Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital learning resources, fact-checking, fake news, image evaluation, information credibility, media literacy

MediaWise: A Cool Initiative for Teens

describing-real-newsIf you are searching for an educational media literacy initiative that focuses on the mechanics of fact-checking, take a few minutes to learn about MediaWise, a project of the Poynter Institute.

Eighteen teenagers from around the United States are part of a MediaWise fact-checking network, learning about strategies and techniques that can help them identify misinformation. They participate in training that helps them understand how to determine what’s true and what’s not, and then the teens can set about investigating on their own. Finally, and this is the cool part, after the students decide whether the information is true or false, they create videos that illustrate the process they used to evaluate the information.

I’ve embedded two of the videos below.             Continue reading “MediaWise: A Cool Initiative for Teens”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, choosing reliable resources, digital photography, evaluating web site resources, healthy media images, parents and technology, social media

7 Questions to Ask Before Sharing Hurricane Sandy Media With Kids

The Pier Before the Storm
Photo by Marti Weston, 2008

Parents and teachers of digital kids should make it a habit to evaluate media for authenticity and reliability rather than automatically sharing dramatic images with children. Evaluating media is a critical 21st Century skill — for adults and children

The other day a friend sent me a link to a storm picture. The image featured a familiar ocean pier with huge waves about to crash onto its farthest end. (The photo at left is the pier long before the storm). While the drama of the image intrigued me, on reflection I was bothered because I could not learn anything about the website that hosted the image. Other than labeling the town and the storm, the photograph offered no other identifying narrative.

With its ethereal quality, the image looked as if the pier was superimposed over a dramatic ocean scene — the waves and spray crashing at one end while the rest of the structure was clear without any water or spray obstructions. Moreover, since I was familiar with the location, I could not figure out where the photographer stood to take the picture. Perhaps I was wrong, but since I could not discover anything more about the picture, I decided not to send it to anyone else, and I am not even posting it here.

When a huge emergency like Hurricane Sandy occurs, digital pictures and videos circulate all over the web and via social media. A fair amount of these digital materials misrepresent the situation. To avoid focusing too much on the misrepresentations we need to apply some 21st Century common sense. Continue reading “7 Questions to Ask Before Sharing Hurricane Sandy Media With Kids”