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Ask the Experts

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Some journalists have recently taken it upon themselves to seek a more balanced male/female citing of experts when reporting on important subjects in the news. According to Who Makes the News? (GMMP 2015), women are quoted as experts or spokespersons only 20% of the time. This has gone relatively unnoticed for decades due to a scarcity of women in certain fields, but now with more and more women in science and technology, there are many female voices to include in the coverage.

Read three news reports on science or technology and identify the quoted experts.

AHA! Journalists choose who they quote as experts!

Key Question #1: Who created this message?
Core Concept #1: Media messages are constructed.
Key Question #3: How might different people understand this message differently?
Core Concept #3: Different people experience the same message differently.
Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from this message?
Core Concept: #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.

Materials: Access to articles online and/or printed, pens or highlighters to tally names within the articles. Read this opinion piece to help prepare and explain the activity .https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/opinion/women-sexism-journalism-conferences.html

Activity: Ask your students to read three different articles in science or technology (i.e.artificial intelligence, neuroscience, robotics, space exploration...). Students can readprinted articles, or read online using a tally sheet. Circle or tally the expert quotes and share with the class.

What were the results? Are the results surprising? Why or why not? If the class discovered that one gender was quoted far more often, does it matter? Why or why not? What can bedone about it? Who chooses what’s included or omitted? Use the Key Questions/Core Concepts in your discussion.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit KitTM and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)TM framework. Used with permission, © 2002-2018, Center for Media Literacy.

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 May 2018 08:30 )
 

Personal Information is...?

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The definition of personal information is not so straightforward, especially to young people. Many students, even those who seem tech savvy, might not know how to define the term personal information, and therefore cannot heed the warning “do not divulge personal information online.” Per Dr. Mary Ann Sund, educator and founding partner of Lersun Development, “I asked the students about personal information. To a person, the students knew they were not allowed to share personal information online -- that doing so was a bad idea. Then as I drilled down, I realized very quickly that the students had no idea what personal information was and they had no idea of what a stranger was online. They didn’t know their home address was personal information; they didn’t know their telephone number was personal information... And they thought that if they had chatted with somebody online two or three times, that person was no longer a stranger. (Connections March 2018).

Together as a class, write and display a definition of personal information to use as a guideline for online activity.

AHA! I have more personal information than I thought!
Grade Level: 5-7
Materials: White board for brainstorming, computer/printer or poster board for final product.

Key Question #1: Who created this message?
Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed.
Key Question #5: Why is this message being sent?
Core Concept #5: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power

Activity: Prepare to teach this activity by searching for definitions of personal information, you will likely find a variety of answers. The point is to explore this topic with your students and to help them realize and create their own definition.

Ask students to call out their ideas of what personal information includes and make a list for all to see. For example: full name, address, phone number, birthdate, photos, social security number, bank account, etc. Write your own definition as a class called Personal Information is...Then review the Key Questions/Core Concepts and discuss how requests are made for online information. Why are these requests made? What is their purpose? Explain that advertisers target users based on personal information (profit), and sometimes people with bad intentions use the information for harmful purposes (profit/power).

Resources: Check out Data Defenders from MediaSmarts in Canada. If your students are older, the report on Teen Identity Theft from FOSI contains information and statistics on what teens share online.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2018, Center for Media Literacy.


Last Updated ( Friday, 13 April 2018 13:39 )
 

Emojis For Sale

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It recently became known that Twitter has been selling information to advertisers about the emojis their customers use. Advertisers use this information to target specific audiences based upon the emotion or likes/dislikes expressed by the emoji. For example, if you use the football emoji, you might see ads related to sporting events or sports equipment. Use the high-heeled shoe emoji and you might expect to see ads for fashion; a pizza emoji could result in everything from food-to-vitamins-to-exercise programs even if you simply chose it on a whim because your stomach was growling. When you tweet an emoji, advertisers buy that information and attempt to categorize your feelings. 

Ask students to identify the ads they might see based upon their emoji choices

AHA! Advertisers think they know me because of my emojis!

Grade 7-12

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to get my attention?

Core Concept #2: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Key Question #3: How might different people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3: Different people experience the same message differently.

Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are included or omitted?

Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.

Materials: smart phone, tablet or computer to check individual twitter accounts. Paper and pencil. WUNC Podcast for reference, “That emoji you just tweeted could determine the next ad you see.” http://www.tinyurl.com/ycwbj7dp

Activity: Have each student look at their individual tweets from the last few days or weeks. If students don’t have Twitter accounts, they can team with a classmate who does, or reference their emoji use for texting on a different platform.

