EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Archives for Media Literacy

Navigating Election News/Media – Preparing Students to Become Informed & Engaged Voters

On Sept. 1, 2020 the EGUSD Board of Education passed Resolution No. 15 – High School Voter Education Weeks declaring September 14‐25, 2020, as High School Voter Education Weeks – encouraging schools throughout EGUSD to participate in programs and activities that help get eligible students registered to vote, while encouraging others to become informed and passionate citizens committed to being active voters once they reach voting age.

Just as the act of voting is such an important part of civic life, so, too, are the traits that make for an educated voter so critical – traits such as discernment, thoughtful deliberation, fair assessment, and the desire to be fully informed on the issues before casting a ballot.

In a recent survey of young voters conducted by Common Sense, they found that only about a quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds say they know where to get unbiased information about issues and candidates. 

From deepfakes and misinformation campaigns to political ads and biased news coverage, it’s difficult to cut through the noise to find the facts. And with social media platforms allowing the spread of false information to go unchecked, it’s harder than ever to know what’s true—especially about the upcoming election and key issues.

We are excited to share that Common Sense just launched the Young Voter’s Guide to Social Media and the News: to help give all voters, and especially young voters, the resources and tools necessary to separate fact from fiction and make sense of election news and social media coverage. This new comprehensive guide provides everything from conversation starters to lesson plans to help parents, students, teachers, and community members:

  • Get inspired to make a difference
  • Consider all the ways you can make an impact this election.
  • Browse lesson plans to help your students make sense of social media and the news.
  • Get tips for talking to your teen about voting and the election process

“Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media.” – Media Literacy Project

Please also check out our EGUSD Digital Citizenship Media Literacy page for additional resources. As always, if you have additional resources to share, please drop a comment below. 

From Digital Citizenship Week to Media Literacy Week

Every October, we look forward to showcasing how EGUSD students are celebrating Digital Citizenship Week. This year, students at Joseph Kerr Middle School got a head start on #DigCitWeek with a guest speaker. Students from Roy Herburger Elementary School attended the annual Stand Up, Speak Out Against Bullying Rally.

Joseph Kerr Middle School – Social Media Safety Assembly

JKMS Activites Director, Chris Perris, invited us to attend a parent night assembly organized by Principal, Zachary Cheney. Principal Cheney responded to a need to address social media issues with the Kerr community.

“In searching for information we could share with our student and parent community about social media safety, I came across Ed Peisner and AB 1542 (Jordan’s Law) and am glad I did.  I invited Ed to come speak to our parent community and was so pleased with his presentation and the positive response from our parents that I asked him to return to speak to our students.  Ed’s message is personal, moving, and timely as we seek to teach our young people the implications and ramifications of their actions on social media and using digital devices like smart phones.  We are in a social media crisis in our schools and people like Ed help to equip students to better understand how to navigate and respond to it.” – Zachary Cheney, Principal

As a follow-up, we reached out to invite students from JKMS to share takeaways from the recent assembly with Ed Peisner, Organization for Social Media Safety (SMS). 

Photo: JKMS student assembly with Ed Peisner

8th grade student Hadlee Gray stepped up as our guest blogger to recap the assembly: 

Most of the students at our school thought the assembly was just going to be a long lecture, but Ed Peisner’s assembly was different. Mr. Peisner started with a personal story about an attack on his son Jordan – that kids posted all over the internet to be “popular.” He shared his son’s tragic story because he wants students, not just at Joseph Kerr, but students all around the country to know how destructive online acts can be. He shared stories, gave percentages, and connected with many students as to why these acts aren’t right. 

Mr Peisner went into great detail about the law that he wrote that is now known as California – AB 1542 – AKA Jordan’s Law. He explained that the law states if you record a fight, then you can get in trouble with law enforcement. Many students at Kerr did not know of the law and now understand the possible consequences of posting student fights online. 

