Bill Update, Media Literacy, News

Grant Money: A Media Literacy First

The 2019 Washington State legislature has allocated $150,000 in state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. Action for Media Literacy Education is pleased to announce this news as another media literacy first for Washington State and the nation.

These funds will be awarded in September through a competitive grant process. Six to ten school teams will receive grants to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum units focused on three subject areas: social studies, English language arts, or health classes. A unique feature of these units is that they will be designed using a media literacy lens to address content commonly covered in one of these three subject areas.  

Examples of ideas for curriculum units designed from a media literacy lens:

  • Exploring media influence on teen perspectives concerning a particular health issue (e.g. teen pregnancy prevention)
  • Analyzing and evaluating media sources that describe an important historical event
  • Examining issues of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property as they apply to materials produced for an English language arts class

Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD, or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000; most awards are anticipated to be in the $15,000 range.

Grant application details and information will be available from OSPI in late August, 2019. For more information, contact Dennis Small: dennis.small@k12.wa.us or (360) 725-6384.

Media Literacy, News

Senator Marko Liias Honored for Work in Media Literacy

Senator Liias, center, with AME board members Jenny Gawronski, Michael Danielson, Marilyn Cohen, and Barbara Johnson

Washington State Senator Marko Liias was invited to speak in Jenny Gawronski’s Digital Media Literacy class at the University of Washington on May 28. The class session focused on ground-breaking pieces of media literacy legislation that have passed in Washington since 2016.

Senator Liias played a key role in the passage of this legislation, which has established Washington as a model for the nation. Action for Media Education (AME) board members were there to present Senator Liias with a Certificate of Appreciation for his leadership role in passing this legislation. 

Media literacy advocates are currently celebrating Washington’s third piece of legislation which will, for the first time, allocate state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. For more information, contact Dennis Small: dennis.small@k12.wa.us or (360) 725-6384.

Thank you Senator Liias, for your work in media literacy!

News

Earth Day Message from a 4th Grade Student

Farhiya is a 4th grade student in Kent, Washington who is on her school’s Green Team.

Today, on Earth Day, she and other young leaders at her school are hosting a student-led day of Earth-focused activities that remind us to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink our actions. These students join people around the world in urging us to make a difference. The 2019 Earth Day theme is Save Our Species!

Farhiya created a PowerPoint presentation for her Earth Day school assignment, and she agreed to share it with us.

By Shawn Sheller

News, People

AME mourns the passing of Lynn Ziegler

Lynn Ziegler

Lynn Ziegler, one of Action for Media Education’s founding members, died April 14. Lynn had served as AME’s media critic since the early ’90s. Her long career included writing weekly columns on children’s TV and family films for Northwest newspapers. She was a guest on national and regional radio and TV to promote quality programming for children, and was a television news writer and producer for KOMO-TV.

After leaving KOMO, Lynn created a public service announcement promoting healthy nutritional choices for children. Her MTV-style “Nutri-Rap” featured somersaulting fruits and vegetables and “a rainbow of Northwest children giving a thumbs up for good nutrition.” This spot won several awards: a Telly, two PIXI Awards, and two regional EMMYs. 

One of her proudest accomplishments, Spongeheadz: U & Me, is a book Lynn described as “the essential parent handbook for the 21stCentury.” Written when TV was dominant, it still contains valuable tips for parents. In her book, and throughout her life, Lynn celebrated diversity; “That’s why you’ll find drawings by children of every color and nationality inside these pages.” Lynn knew that children need to see “faces that look like his or her own” in books and other media.

She greatly valued her strong connection with Native American communities on the Kitsap Peninsula, and worked as an educator and mentor to many Native American youth.

Her experience as an educator led to her involvement with some of the statewide teen health projects sponsored by the Washington State Department of Health and the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, University of Washington. These projects trained high school students to teach younger youth about teen health issues such as pregnancy prevention. Lynn was strongly committed to promoting youth empowerment, and these projects included a subject she was passionate about—media literacy education.

Lynn launched one of AME’s first media literacy projects in the early ’90s. The PIXI awards honored high quality children’s television programming. Teams of professionals and parents across the state established the criteria that judges used to choose PIXI award recipients. The PIXI awards project, under Lynn’s leadership, was one of AME’s major activities throughout the organization’s early years.

Lynn was also a member Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Free Press, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS). 

