Education, Entertainment, News

Deadline approaching to submit films for Fresh Film Northwest

maxresdefault.jpg2Fresh Film Northwest is a juried survey of work by up-and-coming teen filmmakers living in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia, hosted by the Northwest Film Center.

Now in its 41st year, the Festival recognizes individual talent, showcases model examples of how film arts can be taught in schools, and engages all of us in helping to build the Northwest regional youth media community of 13- to 19-year-olds.

Each year, a jury of media professionals and community advocates select a group of films to be shown in November on the big screen at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, located inside of the Portland Art Museum. Selections and Honorable Mentions will also be presented at select tour stops in the Pacific Northwest as part of the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival Best of Tour, and available to view online on our Vimeo channel. Most recently, films from the 2016 Best of Tour screened at the Diva Art Center (Drain, OR) and the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (Langley, WA).

The 2017 festival takes place on Saturday, November 4th from 11am to 1pm in the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the lower level of the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Teachers and Organizers: Would you like a Fresh Film Northwest poster to display in your classroom, school, or facility? Email our Education Programs Manager Mia Ferm ( with your mailing address and any questions.

Teen filmmakers: If you’re a teen filmmaker residing in the Pacific Northwest and want to submit your work, visit the Fresh Film Northwest submission page.

The deadline to submit is Friday, August 18th, 2017.

Submit your film today!

Education, Health, News, Places

Can a MediaWise campaign help kids see through the advertising world?

Saying that your eight-year-old knows more about technology than you do is one of those humblebrags that’s rarely true – but it at least reflects the reality that children are growing up in a media-saturated world. And while they have no cash, they have something nearly as valuable – pester power – which is why they’ve been in the crosshairs of marketing budgets for decades.

The Irish Heart Foundation pulls no punches in its current “Stop Junk Brands Targeting Kids” campaign, saying that brands “use underhand and unregulated marketing tactics. Their influence has spread into children’s homes, digital devices and even their schools.”

It urges visitors to its site – where cleverly engaging content explains how advertisers sell to children – to sign a petition. The campaign, set against a backdrop of one-in-four Irish children being overweight or obese, is hoping to get 30,000 sign-ups to back its call for Government intervention to protect children’s health through strict controls on digital marketing.

“It is really worrying that seven- to 16-year-olds are spending about three hours a day online, vulnerable to slick marketing that’s pushing foods and drinks that are causing obesity,” said the Irish Heart Foundation’s head of advocacy Chris Macey.

Read more at The Irish Times.

Image courtesy of The Irish Times.

Education, Health, News, Technology

Brain drain: The mere presence of one’s own smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity

A new study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, by the University of Chicago, shares how simply using a smartphone impacts and greatly diminishes our abilities to process, analyze and evaluate information.

Our smartphones enable—and encourage—constant connection to information, entertainment, and each other. They put the world at our fingertips, and rarely leave our sides. Although these devices have immense potential to improve welfare, their persistent presence may come at a cognitive cost.

In this research, we test the “brain drain” hypothesis that the mere presence of one’s own smartphone may occupy limited-capacity cognitive resources, thereby leaving fewer resources available for other tasks and undercutting cognitive performance. Results from two experiments indicate that even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention—as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones—the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capacity. Moreover, these cognitive costs are highest for those highest in smartphone dependence. We conclude by discussing the practical implications of this smartphone-induced brain drain for consumer decision-making and consumer welfare.

Read more at the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

Education, News, Technology

A leading Silicon Valley engineer explains why every tech worker needs a humanities education

In 2005, the late writer David Foster Wallace delivered a now-famous commencement address. It starts with the story of the fish in water, who spend their lives not even knowing what water is. They are naively unaware of the ocean that permits their existence, and the currents that carry them.

The most important education we can receive, Wallace goes on to explain, “isn’t really about the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about.” He talks about finding appreciation for the richness of humanity and society. But it is the core concept of meta-cognition, of examining and editing what it is that we choose to contemplate, that has fixated me as someone who works in the tech industry.

Read more at Quartz.

Image courtesy of Quartz.

tech worker.jpg

Education, News, Places

Shoutout to our media literacy partners down under! Australian updates

Australian updatesHere are just a few of the programs being held by our media literacy partners down in Australia, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

New Education Package: Indigenous Perspectives ​Ahead of 2017 NAIDOC Week, the ACTF has compiled a range of engaging educational content and support materials which represent the diverse experiences of Indigenous Australian children. Read more.