I asked students and teachers how they felt about Ed Pesiner’s assembly. Here are some of their thoughts: 

“I think kids now have a better understanding that there can be legal consequences for filming and posting student fights online. As teachers we need to continue to teach responsible use of social media.” ~ Chris Perris, teacher/Activities Director

“The most meaningful part of the assembly was learning about the dangers and what can happen using social media wrong.” ~ Adam B., student

“I left the assembly with lots of information about social media I didn’t know before.” ~ Stella D., student

“After listening to Ed Peisner speaking about being addicted to our phones, I did not use my phone for a day. I learned that phones aren’t just for pleasure, we also need them for communication.” ~ Isabella L., student

As you can see, Ed Peisner’s story affected many students at Joseph Kerr. We hope that students at other schools will also be able to attend his assembly. He made a very positive impact and students are starting to think about what he said before using social media. 

***
Thank you, Hadlee, for capturing the event through your write up.

For our recap of the JKMS parent night with Ed Peisner, visit our May 2019 post.


Roy Herburger Elementary School – Students Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally

Photo: Students from EGUSD, SCUSD, SJUSD and NUSD listening to guest speakers. 

We had the opportunity to attend this past Wednesday’s 7th Annual Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally at the California Museum’s Unity Center with 6th grade students from Roy Herburger.

Stand Up Speak Out Against Bullying Event - Lieutenant Stephen Moore, Sacramento Police Department

Photo: Lieutenant Stephen Moore, Sacramento Police Department

The Unity Center is a dedicated space for celebrating California’s “diverse people, customs and cultures.” The annual rally has been a long-time priority for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. His coalition brings together Sacramento school districts to educate students on the importance of taking a stand against bullying/cyberbullying and all forms of intolerance.

Photo: Students interacting with one of the Unity Center exhibits.

Through the center’s interactive media exhibits, advocacy tools and educational programs, students are empowered to be Unity Activists, exercising their rights and standing up for the rights of others.

Below are a few takeaways from the day shared by Herburger students:

“At the anti-bully rally, hearing the stories of people who got bullied really changed my perspective about bullying.” – Nathaniel P.

“My favorite part was hearing the rapper and all the other speeches about people’s lives.” – Anthony L.

“I loved the speeches and performances. The stations we got to go to were also really fun!” – Sophia C.

“What really stood out to me was when the people were talking about how bullying does not make you cool.” – Zachary A.

“The speeches were my favorite part because they were inspirational!” – Neha B.

Thank you, Herburger teachers, for sharing your students’ thoughts.


When students step up to confront bullying in all its forms, online and in person, they can change the culture and climate of their schools and communities, and, in the process extend Digital Citizenship activities and lessons from a week-long event to a year-long commitment.

Digital Citizenship Week is followed by another important annual event: Media Literacy Week. Because media literacy is an overarching and integral component of digital citizenship, we wanted to share some resources and a challenge from KQED

Media Literacy for Elementary Students

Medial Literacy for Middle and High School Students

Media Literacy for Teachers:

If you have #DigCitWeek or #MediaLiteracyWeek activities or events from your school to share, please leave us a comment.

 

#DigCit in the 2019-2020 School Year

As students and staff settle into the school year, we thought we’d share some of the new resources we’ve gathered over the summer, from attending the ISTE 2019 (International Society for Technology Education) Conference, to Common Sense releasing their new curriculum. Once again digital citizenship is brought to the forefront.

We are honored and excited to have played a role in the development of media literacy resources via our connection with Common Sense Education. An example would be Hoaxes and Fakes – a 9th grade lesson that pulls from our 2016 Saturday Seminar – Digital Kids, Digital Classrooms session on fake news.

While this lesson can be taught as a stand-alone, it can also be integrated into a science, English or history/social studies class to bring an awareness to media literacy as an essential skill for today’s research projects.

