsolete print and electronic collections. They’re gathering data on the age of their collections and their sources of funding. They’ll be going to their school and district leaderships with clear and compelling written proposals.

School libraries are a precious resource and are critical to media literacy education. Our children deserve equitable support. Every district should have the means to build excellent library collections that reflect the diversity of their readers, offer a wide range of reading materials, and provide current, high-quality research tools.

Also, did you hug a teacher librarian today?

By Sue D. Cook   Thank you to AME board members Shawn Sheller and Kathryn Egawa.

 

Education, News, Politics, Social Media

Teens are debating the news on Instagram

More teenagers are getting their information from so-called flop accounts.

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…Luna, a 15-year-old admin on @Flops.R.us, said that she and other teens use flop accounts as a space, away from parents, teachers, or people who don’t take them seriously, to discuss issues and formulate ideas. “Flop accounts are your place where you can get your or other people’s opinions out,” she said.

“Teenagers want an outlet to express their opinions with the same kind of conviction that they generally might not be able to express at home or other parts of their life,” said Hal, a 17-year-old admin on @toomanyflops_.

“Liberal flop accounts point out problematic behavior or spread liberal opinions,” said Bea, a 16-year-old in Maryland who founded the account @hackflops. “Conservative accounts post about feminism and whether the movement is good or bad, whether you can be conservative and LGBT, or Black Lives Matter and whether it’s better or worse than All Lives Matter … I’ve formed my opinions largely based upon what I see in the flop community…

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media-studies professor at the University of Virginia, said he thinks flop accounts are a good thing. “You have people engaging directly with claims about the world and arguing about truthfulness and relevance in the comments. It’s good that that’s happening,” he said. “If young people are getting more politically engaged because of it, all the better.”

By Taylor Lorenz, July 26, 2018    Read more at The Atlantic

Image courtesy of INSTAGRAM / THANH DO / THE ATLANTIC

Education, News, Privacy, Social Media

If you’re not ready to delete Facebook, here’s how to limit the data you give it

sub-buzz-14990-1521577163-5.jpgAccording to reports by the New York Times and the Observer, a research firm called Cambridge Analytica collected millions of Facebook users’ personal information without their consent — and people are mad. Many don’t trust Facebook with their data anymore, and they’re threatening to delete their accounts.

But Facebook and its network of apps, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are important communication lines for a lot of people, so deleting your account might not be a realistic option. You can, however, dial back your use and reduce the amount of information you give the site. Here’s how.

Break your habit and limit your use of the platform.

Just by signing up for the service, you’ve agreed to let Facebook track your activity and constantly collect data about you. By reducing the time you spend on the site, interaction with posts, and content you upload, you are also reducing the amount of data Facebook is gathering from you. And remember, this data collection applies to Facebook — and everywhere you’ve signed in with Facebook, including Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as, to a lesser extent, third-party websites like Spotify.

Log out of Facebook before browsing the web.

Non-Facebook websites use what’s called the Facebook Pixel, a small piece of JavaScript code that tracks your browsing activity across the web and tells Facebook what you’re looking at when you’re not on Facebook’s site and apps.

Any page that has a Facebook Like button installed most likely uses a Facebook pixel. Even pages that don’t have a Like button can have a pixel. This means it’s possible that Facebook knows most of your web browsing history.

You can prevent this tracking by logging out of Facebook and using Facebook only in “incognito” or “private” browsing mode in your web browser. Once you’ve logged out, be sure to clear your cookies. In Chrome, select Chrome from menu bar > Clear browsing data > Time range: All time (Note: This will sign you out of most websites).

By Nicole Nguyen, March 20, 2018     Read more at BuzzFeed News

Image courtesy of Chesnot / Getty Images

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

The death of truth: how we gave up on facts and ended up with Trump

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Media literacy education teaches us how to evaluate sources and understand how information can be manipulated. This excellent article from The Guardian is well worth reading.

For decades now, objectivity – or even the idea that people can aspire toward ascertaining the best available truth – has been falling out of favour. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s well-known observation that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” is more timely than ever: polarisation has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts. This has been exponentially accelerated by social media, which connects users with like-minded members and supplies them with customised news feeds that reinforce their preconceptions, allowing them to live in ever narrower silos.

