Being Creative and Being Online: What’s the Relationship?


While we recognize the limitations of any singular blog post’s ability to answer big questions like the ones we’re asking, our intention is not to tell you everything there is to know about this issue, but rather to open up a space for conversation, reflection, curiosity, and a consideration of all the other questions this one question sets in motion.


What are the creative costs of being constantly connected to online environments?


by: Katherine Baxter, Ph.D.

This morning I sat down to write this piece and I immediately felt stuck. I didn’t know where to begin, couldn’t find the right words, and within ten minutes of trying I ended up opening a random series of internet tabs and scrolling through my email aimlessly. Most of the work I do requires writing, which is often creative and sometimes not so much, but it requires a certain amount of focus regardless. And I often feel my mind being pulled away from the task at hand by the seemingly infinite world of information, social updates, cute animal videos, etc that are always just a click away. As the comedian Bo Burnham put it in his recent special, being online seems to present us with this fairly irresistible proposition: “Can I interest you in everything all of the time?” I know I’m not alone in this experience, and so we at American Canary wanted to explore the relationship between being creative and being online, and following my brief reflection, encourage you to reflect on the same.

When I started thinking about this topic, one question immediately came to mind: what are the creative costs of being constantly connected to online environments? With full acknowledgement of my disposition as someone who is highly skeptical and concerned about the societal and inter/intra-personal tolls of our increasingly digital lives, I wanted to explore this question and related topics by reflecting on my own experience and drawing on some relevant research.

There is mounting evidence across the fields of neuroscience and psychology that boredom and uncertainty are essential prerequisites to creativity, and that giving our minds time to wander aimlessly, rather than constantly having a YouTube video or a podcast playing in the background, is incredibly important to having new ideas. The reason for this is thought to be that it activates the part of our brain called the ‘Default Mode Network’, which is defined as a region in the brain that is spontaneously active during passive moments, and that seems to show lower levels of activity when we are engaged in a particular task like paying attention, but higher levels of activity when we are awake and not involved in any specific mental exercise. Neuroscientists believe that this is the part of the brain responsible for creativity and new ideas, and that being constantly online and connected to devices that engage our attention is likely interfering with this part of the brain’s ability to function.

This finding seems fairly obvious when you stop and think about it, but I wonder how often people feel bored, or how often people embrace boredom and sit with it for more than a few minutes before seeking some kind of informational input to capture and direct their attention. Speaking personally, I usually listen to music or a podcast on my morning run to my garden. But the other day my bluetooth headphones died shortly after I left my house. After the initial irritation subsided, I noticed myself having a very different experience of this run than I normally do. Instead of my attention being captured by the sounds and stories coming out of the plugs in my ears, I was immersed in all the sensations of the street – the smell of the flowers, the sound of the construction workers having a laugh, the person smiling at me across the street. My thought process was noticeably different. My mind was wandering and being responsive to my immediate environment, and after this brief break from my devices I felt remarkably refreshed and focused.

The silence and presence that results from being fully offline, and the role it plays in the creative process, is something that could easily be forgotten and neglected, without us ever realizing what we might be losing. Many people confess to feeling unwittingly compelled to distract themselves in each moment, and to noticing a nervous habit in themselves to check their phones every couple minutes, with research estimating that people check their phones 2,617 times a day on average. When we examine this tendency in ourselves, it’s hard to pinpoint what compels this behavior; often it doesn’t even feel like something we are consciously doing, but rather an involuntary impulse we don’t even realize we’ve done until afterwards. But when we remember that these devices and the apps they contain have been designed for exactly this purpose, to capture and keep our attention, it makes more sense. I’ve encountered many people who have expressed that they feel ‘addicted’ to their phones, that the amount of time they spend aimlessly scrolling is getting in the way of their relationships, and that they feel uncomfortable being alone with their own thoughts. So, we mindlessly check our phones, looking for some kind of satisfaction or validation to be found therein. But of course, this craving is never satiated, and I often wonder: to what end is this leading us, both as individuals and as a society?

This ties into another byproduct of being constantly connected: our susceptibility to distraction and an inability to focus. If we consider where ideas come from, how they take shape in the mind, and the necessary conditions to bring them to life, the effects our devices are likely having on our brains become somewhat concerning. I think back to my pre-smart phone days, a line I crossed in 2013 while doing my Masters degree, and I remember feeling much more in possession of my mind, much more able to focus for long periods of time, much less tempted to reach for my phone thoughtlessly to check an app, or to put a Disney movie on in the background while writing an article.