Fact vs. Fiction

Fact VS. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News includes examples from a variety of educators (elementary through higher ed) who demonstrate how to tackle fake news with students and colleagues. We’ve added an (autographed) copy of Jennifer Lagarde and Darren Hudgins’ book to our digital citizenship library.

We would also like the share a recent video on #deepfakes from U.C. Berkeley Professor Hany Farid:

Farid created this eight minute crash course on detecting “fakery” in photos and videos as a resource for grades 5 through adult.

You might enjoy putting the skills and tips Farid has shared into action by playing the below games:

  • Factitious – A fast-moving game, players swipe left when they think the article in front of them is fake, and right when they believe it’s real (Developed by American University Game Lab)
  • whichfaceisreal.com – Game challenges you to see if you can tell a real face from an A.I. fake. (Developed by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington)
  • Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda – A “user-generated content website” for teaching and learning about propaganda. Students and teachers are invited to upload and share samples of propaganda from their own communities. (Developed by Media literacy advocate and author Renee Hobbs)

When is your brain ready for social media? – Common Sense, KQED and PBS have collaborated on a video to bring awareness to what rights students are giving up when they “Accept” the terms of use for 13+ apps, games, etc. The video could be a great conversation starter on privacy issues.

Common Sense continues to create wonderful resources to bring parents into digital citizenship conversations. We love the new Tech Balance app for parents of 3-8 year-olds. Parents can receive free text message tips about how their family can practice healthy media habits at home. Common Sense’s Research section is continually updated with “reliable, independent data on children’s use of media and technology and the impact it has on their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.”

Tech Balance

If you’ve found any new resources over the summer for us to take a look at, please reach out via comments below.

Wishing everyone a great start to the new school year.

#CUE19 – A few #DigCit takeaways

Attending a CUE conference is always worth the 9-hour drive from Elk Grove, CA to Palm Springs, CA. Last week’s #CUE19 three-day conference delivered on the promise to provide “dozens of workshops – hundreds of sessions – countless memories” – along with a number of digital citizenship/media literacy takeaways:

Got DigCit? 

As the co-directors of EGUSD’s Digital Citizenship Program, we really value opportunities to learn about ways other districts are weaving #DigCit into the school day, so we were excited to attend Ben Cogswell and Norma Gamez’s session.

If you check out their presentation, you will see that in addition to pulling lessons and resources from Common Sense and other organizations, they even create their own:

They also brought up a good point on the two ways we need to be rolling out digital citizenship – Explicit: Planned Lessons and Emergent: In the Moment:

planned lesson vs. in the moment

We’re looking forward to attending Ben and Norma’s session at Monterey Bay CUE’s May 18 DigCit Summit in Salinas, CA.

Session 5: Thinking Critically about the (Fake) News

It’s always a privilege to join Rob Appel and Kelly Mendoza for a #DigCit/#MediaLiteracy presentation. We were excited to present to a packed room full of educators enthusiastic about gathering new resources for this rapidly changing topic.

Thinking Critically Presentation

Over the past year, we have continued to update and add to our media literacy resources, with the goal of providing tips for helping students (and ourselves) step out of “filter bubbles,” use effective search skills, and become fact-checking pros (and lateral readers).

If you didn’t make it to our session, here’s the link to our session resources. We hope you can join us at the May 18 #DigCit Summit.

Can I Use That? Exploring Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons 

If you were one of our participants, thank you for your great questions and your interest in the topic. We wish this had been a 90-minute session. It’s always a challenge to pack all the information into an hour.

As essential as this topic is to media literacy/digital citizenship programs, we are finding that educators are still not feeling fully confident of their understanding of copyright, their ability to flex their fair use muscles, and their understanding of Creative Commons best practices. It was exciting at the end of our session to have a number of participants ask if they could use our presentation … the following Monday.

In addition to offering our sessions at national conferences, making sure Elk Grove Unified teachers and administrators have options within the district to attend our workshops is a top priority. We will be updating the ERO schedule soon with our next round of workshops and will also post the dates, times, and locations here on the website.

