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Helping Students Decode Kony 2012

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Yesterday I was on Radio Boston, a news show produced by WBUR, talking about education, social media, media literacy and Kony 2012. My main point is that the Kony campaign is incredibly persuasive not just as a video but as a powerful narrative situated in a hyperlinked environment with very accessible opportunities for action.The sophistication of the campaign raises the bar for the kinds of Media Literacy skills that students need.

I turned to three sources to flesh out my own understanding of the phenomena: fellow Berkman researchers danah boyd and Ethan Zuckerman and then USC professor Henry Jenkins. I particularly appreciate Henry's position, which is to be careful about denigrating the online activism of young people. You can hear me channeling his argument at the very end of the interview.

The curriculum resource, React and Respond, mentioned by Barbara Brown in the interview, is excellent and should be a first stop for educators looking to make sense of the issue with their students.

The 15 year old girl who calls in is pretty incredible for her honesty and clarity.


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