Jeffrey Walker Webinar: Child Actor to International Director In our latest webinar for upper primary and secondary schools, students had the opportunity to ask Australian director Jeffrey Walker about his inspirational career. Read more.

Comedy Scriptwriting Workshops Update Presented in partnership with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), our entertaining series of virtual comedy scriptwriting workshops for Year 5 and 6 students wrapped up this week. ​​Read more.

Little Lunch App Competition: Start Planning for Term 3! Following the success of last year’s competition, we will be running our Little Lunch App Competition again in Term 3 this year. Entries can be submitted between 4 September – 27 October 2017. Read more.

Visit the ACTF website for more information, or sign up for their newsletter!

Education, Fake News, News

New ideas to fight fake news – and Knight money to do so

Three months ago, the Knight Foundation asked people to submit their ideas for ways to battle fake news and bolster factual journalism.

And boy, did they.

More than 800 responded.

On Thursday, the foundation and two partners announced 20 winners, each to receive a $50,000 grant to further their work.

They include Baltimore-based, which wants to curb the financial incentive for creating fake news via automatically updated lists of misleading websites.

Another winner is Who Said What, based in San Francisco, which aims to help people more easily fact-check audio and video news clips through a search tool that annotates millions of those clips.

Read more at Philly.

Image courtesy of Philly.


Education, Fake News, News, Technology

Humans can’t expect AI to just fight fake news for them

Here’s some news that’s not fake: Not everything you can read on the internet is true. Trouble is, it can be hard to know truths from untruths, and there’s evidence untruths travel faster. Many hands have been wrung in recent months over what to do about made-up news stories created to convert social media shares into page views, ad dollars, and perhaps even political traction. The modest first results from an effort to crowdsource machine learning technology to help stem the flood of falsity are a reminder that machines may help us grapple with fake news—but only if humans take the lead.

Late last year, Facebook’s director of AI research Yann LeCun told journalists that machine learning technology that could squash fake news “either exists or can be developed.” The company has since said it tweaked the News Feed to suppress fake news, although it’s unclear to what effect. Not long after LeCun’s comment, a group of academics, tech industry insiders, and journalists launched their own project called the Fake News Challenge to try and get fake news-detecting algorithms built out in the open.

The first results from that effort were released this morning. The algorithms the winning teams created might help rein in online misinformation, but as tools to speed up humans working on the problem, not autonomous fake news killbots.

Read more at Wired.

Image courtesy of Wired.


Education, Entertainment, Events, News

Future of Film is Feminist Festival, July 13

nffty festival.jpeg

Reel Grrls,  the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) are excited to partner with Seattle Theatre Group for the opportunity to envision the future.

Join them July 13th for the Future of Film is Feminist Festival, a collective community gathering that highlights the talents of young female-identified filmmakers.

The Future of Film is Feminist Festival
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Doors at 7:00 pm, Event at 8:00 pm

The Neptune Theatre: 1303 Northeast 45th Street,  Seattle, WA 98105

For more information about the festival, click here.

To purchase tickets, visit the Seattle Theatre Group (STG) website here.

Image courtesy of the festival.

Education, News, Places

Come for the computers, stay for the books

Traci Chun, a teacher-librarian at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, is all done with shushing. “When my library is quiet, that’s a red flag,” said Chun. In fact, the busier it is, the better—whether it’s kids experimenting with the Makey Makey circuitry or uploading designs to a 3-D printer, or a class learning media literacy, or a student seeking advice on a video she’s editing at one of the computer workstations.

Chun’s district is at the forefront of a national movement to turn K–12 librarians into indispensable digital mavens who can help classroom teachers craft tech-savvy lesson plans, teach kids to think critically about online research, and remake libraries into lively, high-tech hubs of collaborative learning—while still helping kids get books.

The stereotypical library can seem like a vestige, making it an easy target when budgets are tight, according to Mark Ray, Vancouver’s director of innovation and library services, “but we want libraries to be the lynchpin of education transformation.” Ray heads up Future Ready Librarians, part of Future Ready Schools—a network for sharing education technology solutions, which is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.–based education advocacy group.