“I think the classroom teacher has a unique opportunity to introduce media literacy concepts and critical thinking questions every time they teach with images, film, video, news, advertising and the Internet.” Frank Baker, Media Literacy Clearinghouse

EGUSD Educators #DigCitCommit for #DigCitWeek

Educators throughout Elk Grove Unified guided and supported students through numerous #DigCitWeek activities. Some of the activities represent projects that students will continue their involvement in throughout the school year, while other activities were specifically inspired by the October 15-19 Digital Citizenship Week timeframe.

As you can see from the samples below, elementary, middle and high school students and staff celebrated this national event.

Harriet Eddy Students attend SF Google Headquarters

Harriet Eddy and Katherine Albiani Middle Schools – #ICANHELP

At many of our middle schools, students have attended or will be attending, #ICANHELP rallies. #ICANHELP is a national organization dedicated to helping tweens and teens use social media for good. At Harriet Eddy MS, a team of students recently traveled to San Francisco Google Headquarters to participate in a day where “world changers, transformation seekers, and positivity makers” met to celebrate student voice and digital leadership. #digital4good

“During my time at the #digital4good workshop, I learned many new things and was inspired in different ways.  I learned that it’s extremely important to be smart and have a positive presence online… During our gathering I thought to myself on how I could bring the positivity kids have brought to their schools, to mine. One example I thought about was sticky noting teachers cars and doors with positive things along with starting a club at our school to overall just spread #digital4good.  This workshop also inspired me to bring good to my school because when I saw all the amazing things kids have done to create a better environment, I believed that if they did what I never imagined possible,  I must be able to do it too.  Overall the gathering for #digital4good was an amazing experience and showed me many different stories.” – Beck, 8th Grade – HEMS


Roy Herburger and Sierra Enterprise Elementary SchoolsStand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally

We had the opportunity to attend this past Wednesday’s 6th Annual Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally at the California Museum’s Unity Center with students from Roy Herburger and Sierra Enterprise Elementary Schools.

The Unity Center is a dedicated space for celebrating California’s “diverse people, customs and cultures.” The annual rally has been a long-time priority for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. His coalition brings together Sacramento school districts to educate students on the importance of taking a stand against bullying/cyberbullying and all forms of intolerance.

EGUSD Students line up to get into the CA Museum Unity Center

Students are greeted by Museum docents as they enter the Unity Center. 

Through the center’s interactive media exhibits, advocacy tools and educational programs, visitors are empowered to be Unity Activists, exercising their rights and standing up for the rights of others.

Sierra Enterprise Students at the CA Museum Unity Center

Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally

Students from Sierra Enterprise Elementary shared their takeaways from the day…

“It doesn’t matter whether you are black, white, Asian, Arab, Hispanic, gay, straight, bi, Christian, atheist, Muslim, Jewish, skinny, fat, tall, short, male, female, where you live, who you live with, what you like to do, or anything in between – I don’t care, as long as you’re a good person, we’ll get along just fine.”  – Miricah, 6th Grade

“The most important thing I learned was that anyone and everyone can make a difference.” – Teresa, 6th Grade

“I learned how important it is to stand up and speak out against bullying. Be kind and treat each other with respect.” – Faith, 6th Grade

“Being there made me think that I’m lucky to be in the school I’m in because in my school they teach all of us how to be kind. I’m glad my school is bullying free.” – Karol, 6th Grade


Markofer Elementary Mustang News – Video Creation

We’ve long recognized that the most powerful teaching method is students teaching students, especially around issues of bullying/cyberbullying. The 6th Grade Morning News Team at Markofer Elementary have stepped up, focusing on digital citizenship themes, to produce a set of videos available to their classmates and beyond via their YouTube channel. Although Markofer teacher Tammy Null is a master at making the best of what equipment she has gathered, her in-classroom studio was given a needed upgrade this year with a SEVA grant through SECC – Our local Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium.

