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.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

What to know about the FCC’s upcoming plan to undo net neutrality rules

With its final meeting of the year less than a month away, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to reveal the latest details of a plan to roll back the government’s net neutrality regulations this week. The result could reshape the entire digital ecosystem by giving internet providers more control over what their customers can see and access online and how quickly they can do it.

Under current rules, broadband companies such as Verizon and Comcast must treat all websites and online services equally. Verizon, for instance, isn’t allowed to deliver content from Yahoo, which it owns, to consumers any faster than it delivers competing content from Google. It also isn’t permitted to actively slow down or block Google services.

But the FCC is likely to change all that, analysts say, relaxing the Obama-era rules that required providers to behave like legacy telecom companies who must carry all phone calls on a nondiscriminatory basis. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai “will try to shrink the footprint of the rules,” said Daniel Berninger, a telecom engineer who has opposed the regulations. The FCC declined to comment.

Read more in The Seattle Times.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Places, Take Action

FCC should listen to tech-savvy Seattle and preserve open Internet

This article is relevant now as the FCC considers repealing Net Neutrality laws. It first appeared in the last big discussion on Net Neutrality, back in August 2014.

Well, Seattle residents have spoken. Many of them, anyway, in favor of preserving net neutrality and against creating a two-lane Internet highway in which Internet providers could charge some users more for faster access and connectivity.

The Federal Communications Commission recently released about 1.1 million comments from its first comment period.  TechCrunch’s initial analysis found the most-used word by citizens was “Comcast” followed by “Verizon” — and the bulk of what they had to say was not very nice. A second comment period ends on Sept. 10, so go to this FCC link to make your voice heard.

As The Seattle Times editorial board wrote on July 19, May 16, May 11, April 27 and Jan. 15, the open Internet should be preserved and providers should be reclassified as “common carriers” like most other public telecommunication services.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy called on the FCC to leave its echo chamber in the Beltway and hold public meetings around the country. “Most of (those who had commented on the proposed rules online) will not be able to come to Washington to participate in the roundtables that have been scheduled, but their voices are more important than industry lobbyists and members of Congress,” Leahy reportedly wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Great idea. FCC, please come to Seattle.

Read more in this great piece at The Seattle Times, a big supporter of keeping net neutrality and a strong voice about this issue.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

John Oliver explains how you’re going to get gouged by the end of net neutrality

So you’ve probably heard by now that, in a victory for big telecoms, the Trump administration’s pick to run the FCC wants to scrap so-called “net neutrality” rules that keep the internet free and open to everyone.

So why should you care? It’s got a lot to do with the fact that you’ll more than likely end up paying more to connect to the web. And if you consume a lot of data heavy services (like streaming music, video and games), you’ll pay even more than that.

Read more at Penn Live.

help 1- take actionTake action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Take action! Net Neutrality is on the line

As you may know, we have very little time to contest how the FCC is about take action on the critical issue of Net Neutrality! A decision will be made by December 15 that will change how and when internet is available to all.

AME fought hard in 2015 to preserve Net Neutrality when it was on the chopping block, and now is another time for AME and our supporters to make our voices heard.

Here are the list of people we most need to contact on the FCC. The more email they receive the better, only a line or two is needed. The intent is to inundate them with our emails about the importance of Net Neutrality.

Take action to get involved in saving Net Neutrality and preserving internet access for all!

help 1- take action

Education, Fake News, News

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

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

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

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

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Education, News, Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Business Insider.

Health, News, Technology

A digital pill that can be tracked when swallowed was just approved by the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it had approved Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd’s Abilify MyCite, the first drug with a digital ingestion tracking system to be approved in the United States.

The product, which uses digital tracking to record if the medication was taken, has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults, the FDA said.

The system sends a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch, which then transmits the information to a mobile application, so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smartphone.

Abilify MyCite is not approved to treat patients with dementia-related psychosis and contains a boxed warning alerting health care professionals that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death.

The ingestible sensor used in Abilify MyCite was first permitted for marketing by the FDA in 2012.