Ask each student to draw and label (to prevent confusion) their 5 most-used emojis. Collect and create one master list for the class. Are there certain emojis being used by large numbers of students? List the 5 most-used emojis on the board. Then as a class guess which advertisers would most likely target this group. Reference the Key Questions and Core Concepts, as well as the money section of the article listed above.

Ask students: Do your emoji choices accurately portray your emotions? Is it okay for Twitter to sell your information? How do you feel about being targeted by advertisers? Does it violate your privacy or is it good business? How will this knowledge change your behavior?

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2018, Center for Media Literacy.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 March 2018 09:56 )
 

The Spiral

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Are you aware of how many times you post or share on social media each day? Do you feel secure sharing posts and photos within your friend group? How about outside your friend group? A recent study by MediaSmarts in Canada, found that young people shared personal posts with unintended recipients at an alarming rate. Posts were captured and shared without the consent or knowledge of the original sender. As the MediaSmarts report makes clear on several levels, media literacy education in needed! CML teaches students to use the Empowerment Spiral of Awareness, Analysis, Reflection and Action. The Empowerment Spiral* is an effective tool for exploring one’s relationship to media.

Take your students through the Empowerment Spiral using their own data.

AHA! I use social media more/less than I realized!

Grade: 9-12

Materials: Personal devices (phone, ipad, …), computer and projection screen, paper and colored pencils or infographics program (for example, canva.com or other free program), CML Empowerment Spiral.

Key Question #1: Who created this message? (consumer). What am I authoring? (producer).

Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed.

Key Question #5: Why is this message being sent? (consumer). Why am I sending this message? (producer).

Core Concept #5: Most media messages are sent to gain profit and/or power (power can mean influence, popularity, intimidation…).

Activity: Ask students How many tweets, posts, messages… do you send each day? Have students make a list of their favorite social media platforms and how often they post to each platform per day – include Shared posts. The idea is to have real data so they will need to count, no guessing. Have each student create a simple bar graph illustrating their findings (Awareness). Pair with another student to discuss the results. Is it more or less than they expected? Any surprises? (Analysis). Is the convenience of digital communication worth the vulnerability and privacy issues that come with social media? Do they ever share posts not meant for sharing? Why? (Reflection). What can they do differently? (Action).

Extended activity: If appropriate for your students, discuss the report from MediaSmarts about sexting (http://mediasmarts.ca/research-policy, Feb. 2018). What do the students think? Have they shared inappropriate posts? If so, why? What should they do differently? Hint: Always ask, Why am I sending this message? Key word: Purpose.

*The Empowerment Spiral is based on the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2018, Center for Media Literacy.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:17 )
 

Counting Characters

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We have been living in a media world driven by sound bites for many years now, but Twitter has taken that trend to a whole new level. A sound bite is a quick clip or phrase that media outlets use to (supposedly) sum up a whole story or issue in one quick simple statement. A sound bite is essentially an audio version of a tweet. Like a sound bite, when we are communicating with tweets of 140-280 characters, we are not necessarily getting or telling the full story since the message lacks context. This is a problem. But, given that millions of tweets are sent each day it behooves us to train students to use the platform in a positive way.

Have your students generate a tweet as a community service message.

AHA! Different formats impact my message and creativity!

Grade: 8-12

This is a production activity. The following Key Questions are aimed at the producer of the message. To see Key Questions for consumers, please go to our website www.medialit.com.

Key Question #1: What am I authoring?
Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed.
Key Question #2: Does my message reflect understanding in format, creativity, technology?
Core Concept #2: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.
Key Question #3: Is my message engaging and compelling for my audience?
Core Concept #3: Different people experience the same message differently.
Key Concept #4: Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles and points of view?
Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.
Key Question #5: Have I communicated my purpose?
Core Concept #5: Most media messages are sent to gain profit and/or power (influence).

Materials: School twitter feed (#) for this project. Smartphones and projection screen.

Activity: In pairs, ask students to decide on a community service message they want to share with their classmates. Examples might be: reminder about a clothes drive for disaster victims, register to vote, driver safety, recycling... and have them create a tweet (only one tweet) to get themessageout. Displaythetwitterfeedonalargescreenanddiscussasthetweetscome in.

Ask students: Was this difficult? Do they wish they could tell a fuller story? Or offer more details? How did they decide what to include or omit? Why did they choose this particular issue for their classmates (audience)? Is there enough information in a tweet to ensure understanding? Do they like this mode of communication for important subjects or would they prefer a different way to share the information? Is the character limit a plus or minus? Use the Key Questions to analyze the tweets.

Additional resources: Article from NPR teaching students to use social media the right way.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy w ere developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit KitTM and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)TM framework. Used with permission, © 2002-2018, Center for Media Literacy.




Last Updated ( Monday, 29 January 2018 11:10 )
 
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