One of the topics Markofer students addressed for #DigCitWeek was the importance of building a positive digital footprint.


Joseph Kerr Middle School – #DigCitWeek Daily Discussion/Action Starters and Video Creation
Joseph Kerr Middle School students participated in daily discussions based on digital/global topics provided by Activities Director Chris Perris.

  • Monday – The Power of a Positive Post: Take a minute to tell us why #JKMSRocks
  • Trustworthy Tuesday: Take some time and do legitimate research online on something that interests you or one of your friends. Use a reliable news source and tell someone about it.

Fake News

  • World Wide Wednesday:  Learn about a problem going on in the world currently and think of ways you could contribute to ending it and if possible put that idea into action.
  • Think It Over Thursday: Take only 5 minutes out of your day and learn about some of the positives and negatives of social media to help keep you out of trouble.
  • Fab Friday: Leave one of your friends a message telling them how good of a person they are and what they mean to you.

JKMS Leadership students, under Chris’s supervision, took things one step further. They decided to take on rumors and fake news as a topic for their upcoming short film. Below is a behind the scenes photo – we will be posting a link once their editing is completed.

JKMS Leadership Students


Herman Leimbach Elementary – VoiceThread
The Make Your Mark VoiceThread is from a group of 2nd graders, who reflected on the Peter H. Reynolds’ award-winning story The Dot by creating their own Dot stories, using Google Slides as their drafting board and then importing the slides into a VoiceThread – and in the process, began building a positive digital footprint for their ePortfolios. The students also put into practice, with no prompting from Computer Resource Teacher (CRT) Cathe Petuya, how to respectfully comment and add to an online conversation.


Maeola Beitzel and Irene B. West Computer Labs – Student Activities
CRT Ken Lagomarsino taught Betizel students grade-level appropriate “Quick-Start Activities” from Common Sense, providing every student the opportunity to earn – and proudly display – their  “Digital Passport and Digital Compass” badges.

Fourth grade students at Irene B. West had the opportunity to participate in Google’s Interland Challenge during CRT Uyen Villa’s computer lab sessions.  

Every student in grades 3-6 explored the four interactive worlds in Interland and earned their certificates, proving themselves to Be Internet Awesome Each land focuses on a fundamental skill that is key to becoming good digital citizens.

  • Kind Kingdom – It’s Cool to Be Kind
  • Reality River – Don’t Fall for Fake
  • Mindful Mountain – Share with Care
  • Tower of Treasure – Secure Your Secrets

Uyen’s students shared a few thoughts about what they learned in the Interland Challenge.

“In Interland, I learned to be kind to everyone and help make the internet a better place by reporting bullying or teasing.  I also learned to stay safe online by not telling private information to strangers and to watch out for scams, fake messages, and other suspicious looking games and websites online.”  – Leiann May, 4th Grade

“I have learned it’s important to have a strong password. The Kind Land also taught me it’s important to be kind and not a bully.”– Bao, 4th Grade


Monterey Trail High School – Media Literacy
Media literacy was the focus over at MTHS for #DigCitWeek, with librarian Karin Ledford leading the charge. Each day of the week, she provided teachers with links to lessons and resources by sending out a daily template with a media literacy Word/Phrase of the Day, an Article of the Day, a Video of the Day, a Fake Website of the Day and a Fake News Story of the Day for teachers to pull from to use in their classrooms.

Media Literacy at MTHS Google Doc


Las Flores – Staff Training/Copyright
An email from teacher Joan Siddens reminded us that it’s not just students who need to be aware of digital citizenship issues and resources. Teachers also need training. With fake news being front and center, and cyberbullying on the rise, we all need to be teaching and practicing good digital citizenship. Joan reached out to us for permission to pull some content from our copyright/fair use and media literacy resources to use in her presentation for an upcoming staff meeting.

