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

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

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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.

News

Tell the House to save net neutrality

Net neutrality has ended and as a result, the internet landscape will change.

Free Press is urging individuals to take action:

The Senate has voted in favor of the CRA effort to save Net Neutrality!

This is a huge victory, but we still have to get a majority of the House of Representatives on board before we officially save the internet.

We deserve to celebrate, but we can’t lose momentum: The fate of the free and open internet now hinges on the vote in the House.

Now’s the time to flood the congressional switchboard with more calls than it can handle. We must show every representative that protecting the internet from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon is a defining issue of our time.
Tell your rep to support the CRA and sign the discharge petition today.

Take action to and speak up now.

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”

Entertainment, News, People

Kendrick Lamar and the shell game of ‘Respect’

Here’s one among the many provocative questions raised by Kendrick Lamar’s Damn winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music: Is Damn the best work of rap or pop ever made? The Pulitzers, whose only stated criteria is “for distinguished musical composition by an American” in the eligible timeframe, have previously only awarded classical and jazz artists. By making an exception for Lamar, the Pulitzers could be seen as saying that he is, well, the exception. That only Lamar’s blazingly intricate 14-track reckoning with vice and Geraldo Rivera can compete with rarefied types like Caroline Shaw (winner in 2013), Wynton Marsalis (1997), or Aaron Copland (1945). That the rest of pop—not to mention the rest of hip-hop—remains of an unmentionable tier, except maybe for Bob Dylan, who won a special citation from the Pulitzers in 2008.

This is a dubious and snobbish thought, yes—but it’s a result of the inevitably thorny logic that always goes along with artistic awards-giving. That it took until 2018 for the Pulitzers to award a work of rap or pop might say something about the evolution of those genres, and Damn really is a work of staggering, arguably historic, sophistication. I look forward to reading the sure-to-come articles positioning it as the greatest pop work ever (even above Migos, who are Better Than the Beatles™). But that discussion will be a sideshow. The rapper’s win is probably more significant to the reputation of the prize itself than to the prizewinner; it almost feels as though the Pulitzers won a Kendrick Lamar, and not the other way around.  Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar and the shell game of ‘Respect’”

Fake News, News, Take Action

Take action: Prevent Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media merger

You may have seen a viral video of friendly local news anchors across the nation reading from a frighteningly Orwellian script. The video is making millions sit up and ask:

What the hell is happening to local news? The answer is Sinclair.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is the nation’s largest broadcaster. It mandated that all its news stations read a statement from the same script, one that seemed to denounce independent, unbiased reporting in favor of an oddly pro-Trump sounding, fake news agenda. It’s even created turmoil in our local KOMO News station, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair’s latest project is a mega-merger with Tribune Media, a move that would allow biased, inaccurate, sensational reporting to reach more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.

We urge the FCC to listen to communities and block this despicable deal.

The FCC must deny the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Sinclair has consistently proven itself to be an unworthy steward of the public airwaves — promoting racist commentators, spreading Trump propaganda, slashing newsroom staff, and forcing bigoted must-run content on local stations — and should not be rewarded with a merger that will allow the company to double down on its bad behavior.

Take action to stop this merger and allow news reporting to be fair and accurate, with balanced media-ownership protection policies in place. Make your voice heard here.

help 1- take action

Fake News, News, People

Sinclair made dozens of local news anchors recite the same script

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On local news stations across the United States last month, dozens of anchors gave the same speech to their combined millions of viewers.

It included a warning about fake news, a promise to report fairly and accurately and a request that viewers go to the station’s website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.”

It may not have seemed strange to individual viewers. But Timothy Burke, the video director at Deadspin, had read a report last monthfrom CNN, which quoted local station anchors who were uncomfortable with the speech. Continue reading “Sinclair made dozens of local news anchors recite the same script”

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”

News, Politics, Privacy, Social Media, Technology

Facebook gave data about 57bn friendships

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Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships.

Facebook provided the dataset of “every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level” to Kogan’s University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time.

Read more from The Guardian. Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Bill Update, Net Neutrality, News

Washington becomes first state to pass law protecting net neutrality

Washington state has a new law to protect net neutrality at a time when the feds are getting rid of it.

In a bipartisan effort, the state’s legislators passed House Bill 2282. which was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet,” Inslee said at the bill signing.

Read more at CNN.

Events, News, People

Grant Details Announced for K-12 Media Literacy Curriculum

History was made this month when the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced its new media literacy education grant program, funded by recently passed legislation. The grant application package was released September 16, 2019.

The submission deadline is 4 p.m., October 21, 2019.  

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to educational teams representing Washington’s K-12 system. Teams will be expected to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum unitsfocused on one of three subject areas:social studies, English language arts, or health. A unique feature of these units will be that they will be developed using a media literacy lens to address the content that is commonly considered in one of these subject areas.

Check out this link for a 30-minute recording of the webinar that explains the new grant program, the PowerPoint for the webinar, and a Q & A document.

For more information, contact Dennis Small, OSPI Educational Technology Director, dennis.small@k12.wa.us

News

AME’s Marilyn Cohen honored with National Telemedia Council award

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Marilyn Cohen, Action for Media Education (AME) Executive Director, has been honored with the 2018 Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy.

