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Iran and the New News

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Will Richardson observes that the coverage of the election protests in Iran—coming to us via twitter, raw video, and personal blogs—illustrates that we are in a whole new ball game when it comes to media literacy. In his formulation, we are all editors now. Are kids equipped for this role? Richardson's not so sure:

I know that we should have been teaching these skills and processes all along with every piece of information we read or shared. But the reality is that we as an educational system haven’t been doing a very good job of it. Right now, however, we and our kids simply can’t get away with not having these skills any longer. I know the school year is over for many, but for those that are still in session, welcome to a teachable moment about the world, democracy, technology, media, and most of all, participation.
3 Comments

Incorporating social media into instruction is fine. But it's certainly not my priority. I didn't need a teacher to show me how to use Facebook. I don't know any teenagers who were unable to upload videos to YouTube until a teacher showed them how. 'Kids these days' are resourceful. Social media is the one thing they DON'T need much help navigating.

Angela:
I like your point. But I think I may not have given enough context for Richardson argument. I think what he is saying (not to put words in his mouth) is not that schools need to teach kids how to use social media, but that they need to teach them how to distinguish between good and bad information, how to conceptualize a larger story or conversation from fragments of information, and how contribute their own perspectives responsibly. Would love to hear others' views on this. I do think Angela's point is an important one.

Anthony, thanks for your post and insight. I agree with Angela in that kids are resourceful with technology and I completely agree with you that students need to be taught how to decipher good vs. bad information and sites on the internet. I teach high school special education and find that students take the top 4 returns off of a search and take it as truth. At the high school level, students are required to take technology courses that do teach kids how to evaluate internet sites and information but it continues to surprise me how many students struggle with this task. This is an area that cannot be taught too much in schools, Perhaps we need to begin teaching kids to evaluate information at younger ages? I would be in favor of this practice.

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  • Anna: Anthony, thanks for your post and insight. I agree with read more
  • Anthony Rebora: Angela: I like your point. But I think I may read more
  • Angela: Incorporating social media into instruction is fine. But it's certainly read more

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