Read more at The Guardian.

Education, Politics, Take Action

Take action: Opportunity to make Media Literacy a budget priority

Dear Media Literacy Advocates, Friends and Supporters,

Now is the time for us to take action! Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal is asking for your opinion about new priorities for school funding. This is an opportunity to influence funding for years to come!

Superintendent Reykdal wants to hear from us — teachers, students, parents and interested taxpayers.

  • The online survey asks you to rank budget priorities that OSPI should put forward to the Legislature for 2019.
  • Media literacy is not listed on the survey; you can use the write-in section.
  • The more times we can get media literacy mentioned in this survey, the better chance we have to ensure the funding of media literacy education.

To take the survey, please visit the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website below:

You can take the survey here on the State of Washington OSPI website.

The survey is open now through Friday, June 8.

It is available in nine languages in addition to English: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, Traditional Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, and Tagalog. It takes just five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

Let’s make sure Superintendent Reykdal knows that media literacy education must be included in his list of priorities!

Education, Fake News, News

The News Literacy Project: A resource for teachers

Teachers looking for tools to educate middle school and high school students about important news literacy skills can check out The News Literacy Project (NLP). This nonpartisan education nonprofit offers consulting services, professional development opportunities for educators, a virtual classroom experience and other resources.

Continue reading “The News Literacy Project: A resource for teachers”

Education, News

Report: Washington high-school requirements not enough for college admissions

A new national study says Washington is one of 46 states whose high-school graduation requirements don’t line up with admission requirements for public universities.

But the study doesn’t capture major changes that are on the horizon here.

The audit of state high-school graduation requirements, by the Center for American Progress, looks at coursework requirements in the major subjects and asks whether the requirements to earn a basic diploma also qualify a student for enrollment at a public college.

The report found just four states — Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota and Tennessee — matched high-school diploma requirements with public-college requirements.

In Washington, however, things are about to change.  Continue reading “Report: Washington high-school requirements not enough for college admissions”

Education, News, Politics

Teachers are marching ahead of their unions, from Oklahoma to Arizona

Image courtesy of NPR

“I’m 54 years old and my paycheck is $1,980 [a month]. I can’t afford f****** health insurance.”

That’s one of the first things Larry Cagle says on the phone. He is spitting nails. The Tulsa English teacher is one of the leaders of a grassroots organizing group, Oklahoma Teachers United, that they say represents thousands of public school teachers around the state. His group, and both of Oklahoma’s teachers unions, support the walkout and rally happening across the state Monday in support of higher wages and more state revenue.

Teachers are striking even though state legislators passed a pay raise of about $6,000 last week. That vote followed earlier walkouts. The bill, if signed, would bring Oklahoma’s teacher salaries from among the lowest in the nation, to the middle of the pack.

The Oklahoma teachers are not the only ones unhappy.
Continue reading “Teachers are marching ahead of their unions, from Oklahoma to Arizona”

Education, News

Spotlight: NAMLE highlights Newseum

This month NAMLE’s Rachell Arteaga interviewed Barbara McCormack, Vice President of Education for Newseum.

When did your organization launch and why?

In 1997, the Newseum opened in Rosslyn, Va., with education a part of its mission. Over the years, which included a move to our new site on Pennsylvania Avenue, the museum’s education department has supplemented its on-site offerings with a strong digital component to make the Newseum’s content and collections available to all. In fall 2015, we debuted our new website and rebranded ourselves NewseumED. NewseumED.org gives students, teachers and lifelong learners who can’t visit Washington free access to the Newseum’s vast collections. The site’s content is copyright-cleared for use in the classroom, giving teachers worry-free access to quality, non-partisan resources for teaching media literacy, history, and the First Amendment.  Since the website’s launch in October 2015, nearly 500,000 unique visitors – from all 50 states and 175 countries – have explored our resources and interactives.

Read more at NAMLE.

Education, Entertainment, News, Technology

This app may be the future of bedtime stories

The other day, I was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to my daughter. When I got to the part where the caterpillar ate through one apple, I paused, surprised by an unmistakable munching sound coming from my coffee table.