The National Telemedia Council (NTC) recognizes individuals whose longtime contributions to media literacy exemplify the high principles and dedication of the NTC founder. The NTC, a national non-profit founded in 1953, is the oldest ongoing media literacy organization in the United States.

AME congratulates the four recipients: Marilyn Cohen of Seattle, Washington, Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, California, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.

Continue reading “AME’s Marilyn Cohen honored with National Telemedia Council award”
News, Social Media, Technology

Seattle Town Hall event: How to fix the future, with Andrew Keen and Alex Stonehill

The Internet has morphed from a tool providing efficiencies for consumers and businesses to an elemental force that is profoundly reshaping our societies and our world.

Former Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen was among the earliest to write about the potential dangers that the Internet poses to our culture and society. Now he takes our stage with his new book How to Fix the Future, looking to the past to learn how we might change our future. Keen discusses how societies tamed the excesses of the Industrial Revolution, which—like its digital counterpart—demolished long-standing models of living, ruined harmonious environments, and altered the business world beyond recognition. Keen is joined onstage by Alex Stonehill, Head of Creative Strategy at University of Washington’s Communication and Leadership Program.

This event will be held Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. at University Lutheran Church.
Address is1604 NE 50th St, Seattle, WA 98105 in the Ravenna neighborhood.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.

For more information and to buy tickets visit the Town Hall website.

Bill Update, News, Take Action

Take Action: Increase school library IT resources for students in WA

You can help increase school library IT resources for students in Washington State.

Two bills, one in the House (HB 2695) and one in the Senate (SB 6460), have been introduced that will increase accountability and help provide more resources for school library information technology programs across the state.

Please call your legislators. You can find them here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

  • State senators — urge them to pass SB 6460
  • State representatives — urge them to pass HB 2695

You can share these points:

  • School library information technology programs–with certified teacher-librarians and the resources necessary to run them effectively–can increase student achievement on tests in all subject areas, and improve graduation rates.
  • We owe it to all our students to provide greater access to the current technology and instruction they need to be ready for future jobs and for lifelong learning.
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.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Burger King video illustrates impacts of recent FCC repeal of net neutrality rules using Whopper hamburgers

The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, but it can be very difficult to understand. That’s why the BURGER KING® brand created WHOPPER® Neutrality, a social experiment that explains the effects of the repeal of Net Neutrality by putting it in terms anyone can understand: A WHOPPER® sandwich.

This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The BURGER KING® brand believes the Internet should be like the WHOPPER® sandwich: the same for everyone.

Help keep Net Neutrality safe by signing the petition at www.Change.org/SavetheNet.

Net Neutrality, News

Some states want to save Net Neutrality, but can they?

Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality rules last month, some governors and lawmakers have taken steps to restore those regulations in their states.

On Monday, Montana became the first to make it official: Gov. Steve Bullock signed an executive order requiring internet service providers (ISPs) with state contracts to abide by the FCC’s old rules requiring providers to treat all internet content equally with regards to access and download speeds.

Lawmakers in California, New York, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Washington and Massachusetts have also introduced similar bills to varying degrees of reach.

Read more at Governing magazine.

 

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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Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

The top-rated post ever in r/Nascar is about net neutrality

NASCAR fans really hate it when you take away their net neutrality. After Federal Communication Commission chairman Ajit Pai announced on Nov. 21 his plans to reverse away Obama-era open-internet rules, a post on net neutrality raced to the the top of Reddit’s NASCAR forum becoming the subreddit’s most popular post ever—by a long shot.

The post, headlined “American Racing Fans, Net Neutrality effects [sic] us all, Ajit Pai is worse than Brian France, call your local representatives,” compares NASCAR’s oft-derided CEO Brian France (who tenure has seen declining ratings and attendance for the sport) with the FCC chairman.

The post had received 60,000 net upvotes and 460 comments by Nov. 27 before being closed for commenting. That compares to just 6,836 upvotes for the next-most upvoted post in r/Nascar.

Read more at Quartz.

Image courtesy of Quartz.

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Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Net Neutrality: Join a protest December 7, at Verizon stores nationwide

The new chairman of the FCC was a top lawyer at Verizon. Now he’s calling for a vote to kill net neutrality. We’re protesting at retail stores across the U.S. to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the Internet as we know it.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on its plan to kill net neutrality on December 14. People from across the political spectrum are outraged, so we’re planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on December 7, one week before the vote and at the peak of the busy Holiday shopping season. We’ll demand that our members of Congress take action to stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from killing net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the basic principle that has made the Internet into what it is today. It prevents big Internet Service Providers (like Verizon) from charging extra fees, engaging in censorship, or controlling what we see and do on the web by throttling websites, apps, and online services.

Read more and find a protest near you.

help 1- take action

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.

News, People, Social Media, Technology

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should’ve been a red flag

Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains.

Research has found that an eighth-grader’s risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force.

But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber.”

It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history — Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create.

“What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don’t?” the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology.

Read more at Business Insider.