I used to write in my journal for an hour everyday, without interruption. I could finish a book in one sitting. I would go for long walks without headphones in, and I always talked to people on airplanes and at the grocery store checkout. But I’ve noticed a change in the tendencies of my mind, away from a desire for silence and focus and towards a craving for constant noise and perpetual informational input. This is despite being someone who meditates almost every day to curb and counteract this tendency.

And I know I’m not alone in this, which is why I think it’s important to share. Research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association has shown that our digital lives may be making us more distracted, distant, and drained. It’s not hard to see how these three states of being might be taking a toll on our creative energies and capacities. When I feel tired or preoccupied, it feels almost impossible to write a coherent paragraph or have an original thought. I often sit at my computer and spend an hour hoping for something of quality to come out, only to go for a walk to immediately have a eureka moment. At least for me, my creativity and my creative process seem at odds with the conditions in which I work, which generally consists of sitting in front of a screen for hours on end.

This leads to another related topic, which is the social nature of creativity, and the ways in which our interactions and time spent working or socializing online is changing how we relate to ourselves and others. According to the APA, studies have recently shown that those who spend more time on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram demonstrate significantly higher levels of self-centeredness, narcissism, and anxiety than those who do not, and that those who spend more time online also consistently show less empathy and emotional intelligence. Similar studies in psychology have shown that there is no replacement for the stimuli we get from face-to-face interactions, and further that device use actively obstructs and interferes with people’s ability to enjoy in-person experiences. So if being online is amplifying anti-social tendencies amongst users whilst also detracting from quality shared experiences in real life, what might be the ripple effects into how we collaborate and create in social environments?

To conclude, by making this argument about the adverse effects being online may have on being creative, I do not want to undermine people’s agency in choosing how they engage with digital platforms and online spaces, or to make it seem like we are powerless to direct the ways that being connected is shaping our lives. Of course, we can choose to disconnect. We can go offline. We can moderate the amount of time we spend connected to online spaces. And of course, many of us find being online and connected deeply rewarding in a variety of ways. We use it as an opportunity to learn, to listen to our favorite music, or keep up with friends. But there is often a cost associated with going offline, whether social, professional, or otherwise. And it seems worth acknowledging some of the tensions between being creative and being online, and taking time to consider the fact that there are likely unseen neurophysiological costs to our digital lives that we do not fully understand yet. What I do know is that we have some very serious, complex, and difficult challenges to solve as a country and as a planet, and we should think about whether having our minds constantly preoccupied and pacified by being online is going to allow for the creative thinking, the mental fortitude, and the new ideas that will be required to solve them.

All of us at American Canary welcome you to join this conversation and to share your experience and reflections on this issue.

actions to take

Deliberately make time to be fully offline.
Go for a walk without your phone. See how you feel. 

Let your mind wander. See where it goes.
Notice your tendency to want to distract yourself. Instead of reaching for a YouTube video or podcast, sit with your boredom.

Set boundaries around your online/social media use.
If you find yourself checking your phone unconsciously more often than you’d like, or scrolling aimlessly rather than engaging with those around you, consider deleting apps or putting your phone in a different room for extended periods of time. See how this changes your relationships with those you care about.

Prioritize your own creativity.
We all have something unique and beautiful to contribute to this world. Try to live your life in a way that will allow you the time, space, and peace to be able to harness and realize your creative potential.  

Share your experience with us!
Connect with an AC member for a one on one chat. 

questions to consider

Do most workplaces incentivize and prioritize creativity? If not, should they?
What might be some of the benefits of being constantly connected if you work in a creative industry?
Does having the online reaction to your creative work in the back of your mind alter or distort the creative process?
Does creativity require presence of mind? Or, put differently, is one of the consequences of perpetual distraction a lack of creativity?
What are the exclusionary implications of an online ecosystem that favors those creatives who enjoy being online, and who embrace these platforms as an extension of their personal/professional identity?
What about those creatives who don’t feel comfortable being fully online and beholden to the judgement of social media, and who find social media alienating and problematic?


Creativity In A World Of Technology: Does It Exist?

How Technology Enhances Creativity

Why is media literacy important?

As a country, we are yet again faced with a moment to reflect upon; a moment that some view as a triumph of our justice system and others as a failure. Regardless of which perspective you believe to be true, in a moment such as this we all must take pause to understand how mainstream media coverage and social media messaging has impacted our understanding of recent events. 

Watching the trial of Derek Chauvin was not an easy thing to do, but it was a rare occasion for us all to see the reality of a murder trial played out in real time, giving citizens the ability to view all the evidence put forth and develop a deeper understanding of what happened that day as a uniformed police officer kneeled on the neck of an unarmed civilian for over 9 minutes, resulting in the death of George Floyd. 

