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

Media Literacy Project: Why should we trust journalists?

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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, People, Technology

Study: Gen Z prefers YouTube over books for learning

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A new US study by Pearson has found that 60% of Gen Z kids prefer YouTube for learning over printed books, but still value “traditional” methods of instruction.

New field research by global education company Pearson has revealed that Gen Z kids in the US like learning from YouTube more than printed books.

Conducted for Pearson by New York-based global market research firm The Harris Poll, Beyond Millennials: The Next Generation of Learners surveyed 2,587 14- to 40-year-olds to examine the differences between Generation Z and Millennials in terms of their outlooks, values, education experiences and technology usage.

According to the study, nearly 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer YouTube for learning compared to 47% who prefer printed books. Millennials, meanwhile, prefer printed books (60%) over YouTube (55%).

Read more, with a link to the full version of the Pearson study at kidscreen

By Jeremy Dickson    August 27, 2018

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, People

The Social Classroom

Increasingly, modern classrooms support group work and peer-to-peer collaboration. The science says that’s right on.

Transcript:

Dr. Patricia Kuhl: We use a social context to learn about the world. We learn from others by watching what they’re interested in, and we learn by collaborating with them and discovering their ideas. When I went to school, all the desks faced forward, theater seating, and the teacher was at the front. And learning was thought of as a one-way street between the teacher and the vessels, we were the vessels. Pour in the information, and everything’s gonna be good. But now we realize that learning has to be more interactive, and this notion that interactivity comes from a social context. So what does that say about classrooms? It says that kids ought to face one another, that circles, or U-shaped, or anything that gets kids looking at one another, interacting with one another. Also, classrooms that allow kids to move and regroup, that they come together in larger groups facing each other. They come together in small groups facing each other. They work one on one. Anytime in which students have access to one another and are allowed and encouraged to move and act on the knowledge, and create together, co-create, co-design, that’s the classroom that will be more successful than the face-forward, one-way street that many of us experienced when we were children.

This video is part of the Edutopia Brain-Based Learning series on researcher Patricia Kuhl’s work around learning and the social brain.

Visit the website of the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington for more information.

Video: George Lucas Educational Foundation

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

From Axios

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teacher Librarians get what they wish for. Almost.

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

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

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

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

What happens next?

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

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

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

Also, did you hug a teacher librarian today?

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

 

Education, News, Politics, Social Media

Teens are debating the news on Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of INSTAGRAM / THANH DO / THE ATLANTIC

Education, News, Privacy, Social Media

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

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

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

Break your habit and limit your use of the platform.

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

Log out of Facebook before browsing the web.

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Chesnot / Getty Images

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