Navigating the current pandemic requires that young people acquire an increasingly complex set of skills, such as understanding statistical data, evaluating the credibility and truthfulness of health information, analyzing the risks and benefits of a particular treatment or vaccine, and interpreting test results. An essential skill in 2021 is health media literacy.
The impact of virtual schooling en masse will not be felt until we leave it. Like virtual reality we will not be able to truly understand learning during the pandemic until we exit our educational lockdown and return to the brick-and-mortar classroom. But it remains to be seen if and when we will ever fully return.
In this media literacy thought-piece, Dr. Vanessa E. Greenwood contemplates the Oculus Rift as an allegory for reimagining post-pandemic schooling in the United States.
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Common Sense Media is a non-profit, non partisan organization that has been around since 2003. Common Sense caters primarily to three different constituencies: Common Sense Media (parents), Common Sense Media Education (teachers), and Common Sense Action (advocates). Its organizational mission is to “provide education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children.” While “safe use” can sometimes allude to protectionism rather than empowerment, the Common Sense web site tells otherwise (in both Spanish and English).
We at PLAY think that if there is just one new resource families can add to their media literacy toolkit to commemorate National Media Literacy Week (Oct 21-25, 2019), it should be Common Sense Media. Here are just a few reasons:
TruTV describes “In Adam Ruins Everything host and investigative comedian Adam Conover embarks on a comically inventive yet unrelentingly serious quest to reveal the hidden truths behind everything you know and love. Tackling topics ranging from the workplace and voting to forensic science and security, he gives you not just fun facts to share with your friends, but information that will make you see the world in a whole new way. If knowledge is power, then Adam Conover will have you laughing all the way to the top.” “Adam Ruins Hollywood” is particularly salient to watch during the award shows season (November through March). Other episodes that tap directly into the #fakenews conversation are “Adam Ruins the Internet” and “Adam Ruins Conspiracy Theories.” We also recommend “Adam Ruins Immigration” as it taps into current (misunderstood) political controversies.Why Do We Love Adam? (Hint: He Cites His Sources) Not only does he cite his sources in each episode, but there is an entire website devoted to source documentation for each episode. We love you, Adam.
KQED Education partnered with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to create an excellent primer for young people and educators on how to protect their online privacy. They recommend something called “Threat Modelling,” a set of five questions everyone should ask themselves