The sound was actually emitted by an app called Novel Effect that uses voice-recognition technology to insert sound effects and music to books as you read them aloud—ideally, to make the experience of reading aloud more engaging for kids at home or in the classroom.

“You still get engagement, you still get interactivity,” says Matt Hammersley, Novel Effect’s CEO and one of its four cofounders. “But they’re not staring at a screen and you’re actually encouraging face-to-face personal communication.”

Read more at the MIT Technology Review.

Image courtesy of the MIT Technology Review.

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Education, News, People

Her family tragedy was breaking news. Now she makes students into better media consumers.

michelle lipkinEach semester, Michelle Ciulla Lipkin struggles with the right time to share a very personal story with her media studies students at Brooklyn College. She hopes it will help explain her desire for a more media-literate society. She also hopes it will explain how the media’s coverage of a news story forever changes the experiences of those individuals who become part of the story.

The lesson usually follows a terrorist attack, she says, and in this case, the recent attack in Lower Manhattan, which killed eight people on Oct. 31, 2017.

The story she shares starts out in 1988, just before Christmas. Then-17-year-old Ciulla Lipkin had dropped off poinsettias at her home in Park Ridge, New Jersey, in preparation for the holidays when the family would be together again. At around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Michelle’s mother, Mary Lou, had the TV on when her soap opera was interrupted with breaking news.

“It was true breaking news. Not breaking news like it is today,” said Ciulla Lipkin.

Read more at PBS News Hour.

Image courtesy of PBS News Hour.

Education, Fake News, News

This is what students think about ‘fake news’ and the media

In yesterday’s edition of News Hour on PBS, there was an interesting segment on children and fake news. Here’s the description:

In an era marked by cries of “fake news,” teaching media literacy skills to young consumers is more important than ever. How do schools teach students consuming and sharing news responsibly? PBS Newshour’s Student Reporting Labs talks to students about how they experience news and what they think about journalism today.

To watch the segment, click on the image below. To watch the entire episode, click here.

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Education, News, Technology

An MIT psychologist explains why so many tech moguls send their kids to anti-tech schools

Technology moguls like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other high-powered entrepreneurs tend to share similar qualities: persistence, ingenuity, grit, just to name a few. But one of the more surprising traits is the philosophy that kids ought to be raised tech-free.

Gates, for example, didn’t let his kids use cellphones until they were 14. Jobs, the inventor of the iPad, prohibited his own kids from using the tech.

“We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told the New York Times in 2011.

Sherry Turkle, an MIT psychologist and author of numerous books on the negative social effects of technology, including “Alone Together” and “Reclaiming Conversation,” has an explanation for this seeming hypocrisy: Those at tech’s bleeding edge know full well how dangerous products can be.

“When people are very sophisticated, they know what not to do,” Turkle told Business Insider.

Read more at Business Insider.

Education, News, Places, Social Media, Technology

How Silicon Valley plans to conquer the classroom

00BIGED2-superJumboThey call it the “Church Lane Hug.”

That is how educators at Church Lane Elementary Technology, a public school here, describe the protective two-armed way they teach students to carry their school-issued laptops.

Administrators at Baltimore County Public Schools, the 25th-largest public school system in the United States, have embraced the laptops as well, as part of one of the nation’s most ambitious classroom technology makeovers. In 2014, the district committed more than $200 million for HP laptops, and it is spending millions of dollars on math, science and language software. Its vendors visit classrooms. Some schoolchildren have been featured in tech-company promotional videos.

And Silicon Valley has embraced the school district right back.

HP has promoted the district as a model to follow in places as diverse as New York City and Rwanda. Daly Computers, which supplied the HP laptops, donated $30,000 this year to the district’s education foundation. Baltimore County schools’ top officials have traveled widely to industry-funded education events, with travel sometimes paid for by industry-sponsored groups.

Read more at The New York Times.

Image courtesy of The New York Times.

Education, News

Media literacy in Massachusetts

mmlMASS Media Literacy (MLL) is doing great work in the media literacy field. Check out their website to see what they’ve been up to.

 

Their website says:

Our mission is to ensure that all Massachusetts students are taught the critical thinking skills needed to engage with media as active and informed participants in the 21st century.

Our vision: through education, research, advocacy and networking, we bring comprehensive Media Literacy education to Massachusetts’ schools and communities.

