Category: Media Literacy

AnnouncementsMedia Literacy

Media Literacy: Face the Future…

After a difficult week, 8th graders are thinking about the future. The premise is simple:

“You are in a world where you can feel what other people feel. Now what? Facing History and Institute for the Future will pioneer an online game for social change that will convene students, educators, and community members from around the world to imagine what a better future might look like in 2026. The game will take place November 13–14, 2016.

Together we will challenge each other to radically reimagine the future of empathy and civic participation, taking people outside the bounds of daily modes of thinking. This experience will encourage collaboration to build shared visions and meaningful conversation about what the future might provide for us all.”

The game was created by Jane McGonigal, world-renowned game designer, best-selling author, and Director of Game Research and Development for The Institute for the Future.

Last Thursday, we discussed the difference between empathy and sympathy. Then we watched an introduction from McGonigal along with the first of the four scenarios from the game. Students then “played” their cards on chart paper and these cards represent both positive and negative possibilities of a future where feelings can be “shared” through social networks.

Students gain points when other people build on their ideas. A livestream launch with Jane McGonigal took place last night. As soon as a link to that exists, I will add it because it was a great talk. She talks about how “predicting our past” and “remembering our future” activates parts of the brain that otherwise remain dormant. Our ability to put ourselves in a situation is what allows us to understand other people’s feelings. That’s what this game is all about. Currently, there are 8423 players on facethefuture.org. Out of all those players, three of our students are listed among the top five “thinkers” and have contributed toward the 40,000+ possible futures that may exist. The game will be live for the rest of the evening (November 14th), so ask your eighth grader about it and see what their thoughts are. Some of our students have also been featured on the Face the Future blog and you should check that out. This is really compelling stuff and I recommend you watch the videos and go through the slideshow below to get a better idea of what this all looks like.

 

 

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AnnouncementsMedia Literacy

Presidential Election in Media Literacy…

As this presidential election comes to an end, so does our Media Literacy project. We spent the last seven weeks analyzing how political campaigns influence the media and how the media influences the democratic process. Students took the quiz on isidewith.com to see which candidate they side with most and, based on these results, joined that candidate’s campaign by creating four pieces:

  • a campaign video
  • a spoken word piece
  • infographics
  • political art

In the end, over 230 students have been working hard to get all their hard work out to the public on their own campaign websites that are linked below. Note that some classes elected to allow a third party candidate into the conversation. Other classes had students that wished to play devil’s advocate and join a campaign that they disagree with or what to know more about. These websites are live and information will be added throughout the week.

601
Clinton
Stein
Trump

602
Clinton
Stein
Trump

701
Clinton
Trump

702
Clinton
Stein
Trump

703
Clinton
Trump

802
Clinton
Stein
Trump

Here are some of the finished political art pieces [featured image by Kaylin in 702]…

AnnouncementsMedia Literacy

This Week in Media Literacy…

Fourth graders have learned about where to find Privacy Policies on websites that they frequent regularly. They learned about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and that they have special laws that protect them since they are under the age of 13. Now they’re working on creating digital citizen superheroes and coming up with digital dilemmas for their storylines.

Fifth graders have started learning about spreadsheets. The scenario they’ve been given involves a candy company that is experiencing a slump in sales. Their job as employees of the company is to find out what color candy people like the most and re-market the candy accordingly. Students must first understand the problem and then come up with a solution. They’ve been surveying people to find out what colors are popular and have now put that data into a spreadsheet and created graphs to help visualize the situation. Next step: research a bag of competitor’s candy to see if colors are evenly distributed in each bag.

With the presidential election taking place next week, middle schoolers are wrapping up their final projects for the Election unit. Within their campaigns, they have created four pieces to help get the message out about their candidate:

  • a campaign video
  • a spoken word piece
  • infographics
  • political art

Each group has a website that will be live on November 8th. Links will be posted on the blog as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, here’s a sample of some work-in-progress political art and spoken word pieces (including a shout out from my friend Ilana Glazer of Broad City who tweeted Nora’s piece out to her 234K followers!).

1743

[Sonia, Diana, Victoria, 703]

Sasha W - Baby Hillary (2).png

[Sasha, 801]

 

Sasha- Trump as a baby (1).png

[Sasha, 801]

the angel on his shoulder.png

[Roland, 801]

AnnouncementsMedia Literacy

This week in Media Literacy…

Fourth graders have all successfully signed into their Google Accounts for the first time. The majority changed their passwords to something strong and, even better, remembered their passwords! Major accomplishment. Now we’re learning some Google Apps basics.

Fifth graders finished up their first assignment which was to create a “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” Google Slides presentation. Now we’re moving into how to properly format a Google Doc. By the end of the week, they’ll be tired of hearing me say, “Time New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-spaced!” Luckily it’s a standard that will suit them well in High School and College.

Middle Schoolers have all started working on their final projects for the Election unit. Due on Election Day, each student is working the campaign for a real presidential candidate (Clinton or Trump, and in a few classes, Stein). Within their campaigns, they will be creating four pieces to help get the message out about their candidate:

  • a campaign video
  • a spoken word piece
  • infographics
  • political art

So far, the preliminary work I’ve seen has been exceptional. Each class has only been working a day or two on this, but I even saw some kids get together during their lunch to plan out their campaign video. Everyone seems way into it and I’m expecting some great things. There are some amazing discussions going on in the Humanities classrooms about the debates. Make sure you check out the 8th grade Humanities blog to see some of it.

Finally, in case you couldn’t make it to curriculum night a few weeks ago, here’s a rundown of what Media Literacy looks like for grades 4 – 8.