In spite of this ability to see first-hand the information needed to make a logically informed decision based upon evidence, many Americans still relied on mainstream media outlets and social media content and conversations to develop their opinion on the case. When we take information, like that which is being presented in a murder trial, and boil it down to a 10-word headline or a 45-second broadcasting segment, a lot can get lost in translation as choices are made in the construction of how certain information is being presented. Even a 2000 word article can not fully articulate the depth of information that was provided each day of the trial and ends up being a narrative curated to provide what the writer and editors believed to be the most “essential” information for their target audience to learn.

This understanding of the construction and presentation of information is essential to our ability to critically analyze the news presented to us each and every day.

This ability to analyze information is essential to functioning successfully within our democracy.

Engage with your own media literacy, create more mindfulness in your media use and help us to strengthen democracy today!

engage with your understanding of social media

Check out our Media Literacy Page!
A space dedicated to providing the essentials for creating mindfulness in your media use.

Internal vs. External Narratives ~ How do they impact our lives?


While we recognize the limitations of any singular blog post’s ability to answer big questions like the ones we’re asking, our intention is not to tell you everything there is to know about this issue, but rather to open up a space for conversation, reflection, curiosity, and a consideration of all the other questions this one question sets in motion.


How do we publicize our internal narratives when we are online?


by: Bridget Haina

Do you hear that? That voice? That voice inside your head? That internal narrative we can have, guiding our every decision each and every day. This internal narrative that is so personal, so sacred to us is not inherently created from within. This story we tell ourselves is created and influenced by all the external narratives that we consume, from our lived experiences to those others share with us. It comes from the books we read, the shows we watch, the music we listen to. It is morphing constantly as we take in more information. And although it will always morph, that doesn’t mean that it is always changing. 

Many of the internal narratives we hold become reinforced as we add to our life experience, solidifying our points of view into “beliefs” and “facts” about ourselves, others and the world, making it harder for contradictory information to penetrate into our thought spaces. Other pieces of our narrative may be more fluid and change easily as we gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Humans have been struggling with this dynamic between internal and external narratives since the first story was uttered. How do we externalize our own internal narrative? How do we share it with others? What do we share and why? All questions we each grapple with throughout our lives. 

If that wasn’t complicated enough, now add in the ability to not only share your story with those physically around you, but to share it to the whole world. We have each been given access to worldwide publishing through spaces like Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia. With just a quick post all of my hopes, frustrations, dreams and understandings of life can be sent and shared instantly with other people all over the globe. 

What a magnificent power, the ability to communicate across space and time ~ to capture and immortalize the stories of billions. With this immense power comes a responsibility to instill media literacy and digital citizenship in anyone who wishes to use their story and their beliefs to impact others, public discourse and democracy. 

How will history be told now that the moments of our lives and the thoughts that pass through our minds are so easily recorded and made permanent? How will it impact how we pass our narratives and stories down through generations? So often we can get caught up in the excitement of this power without fully understanding its impact. There is a social consequence to how others are impacted by the information we share, but there is also an internal impact on our own perception of self. What happens when we start externalizing things that were once internalized? What happens when we throw ourselves onstage at younger and younger ages? 

The data is out there to attest to how these devices and platforms are changing us physiologically and psychologically; changes we have yet to fully understand as we stand at the beginning of this Digital Information Revolution.

Take pause today and reflect on how you share your internal narrative online. How has that impacted your perception of self? How has it impacted the perception others have of you? How has it impacted how you perceive others? How has it impacted your life as a whole?

actions to take

Reflect upon your own internal narrative. Where does it come from? What does it impact?

Think about the external influences that help shape your perception. Challenge their influence.

Have a conversation with someone about how they make decisions and work through different situations. Learn their thought process.

questions to consider

How do you share your narrative with others?
How has that impacted your perception of self? How has it impacted the perception others have of you? How has it impacted how you perceive others? How has it impacted your life as a whole?

Who benefits from the narratives you believe?

Who is the audience for your story?


Using Your Internal Monologue in Writing

Self-concept, self-esteem, gender, race and information technology use

The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World


Inner Monologues with Ethan Kross, Ph‪D‬

Media Narratives

self reflection exercise:

How are you impacted by media narratives?

What is a Narrative? How do you engage with narratives every day?

Narratives are the stories we see, hear, and tell about the world, ourselves, and our place within it. They can be fact, fiction, or a combination that muddles reality. They compellingly invite us to engage and believe. They can be inspiring, and they can be alienating. They can be unifying, and they can be polarizing. They hold our history, our triumphs, and our pain. 

