Are People Well-Informed if They Only Consume News that Suits Their Point of View?

Lee Hamilton served for 34 years in Congress and was Vice Chairman of the 9-11 Commission.

Lee Hamilton served in Congress for 34 years in and was the Vice Chairman of the 9-11 Commission.

In this age of fake news news, one of today’s challenges for educators and parents is guiding young people toward an understanding of what it means to be an informed citizen.

An important responsibility is helping children, pre-adolescents, and teens learn how to identify news sources and writing that come from responsible journalistic sources.

Months before the 2016 election former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton penned a thoughtful commentary, Social Media Challenges Democracy, considering what is required of an informed citizen, and predicted — intentionally or otherwise — some of the questions about news consumption that citizens have asked since November 2016. It’s an excellent discussion resource for educators and others who work with youth groups.

Lee Hamilton heads The Center on Representative Government at Indiana University.

In his commentary he asks:           Continue reading

Lawrence Lessig-MIT Media Lab Talk on Reforming US Congress

I’ve embedded an interesting presentation by Lessig about reforming the United States Congress! Highlights are  from a much longer presentation at the MIT MediaLab Conversation series.

Very much 21st Century Learning! And a great opportunity for a civics lesson.

Howard Rheingold presents on May 10th and you can even Tweet in with your questions.

SOPA Best Coverage: We Need to Learn More Since It Will Be Back

So maybe, other than discovering that Wikipedia wasn’t working very well, you did not really get into all of the brouhaha about SOPA.

Fine, but if you read blogs or write for blogs or just do a lot on the web, you need to learn a lot about this issue. Below is a basic reading list, culled reliable press sources, to help you understand more.

What stands out in many of the articles, is how many of our representatives in Congress do not know or even understand enough about the digital world to be making policy about it. I wonder how many representatives and senators based a decision on a single staff memo or an index card with important (but perhaps poorly explained) bullet points? Right now the bill is not going anywhere, but this issue will come back.

Educate yourself by reading some of the articles below. Continue reading

Take Action on SOPA – If you Read or Write for Blogs

Take time today to call (that’s right telephone) Congressional offices

and tell them that this iteration of SOPA will encourage

all sorts of censorship — and it’s wrong!

Call the US Capitol operators and ask for your representatives’ office telephone numbers.

202-224-3121

Look up your Representatives or Senators here.

Express your opinion! Continue reading