We in AME are deeply saddened by Lynn’s passing. She is survived by her children Chris, Jesse, and Alik. Lynn’s staunch advocacy for all children will remain an inspiration. She will be greatly missed for her wonderful sense of humor, her generosity, and her warm and loving heart, expressed in so many ways to all whose lives she touched.

by Marilyn Cohen and Sue D. Cook

Education, News, Politics, Take Action

Local librarians, key partners in media literacy instruction, need your help

URGENT: Educators are fighting to protect their library programs, and none more so than those in Seattle Public Schools. While WA State recently increased its education budget, it also restricted the levy funds local districts can raise. This means that Seattle cannot fully collect the funds it has already approved! The result is a $39M budget deficit in Seattle Schools, with over $12M of the deficit directed at school budgets. Librarians, nurses, and counselors bear the brunt of the cuts. 

How can you help? Spread the word among friends, family, colleagues.

5 MINUTES: Write or call WA State legislator Reuven Carlyle or other members of the Ways and Means Committee to support SB 5313, allowing for levy flexibility.

Contact the legislature TODAY!

Leave your comments on SB 5313

Contact SPS school board members, advocating for no cuts to library budgets.

10 MINUTES: Learn more. Read Keith Curry Lance and Debra Kachel’s article detailing research that correlates high quality school library programs and student achievement.

Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us

5 HOURS: Head to Olympia on April 2 to join SPS librarians to rally and lobby for levy flexibility. #SPSLibrarians

By Kathryn Egawa, Action for Media Education Board Member


Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Technology

Net Neutrality: Back in the news

Net Neutrality’s Title I vs. Title II
Digital Divide Remains

Despite bipartisan talk, consensus on legislative solution continues to elude legislators

The new Democratic-led House Communications Subcommittee weighed back into the still legally muddy net neutrality waters Thursday (Feb. 7), led by chairman Mike Doyle, who led the unsuccessful House effort to follow the Senate and nullify the net neutrality reg rollback under current Republican chairman Ajit Pai.

The main takeaway from the hearing was that both sides of the aisle sounded like they were looking for a way to “yes” on bipartisan legislation to restore FCC rules against blocking, throttling and (anti-competitive) paid prioritization as a way to provide certainty for consumers and broadband investment, but that the Title II vs. Title I digital divide appeared to be as wide as ever, threatening that bipartisan spirit.

Republicans talked up at least three legislative proposals that would restore the rules, but not under Title II, including legislative proffers from Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the subcommittee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), that would restore rules under a non-Title II framework.

Net neutrality activists monitoring the hearing quickly fired off e-mails shooting them down as fake bills backed by “telecom shillls.”

Read more at Broadcasting & Cable
By John Eggerton

Bill Update, News, Take Action

Your Comments Needed: 
New Media Literacy Bill for WA Schools

Exciting news! WA State Senate Bill 5594 provides funding for media literacy curriculum and professional development for teachers.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED NOW. Please share this link with as many people as possible across the state. It’s easy! Just type in your zip code and with a few words you can let our lawmakers know your position.

This bill, sponsored and introduced by Senator Marko Liias, creates a grant process for developing new curriculum units that embed media literacy into content area lessons. The new curriculum units will be available for classrooms across the state. The bill also provides for two Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship professional development conferences for educators

The proposed bill is a follow up to ESSB 5449 from 2017, which supported media literacy and digital citizenship. That bill called for reviewing and revising of district policies and procedures to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety, and the creation of a repository of best practices and resources. It also mandated an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) survey that examined how digital citizenship and media literacy were being integrated into Washington’s schools’ curriculum.

Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members Marilyn Cohen, Michael Danielson, and Barbara Johnson met with Senator Liias to propose this new bill, SB 5594. He responded immediately with interest and took action. Thank you to Senator Marko Liias and the bill’s co-sponsors: Senators Judy Warnick, Claire Wilson, Lisa Wellman, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Rebecca Saldaña, and Hans Zeiger.

Spread the word, and comment today to support media literacy education!

Education, News, Politics

It’s Time for the Press to Evolve

n678816.png

The current political climate we find ourselves in could hardly be more divisive and confounding. One of the challenges for students and teachers in media literacy education is to evaluate this question: Has the media responded appropriately to the challenges of the Trump era? What do you think?

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher, is a leading expert on the framing of political ideas. In this article he offers concrete tools for the press to “evolve” in response to tactics that are being widely used.

His article from O Society:

Attacks on the free press, and constant lying by political leaders, aren’t just happening here in the United States. These tactics are also being used by authoritarian leaders in other countries who are taking power using the same tactics as Trump.