Read more at Slate.

Image courtesy of Slate.

school libraries

Education, News, Privacy, Technology

New Girl Scout badges focus on cyber crime, not cookie sales

Cookie sales may take a back seat to fighting identity theft and other computer crime now that Girl Scouts as young as 5 are to be offered the chance to earn their first-ever cyber security badges.

Armed with a needle and thread, U.S. Girl Scouts who master the required skills can attach to their uniform’s sash the first of 18 cyber security badges that will be rolled out in September 2018, Girls Scouts of the USA said in a press release.

The education program, which aims to reach as many as 1.8 million Girl Scouts in kindergarten through sixth grade, is being developed in a partnership between the Girl Scouts and Palo Alto Networks (PANW.N), a security company.

The goal is to prevent cyber attacks and restore trust in digital operations by training “tomorrow’s diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyber threats,” Mark McLaughlin, chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, said in the release.

The move to instill “a valuable 21st century skill set” in girls best known for cookie sales is also aimed at eliminating barriers to cyber security employment, such as gender and geography, said Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Read more at Reuters.

Image courtesy of Reuters.

A Girl Scout works on a laptop, as the Girl Scouts of the USA introduce 18 new Cybersecurity badges

Advertising, Education, News

CCFC shares great new tools from to stop marketers from targeting kids in schools

Starting next school year, under U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, local education agencies or school districts must have in place a “local school wellness policy” to create a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn. Under the baseline policy, all foods and beverages sold to students must meet USDA nutrition standards, and products that don’t meet those standards can’t be marketed in schools. This is a great start, but leaves a lot of wiggle room for food companies to take advantage of kids.

Corporations are anxious to market in schools—when kids are captive, young, and impressionable—to create brand loyalty for life. Kids in school can’t “change the channel,” and anything advertised in a school comes with the powerful endorsement of the school or faculty. No products should be marketed in these spaces.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) shares with us some great new tools from ChangeLab Solutions to stop marketers from targeting kids in schools.

The ChangeLab tools include:

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) supports parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world. Learn more at

Education, News, People, Politics

How media literacy can help students discern fake news

Recognizing bias in news stories is one form of media literacy. Spotting when the news is totally fabricated is something else entirely. How can teachers help students tell fact from media fiction? Educators and media literacy advocates in Washington state are working together with legislators to address the problem.

Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza of Education Week reports in the June 6, 2017, edition of PBS NewsHour, featuring AME member Claire Beach and Washington State Senator Marko Liias (D) speaking in the weekly series Making the Grade.

Read the full article here.

pbs news hour.PNG

Bill Update, Education, Fake News, News

Bill would help California schools teach about ‘fake news,’ media literacy

Spurred by the rise of so-called “fake news” and its impact on elections, a Santa Barbara state senator has introduced a bill that would encourage California’s K-12 schools to teach students to be skeptical, informed news consumers.

Authored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), SB 203, known as the digital citizenship and media literacy bill, would require the state superintendent of public instruction to convene a committee of educators, librarians, parents, students and media experts to draw up guidelines on how best to recognize fake news.

Popularized in the 2016 presidential election, the term “fake news” refers to Internet hoaxes or intentionally fabricated stories presented as news and intended to sway public opinion. Cyber bullying, privacy, copyright infringement, digital footprints, sexting and general Internet safety would also be included in the guidelines.

Read more at Ed Source.

Image courtesy of Ed Source.

medialit cali bill

Education, News, Places

Crinkling News lives: Crowdfunding and Senate appearance save kids’ paper

Australia’s only children’s newspaper attracts the $200,000 it needs to survive after its editor warns of need to ‘develop media literacy in Australia’

An 11th-hour appearance at a Senate select committee into public interest journalism and a whirlwind of publicity have helped the children’s newspaper Crinkling News to stay in print after a fundraising goal of $200,000 was reached.

Crinkling News’s editor, Saffron Howden – along with a bigger player in the media industry, the Fairfax Media chief executive, Greg Hywood – was invited to give evidence at the Senate committee’s first public hearing in Sydney on Wednesday.

“To address the creeping influence of fake news, so-called alternative facts, clickbait and the selection by social media platforms of the information to which we are exposed, we need to start educating children at a young age,” Howden told the senators. “In short, we need to develop media literacy in Australia.

