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?
cycle of literacy
realms of literacy
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
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
EXPLORE MEDIA LITERACY
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.
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
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.
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
Media Literacy and Media Bias: Part 1
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