These leaders understand how the press works, and they use its own tendencies against it in their efforts to erode democracy and freedom. They lie, knowing the press will repeat the lies. They create distractions because they know the press will chase the distractions. They release bad news when they think no one is paying attention. Too often, these tactics succeed.

It’s time for the press to evolve. The press needs new rules, practices and guidelines to respond to the threat posed by lying authoritarians with no respect for truth, freedom, or democracy. These types of leaders attack the press because they see the truth as a threat. And it’s the job of the press to report the truth.

Here are some suggestions members of the press can follow to ProtectTheTruth:

 — Ban the lie from the headline/tweet/chyron. Repeating lies only spreads them, and spreading lies is a disservice to the truth. It’s possible to write engaging headlines without serving the lie. Always start with the truth, and always repeat the truth more than the lie.

 — Use Truth Sandwiches. When writing about lies, always start with the truth first. Then explain the lie. Then return to the truth. Sequence and repetition matter! Truth first! Always.

 — Separate News from Distractions. George Orwell said it best: “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” Trump’s tweets have become a constant obsession for reporters. But his Twitter dramas generally just distract from the important news stories crucial to democracy. He issues crazy tweets, calls people names, and includes silly typos because he WANTS people to talk about his tweet. And those who give him what he wants need to remember Orwell’s quote. What was the big story in the news before the Twitter drama started? Keep a steely focus on things that matter.

 — Limit Trump photos. Images are crucial. Today, it seems like nearly every news story features a large photo of Trump. It’s all Trump, all the time. It’s a Trump overload. Editors need to be aware of the overall effect and make an effort to use a range of images to tell the story of our times. Politics is not just about the actors. It’s about the millions of people who are affected by those actions.

 — Outsmart the “Friday Dump.” Politicians and corporations tend to release bad or unflattering news late Fridays, and especially on three-day weekends. This is because people pay less attention to the news at this time. So, the use of the “Friday Dump” is a tactic for hiding the truth from people. Imagine if anyone who tried this was instead greeted with a big Sunday or Monday story that also told people they were trying to hide the truth by dumping it on Friday.

by George Lakoff Dec 19, 2018

Read more here

Podcast:  FrameLab: How To Protect the Truth

 

 

 

 

Education, News, Social Media

Interview with Marilyn Cohen, 2018 Jessie McCanse Award recipient

A highlight of Media Literacy Week here at AME is the presentation of the Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy, to Marilyn Cohen, Saturday, Nov. 10. The National Telemedia Council (NTC) is recognizing Marilyn’s longtime contributions to media literacy, high principles and dedication. Four recipients this year include Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, CA, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, PA, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.

Marilyn was recently interviewed by the Consortium for Media Literacy newsletter, Connections. Here is part of that interview:

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 3.47.09 PM.pngFor the whole interview: Global Connections Newsletter

News

Doctor and media literacy supporter Dr. Don talks about media literacy

Dr. Don Shifrin, a pediatrician with Allegro Pediatrics and media literacy advocate, appeared today on KING 5 News, discussing the importance of teaching children to be media literate.

This comes as we celebrate the fourth annual U.S. Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.

Watch him in the segment below.

Fair Use, News, Technology

Just in time for Media Literacy Week

Copyright? Fair use? Creative Commons? This invaluable guide was just released October 25, 2018. You’ll want to save, bookmark, and keep for reference.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 4.28.16 PM.png

Introduction to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

 Preamble: No Easy Answers, but Guidance

Teachers who live and work in a world dominated by new media are asking many questions about literacy classroom practice:

  • Can my students use copyrighted music, images, or video clips in their video projects?
  • Can my students and I repurpose a copyrighted image as a meme?
  • Can I show a movie via Netflix in school?

You might be hoping that a document about fair use will present you with answers to these kinds of difficult questions. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers—but there is guidance.

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (which was adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee in 2008) provides guidance but does not prescribe practice. As literacy educators, we each bear the responsibility to educate ourselves and our students about our relationship to existing media as learning tools. You can use this Code of Best Practices as a foundation to understanding the principles of fair use. Its continuing relevance is a testament to the importance of a shared understanding of these issues within a community of practice.

History of This Document

This Code of Best Practices developed from a grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation in 2006. At the time there was fear about potential lawsuits in documentary filmmaking. When presented with challenges to copyright, judges look to creative communities for guidance on what is considered acceptable use of existing media, so the development of this Code was necessary to establish norms for a community of educators. Many stakeholders were included in its development with the overarching question: What is fair?