Read more at The Guardian.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

crinkling news

Education, Fake News, News

How to help students discover the whole truth

“You may think you are prepared for a post-truth world, in which political appeals to emotion count for more than statements of verifiable fact,” Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for The Washington Post, wrote recently. “But now it’s time to cross another bridge—into a world without facts. Or, more precisely, where facts do not matter a whit.”

Because I teach American history, government and journalism in high school, Sullivan’s words hit close to home. I spoke with my students about Mary Beth Hertz’s Edutopia post, “Battling Fake News in the Classroom,” and I sensed that many of my students, while skilled at what Hertz fittingly calls “crap detection,” were still deeply troubled by what they characterized as a growing public aversion to the truth.

When politicians and thought leaders can’t or won’t agree on a basic set of facts, how can we motivate students for the noble pursuit of truth and help them see why it still matters?

Read more at PBS.

Image courtesy of PBS.


Education, News, Privacy

A new resource to help parents protect their children’s privacy

parent toolkit ccfcToday’s schools are more connected than ever: most education records are stored digitally, and students and staff use apps and websites for daily instruction, homework, and administrative tasks. These apps, websites, and digital storage vendors collect a wide variety of data about students, including kids’ names, birth dates, internet browsing histories, grades, test scores, disabilities, disciplinary records, family income information, and more—often without parental consent or clear, adequate security protections.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has teamed up with the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy (PCSP) to create The Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy: A Practical Guide for Protecting Your Child’s Sensitive School Data from Snoops, Hackers, and Marketers.

The kit offers clear guidance about parental rights under federal law, helps parents ask the right questions about their schools’ data policies, and offers simple steps parents can take to advocate for better privacy policies and practices in their children’s schools. And, thanks to a generous grant from the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, it’s free!

To download the toolkit now, or for more information, click here, or on the image above.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) supports parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world. Learn more at

Education, Fake News, News, Places

Newseum ED pilots fake news class at Palo Alto High School

palo alto high school
Palo Alto High School

NewseumED curriculum developers will be at Palo Alto High School in California on Tuesay, May 16, to pilot their newest media literacy class, “Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers.” The class was launched at the Newseum in March in response to the “fake news” phenomenon that garnered national attention during the 2016 presidential election, and continues to be a major global concern.

Students of Esther Wojcicki, a journalism teacher at Palo Alto, provided input to NewseumED staff as they developed the class as well as a flow chart helping students determine whether a story is worth sharing by text, tweet or email.


Image courtesy of Newseum.

Education, Fake News, News

We crashed UW’s class on calling BS. Here’s what we learned about sleuthing ‘big data.’

A University of Washington seminar, “Calling BS in the Age of Big Data,” promises to help students develop a BS detector — and it’s become a global phenomenon, with universities as far away as Australia planning to teach a version of it this fall.

Did you hear about the researchers in China who said they’d developed an algorithm that could predict whether somebody was a criminal by scanning a photo of their face?

The researchers used “fancy machine learning” to eliminate human biases and come up with a scientific way to determine criminality by examining facial features, University of Washington professor Carl Bergstrom told his class in Mary Gates Hall one day last month.

“What do you guys think?” Bergstrom asked.

In unison, more than 100 students responded out loud: “Bullshit!”


Read more at The Seattle Times.

Image courtesy of The Seattle Times.

BS in the age of big data

Education, Events, Fake News, News, Places

Local librarians to lead workshop on media literacy

Media Literacy, a free two-hour workshop, is set at the Port Angeles Library at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Librarians Danielle Gayman and Sarah Morrison at the Port Angeles Library of the North Olympic Library System will present the workshop at the library at 2210 S. Peabody St.

“Today’s media landscape and technologies mean that misinformation or disinformation can be widely shared and disseminated, accidentally or purposefully, regardless of the facts,” according to a news release issued by the library system.

Read more in the Peninsula Daily News.

To attend, here are the workshop details

Title: Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about News & Other Resources

Date/Time: Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Location: The Carver Room at Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Description: NOLS Librarians Danielle Gayman and Sarah Morrison will present an introductory session on Media Literacy, including types of journalism, identifying perspective, and determining bias.  Find out about “Truthiness” and learn how to identify “Fake” or “Fabricated” news.

For more information, visit the North Olympic Library website.