Las Flores Staff Training on Copyright


We at Elk Grove Unified celebrated another successful Digital Citizenship Week. We were happy to share (boast about) good things happening at our schools during a recent national webinar sponsored by EdWeb, Common Sense and ISTE that we participated in as presenters. As we shared specific examples of #DigCit in action, people from all over the world joined in the chatroom, leaving very positive comments and praising our teachers for the work they do. Participating in the Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally was the high point of #DigCitWeek for us and reinforced our #DigCitCommit for the 2018-19 school year.

Addressing the Need for Media Literacy

In the eight years that EGUSD’s digital citizenship program has been in place, new challenges and new resources have necessitated regular updates to this website, which is organized around our four main themes: cyberbullying, digital footprint, protecting privacy and intellectual property.

Dig Cit Graphic

While these four themes still remain at the heart of our program, we recognize that we are now living and teaching in a “post-truth” era. Accordingly, we have been gathering and curating media literacy resources to prepare students – and teachers – to deal with the escalating onslaught of fake news and disinformation.

We like Common Sense Media’s definition: “Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending. Kids take in a huge amount of information from a wide array of sources, far beyond the traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines) of most parents’ youth. There are text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, advertising, and more. But all media shares one thing: Someone created it. And it was created for a reason. Understanding that reason is the basis of media literacy.”

And we are not alone in this growing effort to justify bringing media literacy into the classroom …

“A curriculum rich in media literacy has benefits that are clearly tied to the development of participatory digital citizens who can make meaningful contributions.” Kristen Mattson, Educator/Author

“Of course, media literacy is more than asking questions and deconstructing media messages. It also involves reflecting on the meaning-making process, creating messages, and taking action in the world. Renee Hobbs, Center for Media Literacy

“Media literacy education doesn’t teach students to “doubt” what they see; it teaches students to interrogate what they see, and to do it routinely. We call it “inquiry.”  Faith Rogow, Educator/Author

“I do believe there is a new hope in student voices and new ways to teach media literature effectively. This is not the time to tell any teacher that we should take off our capes. It’s just time to remind kids that with great power comes great responsibility.” Jonathan Rogers, Journalism Teacher

Through our research and lesson creation, we realized that media literacy should not be added as a separate theme in our graphic/program, but rather as the overarching structure supporting our digital/global citizenship program. We believe media literacy is the key to unlocking the critical thinking skills needed to confront online bullying and hate speech, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to respect and create intellectual property, and to protect online privacy.

Our website now includes a Media Literacy section and we have updated our graphic to reflect the integral part media literacy will now play in our workshops, lessons and resources.

Dig Cit foci with Media Literacy

In Recent News…

As we read through current news articles, we are feeling validated in defining media literacy as the overarching structure for our digital citizenship program. In an effort to confront fake news, Facebook recently added an “i” (info button) to articles posted in users’ news feeds. The button includes a link to Wikipedia for more information on the author and publisher and displays a section of recent stories from the publisher, a “share count” to show where in the world the story has been shared, and a list of the user’s friends who have shared the story. Other social media organizations are also implementing some changes. YouTube’s new feature, “information cues,” will help fight hoaxes by linking to Wikipedia articles for any conspiracy-related videos. Their goal is to fight misinformation through stories that offer a differing point of view.

We warmly invite you to share what media literacy looks like in your classroom. If you have links to articles, websites, or videos you recommend adding to our new media literacy resources, please leave us a comment below. 

 

National U.S. “Media Literacy Week” – November 6-10, 2017

NAMLE National Association for Media Literacy Education Logo
This week we join the
National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) in celebrating National Media Literacy Week. 

National Media Literacy Week Graphic

Organizations, schools, educators and Media Literacy Week partners from all over the country have partnered with NAMLE to participate in events including #MediaLitWk classroom lessons, virtual events, online chats, screenings, PSA’s, panel discussions and more. 