This article is courtesy of Fortune.

A look at how this development has people worried about ethics can be read here in The New York Times.

Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Technology

FCC plans December vote to kill Net Neutrality rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.

 The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc.and others.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, chosen by President Donald Trump, in April proposed gutting the rules and asked for public reaction. The agency has taken in more than 22 million comments on the matter.

Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. As the head of a Republican majority, he is likely to win a vote on whatever he proposes.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Video courtesy of Bloomberg.

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Advertising, News, Technology

Speed and ease make “great” online experience

According to a new study from Cloud IQ, published by Marketing Charts, 47% of online shoppers in the US, UK and Australia deemed speed “critical” to a great online experience, with another 47% saying it’s “important.” Close behind 45% said it’s “critical” that the experience be seamless and easy, and 47% saying that it is “important”.

Other research from SUMO Heavy showed that US adults said the most important aspect of a great e-commerce website is its usability and functionality. Separately, research from the CMO Council said that for consumers, the most important attribute of a great customer experience was a fast response time to the customer’s needs and issues. And, in previous research from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), fast response times and a simple purchasing process emerged as by far the leading elements of an ideal customer experience.

Read more at Media Post.

Data chart courtesy of Media Post.

Contributers To A Great Online Experience (Online Shoppers)
Online Experience

Critical

Important

Speed (can find and buy what I need quickly)

47%

47%

Seamless/Easy (Smooth, continuous and effortless experience across different channels)

45

47

Sense of Control (can search for answers, ask for help, updated, sense of being in control

39

51

Individualized (Treated as an individual and offered products, discounts, communications, based on specific preferences and needs)

27

55

Interactive, Engaging (Interesting, fun to use)

24

55

Proactive (Anticipated needs, provides timely offers, alerts and reminders)

21

52

Source: Published on Marketing Charts 11/17; Data Source Cloud IQ
Education, News, Places, Social Media, Technology

How Silicon Valley plans to conquer the classroom

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

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

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

And Silicon Valley has embraced the school district right back.

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

Read more at The New York Times.

Image courtesy of The New York Times.

News, People

Media Literacy Week Champion: Marko Liias

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

Sen. Marko Liias, D-21

Senator Marko Liias represents the communities of the 21st Legislative District, which includes neighborhoods in Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, and Mukilteo. The 2017 Legislative Session was his 10th session serving in Olympia.

Marko was born at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds in 1981 and graduated from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo. After high school, Marko worked his way through college with the help of student loans and scholarships, and received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He is currently completing his graduate degree in Public Administration at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.

In 2005, he was elected to the Mukilteo City Council, where he served for two years. During his time on the city council, Marko was a champion of parks and open space, and led the council in setting aside $1 million for new parkland. He also sponsored the city’s first biofuels ordinance, to promote the use of biofuels at local service stations.

In January 2008, Marko was appointed to the House of Representatives. Throughout his service in the Legislature, Marko has focused on policies to advance a strong economy based on good-paying jobs, a safe and quality education system, and a balanced transportation system that serves the whole community.

It was Marko’s work on bullying in schools that led him to champion media literacy in Washington. After learning about Action for Media Literacy’s mission from his constituent Claire Beach, he sponsored Senate Bill 6273 that directed the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a workgroup to review best practices and make policy recommendations. SB 6273 has become a roadmap for other states across the country to push for media literacy policy. During the 2017 session Marko and AME worked together to pass Senate Bill 5449 which implemented some of the policy recommendations from the OSPI workgroup.

In addition to his service in the Legislature, Sen. Liias works in our community as a volunteer with the Kamiak High School Debate Program, as a board member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and as a member of the Transportation Choices Coalition.

