Maybe, just maybe. Resources to support media literacy and civic engagement
Maybe. Just maybe.
Maybe it’s not that our students are gullible. It’s that they’re too cynical. Maybe it’s not that our students don’t believe in the facts. It’s that they don’t know who to trust. Maybe it’s not that our students can’t think critically. It’s that perhaps they’re thinking deeply while interacting with the wrong resources.
I get it. The events of the last few weeks support the idea that we need more social studies. More civics. More difficult and controversial conversations. (Especially at the elementary level.) Couldn’t agree more. We do need more social studies.
But I’ve been in a lot of classrooms and know a lot of great educators. There is already amazing social studies instruction happening in lots of places. So maybe we need to step back, take a breath, stop talking about requiring civic exams in order to graduate, and be more intentional about building on the good stuff that we all know is already there.
What might that look like?
Continue to train students about media literacy and online civics:
- Help Students Fight Misinformation Around the Capitol Insurrection (KGED)
- Real Media Literacy: Spotting a Fake Story (MiddleWeb)
- News and Media Literacy (PBS)
- Lessons and Kits (Project Look Smart)
- Educator Resources (News Literacy Project)
- Civic Online Reasoning (Stanford History Education Group)
- Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers
- Media Literacy Resources (Newseum)
Give kids sources they can trust and be sure to tell them why:
- How to Know What to Trust (News Literacy Project)
- NewsFeed Defenders (iCivics and FactCheck.org)
- iReporter (BBC)
- Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age (Facing History)
- AllSides Media Bias Chart
- Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart
Take advantage of the tech with help from extensions and apps:
(Common Sense has a ton of extra things to explore.)
Yes, absolutely, we should be concerned that we’re not doing enough. But let’s not just wring our hands in frustration. Let’s be intentional about helping our students find, evaluate, and use information so they are less cynical and more trusting.
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Glenn is a curriculum and tech integration specialist, speaker, and blogger with a passion for technology and social studies. He delivers engaging professional learning across the country with a focus on consulting, presentations, and keynotes. Find out more about Glenn and how you might learn together by going to his Speaking and Consulting page.