What is media literacy?
“Media Literacy is the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, COMMUNICATE and CREATE using all forms of communication. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.”

Why teach media literacy?
As access to media has evolved, our students are inundated with information/misinformation 24-7 – and need a skill set for determining credibility.

From deconstructing websites to teaching Google search skills, we need to be having conversations with our children/students about the importance of media literacy and knowing the reliability of sources. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “believing and sharing everything you read” because in most cases, the articles, websites, stories and images appear to be credible at first glance. Fact-checking is so important and often a missed step when rushing to complete an assignment. There are many resources available online to help students fact check. Get started by exploring some of our resources below.

Media Literacy Resources

NAMLE Parent Giude Cover

Parent’s Guide
Building Healthy Relationships with Media: A Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy
NAMLE and Trend Micro created a parent’s guide to assist families in starting media literacy conversations at home. They focus on teaching children to ask questions. With real-life examples of conversations that may come up at home, the guide provides parents with some simple ways to encourage critical thinking. The guide is available in English and Spanish. 

Conversation Starters for Parents
What is media literacy and why is it important?  (Common Sense Media)
Explore questions by age – from preschool age children to teens 13+

How can kids figure out what’s credible news and what’s fake news?
(Common Sense Media)
The quantity and types of news sources in the digital age have made it more challenging to determine what’s real and what’s fake.

Curriculum for Teachers/Students
Be Internet Awesome: Don’t Fall For Fake (Google)

Turning Your Students into Web Detectives (Edutopia)
Eduptopia shares “Five vetted resources students can use to separate truth from fiction” in their article By Jeff Knutson

5 Essential Media Literacy Questions for Kids – Video (Common Sense Media)
Use these five essential questions as a springboard, and help kids dig deeper with even more critical questions of their own.

Beyond Fake News: Media Literacy Toolkit for Educators (Common Sense Media)
From lesson plans about fact-checking to clickbait headlines and fake news, they’ve covered everything.

Student Challenge/Contest

Media Literacy Student Challenge | Explore Your Relationship With News (New York Times – by Katherin Schulten)*
* If any of your students craft an essay or create a video for the above Media Literacy Student Challenge, please contact us through commenting below. We would love to showcase their work. 


Follow the Conversation on Twitter

The Media Literacy Week emoji is live on Twitter. When you tweet, just type in all or any of the following hashtags (#MediaLitWk #mlw17 #GetSmartOnline) and the emoji will automatically show up in your tweet.

Media Literacy Week Emoji

Media Literacy is a skill all students must have. When we started teaching Digital Citizenship over 10 years ago, our media literacy focus was on teaching students how to identify “hoax” websites. As Google became the world’s leading search engine, we added searching tips to our workshops and growing resources. Today we recognize the need to address news and its distribution through social media. For more resources, tips and strategies, we will be offering  a 1-hour workshop (Truth,Truthiness & Fake News – Media Literacy in a “Post Truth” Era) to EGUSD teachers/staff at the January 27, 2018,  Digital Kids, Digital Classroom Saturday Seminar. We hope you can join us.

 

 

Teaching Digital Citizenship in 2017-18

We wanted to share a couple of noteworthy resources for the new school year. 

Common Sense Media has created a guide for all teachers: Digital Citizenship & Social and Emotional Learning. The guide contains a set of digital dilemmas that students may face at some point in their lives. Sample scenarios, such as the one below, are bundled with discussion questions, digital tools and extension lesson resources.

Erin was home sick from school watching a movie when she looked down at her phone and saw her screen filled with text messages written in capital letters and punctuated with exclamation points. “I HATE YOU!!!

Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship and Social and Emotional Learning

Each discussion question will get students’ thinking and talking about character. Resources within the guide include digital citizenship lesson plans and suggested digital tools for building strengths –  like empathy and perseverance. Extension resources include digital citizenship lesson links that follow CSM’s scope and sequence for grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Topics explored include:

  • Social Media & Body Image
  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting & Nude Photographs
  • Digital Footprints & Photo Sharing
  • Privacy, Surveillance & Self-Disclosure
  • Sexual Imagery & the Internet
  • Distraction, Multitasking & Time Management
  • Digital Drama
  • Video Games & Violent Content
  • Selfie Culture

Digital citizenship continues to be the fastest changing subject we teach and we appreciate having quality/timely resources to share with our teachers. 


Google has introduced Be Internet Awesome. We had the good fortune to be invited to Google on August 14 to join a team of Googlers and Google Certified Innovators to explore the Be Internet Awesome program and to participate in panel and group discussions on the critical need to be teaching digital citizenship skills –  including media literacy (i.e. “Don’t Fall for Fake”)  – in the 2017-18 school year. As you can see from the video below, the importance of including parents in the conversations is central.

At the heart of the Be Internet Awesome curriculum is Interland, a “playful browser-based game, intended for grades 3-6,  that makes learning about digital safety interactive and fun.” 

Be Internet Awesome - Interland

Award-winning YA author John Green, has even joined the Google team and recorded messages for the Be Internet Awesome Challenge, a video series aimed at igniting conversations in the classroom and at home too on what it means to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online; in other words, how to #BeInternetAwesome. 

The Global Digital Citizenship Foundation is also promoting John Green’s Be Internet Awesome Challenge. The program has also gained recognition from The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) by awarding #BeInternetAwesome with their Seal of Alignment for Readiness for the 2016 ISTE NETS.

We look forward to showcasing how our teachers and school’s are engaging in impactful discussions stemming from these two resources.

Media Literacy – Defining and Teaching a Must-Have Skill

It would be difficult to read a newspaper, listen to a news broadcast, or open any social media site without seeing some reference to “fake news.” NPR NewsHour’s  recent interview How online hoaxes and fake news played a role in the election highlights this growing concern. There is definitely a need to bring media literacy into classrooms.

The Common Core State Standards call for media literacy:

“To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new.”  Common Core ELA Standards

However, since the standards do not come wrapped in a curriculum package, it is up to each district to provide some clarity on what media literacy looks like in our K-12 classrooms. Thankfully, the list of resources for teaching media literacy is growing (see resource list at end of post).

We’ve been advocates for media literacy even before the Common Core. As long-time fans of Renee Hobbs, we’ve been incorporating her research (e.g., Aspen Institute paper) and resources (e.g., Media Education Lab website and downloadable Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education) into our digital citizenship and copyright/fair use workshops for many years.

But what exactly is “media literacy”?

Educator Bill Bass shared several definitions in his recent Google Education on Air session, Media Education in a Digital Age:

  • From Renee Hobb’s Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan for Action (1992 Aspen paper): “Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, interpret, and create media (communication)  in a variety of forms.”
  • From the Partnership for 21st Century Learning: “Media literacy requires the ability to analyze and create media.”
  • From NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education): “Media literacy is the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, CREATE, and ACT using all forms of communication.”

In addition to Bill Bass’s resources, we’d like to add the voices of students speaking out on the role of media literacy, via Canada’s Media Literacy Now site:

Similar to the above-listed definitions, the Ontario Ministry of Education defines media literacy as:

“…helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase the students’ understanding and enjoyment of how the-media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. Media Literacy also aims to provide students with the ability to create media products.”

How about some resources for teaching media literacy?

Here are some sites to get you started:

Media literacy chart from Huffington post.

Media literacy chart from Huffington post.

How about some recommended sites for fact checking?

I’ll defer again to Joyce Valenza, who includes fact-checking sites under the Resources for building a news literacy toolkit section of her Truth, Truthiness, Triangulation post.

We hope these resources will be useful to you and your students, especially following an extremely contentious election year. As always, if you have resources to add or classroom practices to share, please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment.

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