News, People

Media Literacy Week Champion: Barbara Johnson and Marilyn Cohen

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

Barbara

Barbara Johnson has been working for the last 26 years as a program operations specialist at NW Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, College of Education UW. The center develops media literacy curriculum as a hook to address teen health issues. As part of the center staff she has traveled the state of Washington doing focus work groups with parents, teachers and students to develop effective curriculum that target a wide-range of health issues. The project has trained teachers, community educators and youth to be facilitators in media literacy curriculum in school and community programs as well as organized statewide media literacy workshops and conferences. She is a founding member and treasurer of Action for Media Education.

mcohenMarilyn Cohen, AME’s Executive Director, was one of the founding members. Marilyn has been actively involved in media literacy education since the early 90s. She also currently serves as the Director of the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, College of Education, University of Washington. Through her work with AME and the NW Center, she has taken a leadership role in organizing conferences and workshops designed to grow the media literacy movement particularly in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, in 2007 she assumed leadership in organizing the nation’s first Media Literacy Research Summit, sponsored by the organization now known as the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Marilyn has also written a number of media literacy-based curriculum materials that have been implemented widely by schools as well as by a broad range of groups and organizations serving young people across the nation.

News, People

Media Literacy Week Champion: Dennis Small

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

DSmall-headshot_finalDennis Small is the Educational Technology Director at the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, where he has worked since 1989. Among his roles and responsibilities at OSPI are promoting the state educational technology standards, assistance for district E-rate applications, assisting schools in the move to online assessment, advocating for high-speed bandwidth for schools, improving technology infrastructure equitably through the Computers 4 Kids Program, and supporting the K-12 educational use of the K-20 Network. He has also been actively involved in implementing SSB 6273 (2016) and SSB 5449 (2017) (Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy resources here), promoting Digital Citizenship, Media Literacy, and Internet Safety in Washington schools.

Dennis received a B.A. in Music and a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University (1973-1977), and an M.A. in Education from Stanford (1978). Prior to working at OSPI, he was a music, computer, and math teacher at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma from 1978-1989.

News, People

Media Literacy Week Champion: Linda Kennedy and Claire Beach

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

imageLinda Kennedy is the principal in the media education and consulting firm of LK Media. LK Media specializes in teaching media literacy to parents, teachers, students, caregivers, childcare providers, and community organizations. In addition, LK Media works with companies attempting to forge a media image and garner positive news coverage. Ms. Kennedy has more than 25 years of experience in the media. She started her career as a radio and television reporter in Omaha, Nebraska and after a short stint in Portland, Oregon moved to Seattle to become an a reporter, anchor, and producer at KING 5 News. Her “beats: included education, the environment, medicine, and consumer issues. After leaving KING, she directed internal and external communications for Public Health – Seattle & King County. Linda has been an AME board member since 1991, when the organization was still Foundation for Family Television. Anyone who knows her will tell you she can find a way to work media literacy into almost any conversation.

Claire-Beach-200

For over 30 years Claire Beach has worked with young people in a variety of settings. She has managed youth programs, been a youth street worker for inner city teens, and taught video and media literacy skills to hundreds of young people. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, she taught video production and media literacy in public schools for 15 years. She is a past president of Action for Media Education and is now a board member of the national organization Media Literacy Now which advocates for media literacy legislation throughout the United States.

News, People

Media Literacy Week Champions: Nick Pernisco

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

nperniscoMedia Studies Professor Nick Pernisco teaches online courses in media literacy for Santa Monica College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV-Film and a master’s degree in Mass Communications, both from California State University, Northridge.

He has been a media professional since 1996, beginning as a freelance media producer and later working in radio advertising, music production, voice and screen acting, and film production. In 2005, Nick founded Understand Media, a media literacy website containing original articles, podcasts, videos, lesson plans, and discussion forums. Also in 2005, he founded Carmelina Films, a film production company dedicated to producing socially-relevant video content.

He is a board member at Action for Media Education, and participated in the effort to pass media literacy legislation in Washington State in 2016. Nick’s book, Practical Media Literacy, was released in 2015.

Events, News, Places

AME gets a refresh

We have decided after many years to begin a needed refresh on our logo and overall design elements. We’d like to debut our new logo then to kickoff this process.

Below is the newest face of AME. A beautiful nod to cameras and photography, this logo will now be on all our materials going forward, and will replace our older logos, also below.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support. We look forward to this refresh of logos and colors while continuing to unify all of you in efforts to promote, educate and advocate for media literacy in Washington State.