Learn more about them at their website http://www.massmedialiteracy.org.

Education, News, Places

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017, Oct 25 – Nov 1

UNESCO is hosting its sixth annual Global Media and Information Literacy Week October 25 through November 1. Activities and the feature conference are important opportunities for stakeholders globally to celebrate the progress achieved towards the process of “MIL for all”. Global MIL Week also enables connections and sharing of creative projects, the latest research, new ideas, and information across countries and stakeholders involved in MIL, and in print, screen-based and digital media.

The Global MIL Week 2017 highlights include local and regional activities around the world as well as its feature event, namely the Seventh Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference. The feature conference will be hosted by the University of the West Indies, and will take place from 24 to 27 October, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Learn more at the UNESCO MIL website.

Image courtesy of UNESCO.

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Education, News, Resources

Invitation to free Symposium and Training on Online Student Safety, Nov. 2 at ESD 105 in Yakima, WA

Educational Service District 105, in Yakima, WA, will be hosting a free symposium and training on online student safety. It will also feature national cyber safety partners including Common Sense Media and Gaggle.

The Symposium on Student Safety, a free symposium for school and district administrators, cabinet members and other educators responsible for student online safety, will deal with bullying, harassment, suicide, child pornography and violence and other online issues.

The event is Thursday, November 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Seats are limited so register soon.

To register for the event, click here.

For more information about the symposium visit www.studentsafetysymposium.com.

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Education, Fake News, News

Fake news, fake data

Some people have called 2016 the year of fake news. False articles with gripping headlines about everything from the demise of Taco Bell to Hillary Clinton’s selling weapons to ISIS took social media by storm. Millions of people clicked, read, and shared these stories that had no basis in fact.

But it’s not just the articles that can be false. Many fake news sites use bad data or misleading graphs. Even mainstream media outlets are guilty of creating graphs that exaggerate or understate results. Bad graphs and inaccurate data can cause readers to draw the wrong conclusions.

These invented stories supported by bad data are part of a new trend. Fake news websites—many with official-sounding names and professional-looking designs—are multiplying. Experts warn that fake news sites are weakening the public’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Read more at Scholastic.

Image courtesy of Scholastic.

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Education, News, Places

Google extends digital literacy training to teachers

Digital citizenship has stepped into the forefront of a modern-day education. Experts indicate that as schools roll out tech, they also need to be rolling out digital citizenship education.

Tech giant Google heeded that call and partnered with experts to launch Be Internet Awesome, an interactive campaign that educates students on how best to act on the internet.

One part of this Google campaign is Interland, a game that has students travel an imaginary world where they need to fight hackers, phishers, oversharers and bullies with digital citizenship skills. While game-based learning can be effective, educators also need to be armed with skills to teach their students to be citizens of the web.

This month, Google extended its Be Internet Awesome program to include a free online training course to help educators establish foundational skills needed to teach their students to have a safe and positive experience online.

Read more at Ed Tech.

 

Education, News

US Media Literacy Week will be held November 6 – 10, 2017

Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week now in its 11th year, the National Association for Media Literacy Education is leading the efforts to create a media literacy week in the United States to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.

Whether you are an individual teacher, an employee at an organization, or a researcher, you can get involved with Media Literacy Week. Between October 31st and November 4th, plan your own Media Literacy Event for your community. It’s up to you to decide what you want to organize, but if you need help planning, feel free to reach out to medialiteracyweek@namle.net.

Read more at NAMLE.

Image courtesy of NAMLE.

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Education, News, Technology

JAXA lets us get a glimpse of the Space Station through its Internal Ball Camera

If you’ve ever wondered about what it’s like to be inside the International Space Station through the lens of, say, a drone, look no further.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has released images and video from its JEM Internal Ball Camera, known as “Int-Ball,” — a camera drone that can record images and video while moving in space — and the new footage gives us earth-dwellers a sneak peek of the happenings on the space laboratory.

The device itself is a tiny little ball (that looks like a Star Wars character, tbh) that can move autonomously in space, and take photos and video under remote control by the JAXA Tsukaba Space Center.

Read more at Mashable.

Image courtesy of Mashable.

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It’s so cute!