The document was reviewed by legal scholars and intellectual property attorneys. It represents a consensus of a knowledge/practice community, and co-signers included organizations that cross literacy fields. It presents normative practices in the field and focuses on the user’s rights. Its longevity is a strength if a copyright challenge comes forward.

Fair use is applied and understood differently in various contexts. The best practice model provides the guidance needed to navigate those contexts by offering a set of principles and clarifying common myths. Teachers continue to encounter such scenarios similar to those described above in the preamble; when deliberating about such situations, reading the Code can provide some guidance.

Read more at the National Council of Teachers of English

Originally adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008, introduction added October 2018

By: National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Student Television Network (STN), Media Commission of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), and Visual Communication Division of the International Communication Association (ICA)

Education, Events, Fake News, News, Social Media

WA Governor Jay Inslee proclaims Media Literacy Week, Nov. 5-9

For the first time, the State of Washington has issued a proclamation to raise awareness of Media Literacy Education and commemorate the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week, which is observed locally, nationally, and internationally.

Educators, students, parents, and adult advocates invite you to participate in a week of student activities, discussions, idea sharing, and celebration of work that promotes media literacy in communities around the world as an essential life skill for the 21st century.

Media Literacy Week is hosted by The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), with hundreds of organizations, schools, educators, partners, and supporters in the U.S. alone. See how you can participate!

Thank you to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for your continued support of media literacy education for students of all ages.

To download or view the proclamation, click on the image below or click here.

Governor's Proclamation ML Week 2018.jpg

Fake News, News, People, Politics, Social Media

Lies, lies and more lies. Out of an old Tacoma house, fact-checking site Snopes uncovers them

374272d8-cc2f-11e8-bed9-4cc6adde09f1-1560x1021.jpgSnopes CEO David Mikkelson says the fact-checking website really took off after Sept. 11. “Conspiracy theories were running rampant.” (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

Snopes, the country’s most popular hoax-debunking site, is run by its founder out of a 97-year-old house in Tacoma. And is it ever busy, with 47 of its “Hot 50” posts having something to do with politics.

Here, in a 97-year-old frame house in the city’s North End, is the headquarters of America’s most popular hoax-debunking website.

The command center for Snopes.com is an upstairs bedroom with shelving and a laptop placed atop some books and a cardboard box.

These are busy times.

Is This a Photograph of Christine Blasey Ford with Bill Clinton? False.

Did Protesters Vandalize Brett Kavanaugh’s House? False.

Is This a Photograph of a Wasted Brett Kavanaugh? False.

Is This a Photograph of Christine Blasey Ford Partying? False.

All those viral hoaxes, spread by social media, have created a market for fact-checking sites, with Snopes, started in 1994, being the champ.

It gets 32 million visits a month on desktop and mobile, according to Similar.Web.com, an industry site that measures web traffic. Its closest competitors are The Straight Dope (4 million monthly visits) and FactCheck (3 million).

From his bedroom office, David Mikkelson, Snopes publisher and CEO, runs a site employing 16 people across the country, half of them fact-checkers and the rest on the business and web side.

Read more at The Seattle Times

By Eric Lacitis, Seattle Times staff reporter   Oct. 10, 2018

Education, Events, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

UW Lecture Series on Media Literacy

Bunk.jpg

The University of Washington public lecture series, BUNK: The Information Series, brings an impressive lineup of speakers to Seattle.

  • Author and political scientist Cornell Clayton will speak October 9, “Off the Rails: Populism and Paranoia in American Politics.”
  • Renee Hobbs, a leader in the field of media literacy education, will speak November 28, “Mind Over Media: Teaching About Propaganda.”

The lectures are free and open to the public, but reservations are required and you must act quickly to reserve a seat.

See the full schedule of speakers.

Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018 — It’s less than a month away!

Media Literacy Week activities and events raise awareness about the importance of media literacy education for today’s students, and showcase the amazing work of educators, students, and organizations across the US. Now in its fourth year, Media Literacy Week is sponsored by the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

NAMLE has named Ethan Delavan, Action for Media Education (AME) board member, as Washington’s Media Literacy Week chair. AME is a NAMLE partner in this annual event.

For updates on Media Literacy Week in Washington, check the AME blogFacebook, or Twitter.

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media, Technology

Media Literacy Project: Why should we trust journalists?

journalist-clipart-at-work-20.jpg

Professional journalists face more scrutiny in today’s crowded information marketplace because readers confuse them with bloggers and a cadre of online opinion scribes.