 

Fake News, News

Learning to spot fake news: Start with a gut check

Which of these statements seems more trustworthy to you?

1) Americans are drowning in a tsunami of ignorance! There is a conspiracy at the highest levels to replace all knowledge with propaganda and disinformation.

2) A recent Stanford University report found that more than 80 percent of middle schoolers didn’t understand that the phrase “sponsored content” meant “advertising.”

For most of the NPR audience, this shouldn’t be a tough question. The first sentence is a florid, mislabeled statement of opinion with an unverifiable, overgeneralized, ideological claim (“conspiracy at the highest levels”).

The second is more measured in tone and limited in scope. And, it has a link that goes straight to the original source: a press release from a reputable university.

But these days, statements of all stripes are bombarding us via broadcast and social media. The trick is classifying them correctly before we swallow them ourselves, much less before we hit “Like,” “Share” or “Retweet.”

And that is the goal of an educational initiative that will be adopted by 10 universities across the country this spring.

Read more at NPR.

Image courtesy of NPR.

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News

Greed and the attack on American newspapers

Back in 2011, a reclusive Wall Street tycoon began purchasing and then destroying hometown newspapers across America. His henchmen — executives with no experience in the news business — laid off hundreds of journalists and other news workers. They closed or radically downsized such venerable papers as the Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Denver Post. At the Mercury News, the newspaper’s printing press was literally dismantled and carted away, which one staff reporter likened to “watching a heart being ripped out.”

The tycoon is Randall D. Smith, founder and chief of investments at Alden Global Capital, which manages $2 billion worth of assets, including the Digital First Media newspaper chain. He is what is known on Wall Street as a “vulture capitalist.” Or, as the company puts it, Smith invests in “distress.”

“Distress” is an apt word for the current state of America’s newspapers, and Smith isn’t the only financial mogul gobbling them up. On Sept. 4, the New York Daily News was purchased by Tronc, the media conglomerate whose majority shareholder is Michael W. Ferro, the business magnate who founded the investment firm Merrick Ventures.

Read more at The Seattle Times.

Education, News

Media literacy in Massachusetts

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

 

Their website says:

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

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

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

Advertising, News, Technology

It’s surprisingly easy for anyone to buy ads that track location and app usage, study says

app usageResearchers at the University of Washington have found a way to track a person’s location and app use through serving ads on mobile apps. The result opens the door for significant privacy invasions through the app-based advertising system.

The researchers obtained the information by purchasing a series of ads targeted to specific locations and apps, then checking which mobile subscribers fit the targeting. In experiments conducted on Android devices, the team was able to pinpoint a person’s location within eight meters through a targeted ad. They tested ads on 10 different apps, including Grindr, Imgur, Words with Friends, and Talkatone, all using widely available ad networks.

By serving ad content to a user’s apps, the ad buyers could learn what apps the user has installed. That information could be sensitive, revealing a user’s sexual orientation or religious affiliation. For instance, ads served on Grindr will tell the ad buyer that the user has Grindr installed.

Read more at The Verge.

Image courtesy of The Verge.

News, Politics, Technology

Success! Mattel announced that they were canceling the release of Aristotle

From Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood:

On October 4, Mattel announced that they were canceling the release of Aristotle. Thank you to the thousands of parents, caregivers, and experts who spoke out in support of kids’ privacy and well-being! We commend Mattel for doing the right thing and putting kids first. 

From The New York Times:

Mattel announced on Wednesday that it was canceling plans to bring to market a smart device called Aristotle, which was aimed at children from infancy to adolescence and was set to hit stores in 2018. The decision came after child advocacy groups, lawmakers and parents raised concerns about the impact the artificial intelligence device could have had on children’s privacy, development and well-being.

A petition asking Mattel not to release Aristotle, started in May by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Story of Stuff Project, garnered more than 15,000 signatures and argued that babies and older children shouldn’t be encouraged to form bonds with data-collecting devices.

Read more at The New York Times.