Image courtesy of The Peninsula Daily News.

library workshop.jpg
North Olympic Library System librarians Danielle Gayman and Sarah Morrison will offer a workshop about Media Literacy on Thursday night.
Education, News, Technology

Colleges are starting varsity programs for video games

Professional esports — competitive video game playing as a spectator sport — is surging in the U.S., with revenues in the hundreds of millions and growing fast. So it’s little surprise that collegiate esports — in which universities field their own teams just as they would for baseball or basketball — has been been growing as well, to the point where players are now sometimes earning scholarships that pay their entire tuition.

Stephen’s College, an all-women’s college in Columbia, Missouri, announced a varsity esports program two weeks ago. The University of Utah did the same in early April.

The growth of varsity esports teams is phenomenal, said Michael Brooks, executive director at the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), a non-profit organization that is working to set standards and build infrastructure for the scene.

Read more at The Outline.

Image courtesy of The Outline.

video esports

Education, Fake News, News

Tips from Teen Vogue: 5 Steps to Improve Your Media Literacy

Even the popular fashion youth magazine Teen Vogue has felt the need to educate its readers about how to improve their media literacy skills.

In between articles about fashion, entertainment and beauty, the magazine’s news and technology section recently featured a piece intended to help teens distinguish between what is real news and what can be considered “fake” news. The article begins:

Sure, most of us know that just because you read something on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true. And lately everyone is talking about fake news — hoaxes, propaganda, and flat-out lies that are intentionally meant to look like real news. Confusingly, President Donald Trump has been attempting to redefine the term to mean anything that is reported by the mainstream media with which he disagrees. Even satire, a worthwhile and thought-provoking writing genre, is often incorrectly lumped together with fake news or taken at face value and mistaken for news.

Read more at Teen Vogue.

Image courtesy of Teen Vogue.

Education, Fake News, News

What media literacy means in the age of alternative facts

cml logo.jpgPost-truth, alternative facts and fake news. Media has changed a lot since we began tweeting, but the last year has left media and its consumers in a crisis. A Pew Research study revealed that 62 percent of adults get their news from social media. We now live in a hyper-partisan world where sensational fake news often spreads faster than real news, according to a post-election BuzzFeed analysis. In this age of citizen journalism, media literacy is a confusing proposition.

Adults may assume that digital natives, who can text, post and Google at the same time, are able to sort through the information onslaught better than they can. In fact, Stanford University released a study in November that indicates students have a lot of trouble discerning the credibility of online information. For example, 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. Even worse, this study was completed well before the reports of fake news surrounding the u.s. presidential election surfaced.

There is hope. A study by the Civic Engagement Research Group found that media literacy training does make people significantly less likely to believe a factually inaccurate claim, even if it aligned with their political point of view.

Read more at the Center for Media Literacy.

Education, News

New videos by Kartemquin documenting visual artists


Media Burn has unveiled a newly digitized collection of 100 camera original tapes by Kartemquin Films. The tapes were shot for an uncompleted project documenting visual artists called Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries. The entire collection is now available for free online as the result of an 18-month project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In addition to digitizing all 100 tapes shot for the program, they have also created a collection guide that highlights the major themes and characters in the footage. Dive in at:

Read more about this project here.

Education, News

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire

A colleague in Connecticut recently contacted AME and asked if we could help spread the word about a new master’s program their college is offering in the field of media literacy.

For more details about what’s happening at Sacred Heart University, view the program website or see this fact sheet about the Master of Arts in Media Literacy and Digital Culture program.

Image courtesy of Sacred Heart University. Title quote by William Butler Yeats.


Education, Fake News, News, People

Omidyar network gives $100 million to boost journalism and fight hate speech

The philanthropy established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar will contribute $100 million to support investigative journalism, fight misinformation and counteract hate speech around the world.

One of the first contributions, $4.5 million, will go to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Washington-based group behind last year’s Panama Papers investigation, which revealed offshore businesses and shell corporations, some of which were used for purposes such as tax evasion.

“We think it’s really important to act now to keep dangerous trends from becoming the norm,” Stephen King, who heads the Omidyar Network’scivic engagement initiative, told The Washington Post in the philanthropic group’s first public comments on the three-year funding commitment.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Image courtesy of The Washington Post.