Journalism’s essence is a “discipline of verification,” according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute. This means that journalists pursue verification of facts as the first order of business. If the journalists do not follow these standards, their careers and reputations are on the line.

Readers should understand there are important differences between professional journalists and everyday bloggers. Journalists are held to higher standards. They are required to get specific training through journalism degrees and are held to employment standards that ensure they serve their audiences by providing relevant and reliable stories that matter to their communities.

Read more at The Free Press

By Kevin Krohn and Austin Moorhouse   July 14, 2017

 

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Resources

Information, propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation: A guide to evaluating information

hearing-clipart-hearing-ears-clipart-1.pngWhat’s the difference between propaganda and disinformation? Why is misinformation different from disinformation? Not completely sure?

Parents, teachers, and anyone interested in media literacy can sort out what’s coming at us in today’s news cycle with the help of this website from the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries.

Two short videos, Evaluating Sources for Credibility, and Quick Check for your Sources: The TRAPP Method are a good place to start, and could generate lively classroom discussions.

Is someone trying to provoke you to a desired response, using information based in fact? Or is the information just wrong or mistaken? What if it’s a calculated, deliberate lie?

Find out now! Check out the guide from Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

New WordPress policy allows it to shut down blogs of Sandy Hook deniers

wordpress.png

The crackdown on hate speech continues:

WordPress has taken down a handful alt-right blogs, according to several complaints from affected blog owners and readers who claim the sites were removed from WordPress.com, despite not being in violation of the company’s Terms of Service. Some site owners also said they were not notified of the shutdown in advance and have lost their work. The removals, we’ve learned, are in part due to a new policy WordPress has rolled out that now prohibits blogs from the “malicious publication of unauthorized, identifying images of minors.”

Yes, that’s right: the company has created a new rule to specifically handle the Sandy Hook conspiracists, and boot them from WordPress.com.

While some of the affected sites had already been flagged for other violations, many were hosting Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and other “false flag” content.

Read more at TechCrunch

By Sarah Perez    August 16, 2018

Education, News, Politics

Tom Steyer plans to register 100,000 millennials to vote

1534244210189.jpg

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

Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Social Media, Technology

FCC’s net neutrality DDoS claims debunked. Here’s what you need to know.

We finally have some answers on the alleged DDoS attack on the FCC’s commenting system

communication-1927697_1920.png

Net neutrality may be dead, but questions remain about how seriously the Federal Communications Commission considered comments from the public. The FCC’s system for submitting those comments was a hot mess.

Two million of the 22 million comments submitted used stolen identities, some for people who were dead, including actress Patty Duke, who died in 2016. Nearly 8 million comments used email domains associated with FakeMailGenerator.com. About half a million were sent from Russian email addresses. And of the emails that came from legitimate email addresses, the vast majority were form letters originating from the same pro- and anti-net neutrality groups.

Then there was the controversy over a supposed cyberattack on the comment system that temporarily shut down the platform on exactly the same day thousands of net neutrality supporters responded to comedian John Oliver’s call to flood the agency with comments.

That supposed cyberattack, after more than a year of speculation, has been confirmed to be false, as a statement from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai revealed on Monday.…

FCC officials declined to comment for this story.

So what does it mean for the controversial repeal of net neutrality? Could the tainted public record on net neutrality help in efforts to restore the rules? To help you understand what really happened and what it all means, CNET has put together this FAQ.

Read more at CNET

By Marguerite Reardon  First published June 29, 2018  Update, Aug. 6, 2018

Education, News, Resources, Take Action, Technology

School libraries compete with leaky roofs for money

276842.jpg

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.

lead_720_405.jpg

…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

Net Neutrality, News, Social Media, Technology

‘The dam is breaking,’ declare net neutrality defenders after first House Republican backs CRA

“The tide is turning. The pressure is mounting. The floodgates are open.”—Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

Net Neutrality advocates rally.jpg“The dam is breaking, as it should.” That’s how Faiz Shakir, the ACLU’s national political director, responded on Tuesday after Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado became the first House Republican to sign a petition to force a vote on a measure that would reinstate net neutrality protections that the GOP-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolled back in December.

“Rep. Coffman’s support to undo FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality shows that public pressure is continuing to build on this issue and cannot be ignored this November,” Shakir added. “Other House members should take heed of Coffman’s direction and stand by the overwhelming majority of their constituents, not corporate interests.”

Read more at Common Dreams  Image courtesy of @IndivisibleLNK/Twitter

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

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

large_tombstones crop.png

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.