REFLECT


take the first step… self reflect

What are the values that are essential to your life both on and offline?
What is the purpose of your online voice?
How critical and conscious are you of the media’s construction of – and influence on – your everyday experience? Does it affect your mood?
Do you interpret the content you engage with through a critical lens? 
How do you interact with others online? Is it fulfilling? Does it feel genuine?

Which platforms enrich your life and democratic experience? Which drain it and consume your energy and attention?
Why do you feel it’s necessary for you to be online? What value does it add to your life?
What kinds of content do you find meaningful? How do you engage with it? How do you create it?
In what ways are you perpetuating the messages you consume online? How often do you check to authenticate the sources of the information you pass along? 
How do you react to the media you consume?

media literacy

cycle of literacy

realms of literacy

technical
social
emotional

pillars of democracy

justice | equality | freedom | representation

1. Separation of power

2. Rule of law

3. Freedom of the press

4. Accountability of the government

5. Independence of the judiciary

6. Equality before the law

7. Equal representation in government

definitions

Media Literacy

Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms.

Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.

Technology Literacy

Technology literacy is the ability to effectively use technology to access, evaluate, integrate, create and communicate information to enhance the learning process through problem-solving and critical thinking.

Visual Literacy

Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text.

Digital citizenship

Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology by anyone who uses computers, the Internet, and digital devices to engage with society on any level.

Civic engagement

Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic development and citizenship.

Technology‐Mediated Society

Mediated communication or mediated interaction (less often, mediated discourse) refers to communication carried out by the use of information communication technology and can be contrasted to face-to-face communication. While currently the technology we use is often related to computers, giving rise to the popular term computer-mediated communication, mediated technology need not be computerized as writing a letter using a pen and a piece of paper is also using mediated communication. Thus, Davis defines mediated communication as the use of any technical medium for transmission across time and space.

Digital Natives

The term digital native describes a person who has grown up in the digital age, rather than having acquired familiarity with digital systems as an adult, as a digital immigrant. Both terms were used as early as 1996 as part of the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.

RESOURCES

articles

EXPLORE MEDIA LITERACY

The Center for Media Literacy

Media Education Lab

Common Sense Media

Media Literacy Now

Independent Media Institute

Center for Humane Technology

EXPLORE DEMOCRACY

State Voices

When We All Vote

Vote.org

Rock the Vote

Spread the Vote

People and Company

Braver Angels

Building Bridges

How media reflects polarized politics in this page by Pew Research dedicated to articles analyzing political polarization in the US

Divided Politics: Divided Nation. The United States is caught in a partisan hyper conflict that divides politicians, communities—and even families. Politicians from the president to state and local office-holders play to strongly-held beliefs and sometimes even pour fuel on the resulting inferno. This polarization has become so intense that many people no longer trust anyone from a differing perspective.

Resist the Urge to Simplify the Story

READ

America Is Now the Divided Republic the Framers Feared article from The Atlantic

We need political parties. But their rabid partisanship could destroy American democracy article by Vox

The Disunited States: How partisan politics is polarising the US article by AlJazeera

U.S. Media Polarization and the 2020 Election: A Nation Divided

America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: It’s working exactly as designed. In this book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us — and how we are polarizing it — with disastrous results.

Learn about the voting restrictions in place in your state.

Learn about the law suits taking place across the country to protect our elections, tracked by the Healthy Elections Project.

Digital Media Literacy Education and Online Civic and Political Participation

Best Apps for Teaching Media Literacy 

Digital Literacy Apps

Orion Magazine

Technology Literacy and the MySpace Generation

videos

TED Talks

podcasts

Social Media and Politics is a popular science podcast bringing you first-hand insights into how social media is changing the political game.

Listen to the Democracy Work Podcasts from Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy/The Democracy Group

Unpacking Political Polarization

Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom

Jonathan Haidt on the psychology of democracy

Demagogues are more common than you think

How conspiracies are damaging democracy

From political crisis to profound change

Is it possible to overdo democracy?

Reason in politics and hope for democracy

Media Literacy and Media Bias: Part 1 

How to Vote in America

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