They are also prolific: everywhere, all the time. We are enveloped by narratives each day. Narratives combined with our life experiences and expectations are what give us our unique perspective and shape how we move through the world. We will always find ways to justify our differing perspectives, to others and to ourselves, even when we know they may be wrong. We hold onto these ideas and stories because they take hold of our imagination and give meaning to our lives. In this digital age, it is even easier to get caught in a singular perspective, to not challenge the narratives shaping who we are and how we see the world, and to find all of the justifications for our convictions just a swipe away.

In honor of Black History Month, and the dire need to challenge many of the narratives that hold our collective consciousness from progress, this month we want to engage you with questions, resources, and an extended conversation around narratives.

Reflect with us and ask yourself:

What is a narrative? 
How do I engage with narratives?
How do I create them internally for ourselves and externally for others?
How are narratives created?
Who benefits from their creation and belief?
How do online information systems and the construction of information through them impact my understanding of myself and the world I live in?
How am I impacted by both current and historical narratives?
How can narratives be weaponized?

Reflect on a narrative you once believed but no longer do.

Why and how did you change your views?

How did you perpetuate the old narrative?

How are you perpetuating the new narrative?

Understanding that we don’t always control the narratives we consume and live within can make it easier to challenge and question those put before us. Developing an agile, critical mindset that allows us to change our stance on an issue when new information arises that challenges our deeply held narratives will make it easier to let go of them.

Whether you choose to write your response here or…

Converse with another human

go for a walk

talk to your dog

put it on paper

consider it quietly

draw it out

write a song

put motion to your thoughts

drink some whiskey with a friend.

Take one step towards becoming more aware of the digital forces impacting your life.

Education, Democracy, and the Media in the United States.


While we recognize the limitations of any singular blog post’s ability to answer big questions like the ones we’re asking, our intention is not to tell you everything there is to know about this issue, but rather to open up a space for conversation, reflection, curiosity, and a consideration of all the other questions this one question sets in motion.


How Did We Get Here?


by: Katherine Baxter, PhD

When I taught 3rd grade in Denver, Colorado, on my drive to work I would often see sleeping bags lining the streets, in shapes that made it hard to determine if there was a human form somewhere lost inside. Each day as I was stopped at a red light looking into these shapes, the sky just beginning to glow with morning light, I would think of the future of the kids in my class: the world they have inherited, the social and civic moment they are living through, and the reality that for my students and for millions of children across this country, education is failing to prepare them to inherit this democracy and to navigate the uncertain future that lies ahead.

In the aftermath of the January 6th storming of the United States Capitol, there seems to be a lingering shock and disbelief hanging in the air that such an event could happen here, in what some say is one of the strongest democracies in the world. What has most surprised me, however, is how few are drawing the connections among the civic crisis we are living through, the toxicity of our media landscape, and the decline in the democratic values underpinning our public education institutions over the last four decades.  

“The neglect of the relationship between education and democracy is in my view our greatest contemporary failure, and it has led us precisely and inevitably to this moment of profound civic crisis.”

– Dr.Katherine Baxter

The idea of democracy, going all the way back to the debates of Plato and Socrates, has always relied upon an educated and informed populace, brought to life by discerning voters capable of telling the difference between truth and dogma, fact and fiction, demagogues and decent politicians. In the United States, we have a rich history and tradition of valuing and protecting this relationship. Thinkers like Horace Mann in the mid-late 1800s and John Dewey in the early 1900s, catalyzed the public education movement in this country, the intention of which was to harness large-scale education as a democratic mechanism. They envisioned a system that would give people such possession of themselves and their minds that they would be capable of living in a way that would uphold and strengthen democratic values – values like critical thinking, dialogue, truth, participation, and justice – and that would empower citizens as active agents capable of shaping their government, their society, and their world, rather than passive, easily swayed and confused bystanders unable to defend their individual and collective interests.

While this was the original intention animating public education in the United States, I would argue we’ve fallen very far from this ideal over the last four decades, and this hasn’t been incidental. It has been the direct result of both state and federal policy changes in education that have embraced values of standardization, linearity, obedience, and economic utility over those more lofty and intangible values that safeguard democracy. And in parallel to this shift in values, we have also seen a substantial increase in government funding to private and charter schools, fueling competition among institutions that should be working towards a common purpose, and skewing the educational landscape in such a way that it no longer ensures access to high quality education for all, setting the stage for the incredible inequality we see in our society today.

This decline was already in progress before we entered into what is being described as ‘the digital age’. If you combine this decline in our public and civic education system with the solidification of an online informational ecosystem inarguably designed to distort, outrage, polarize, and spread misinformation, it creates a very difficult environment for people to be able to make sense of what is going on; to detect logical contradictions, blatant falsehoods, dogmatic reasoning, and corruption; to figure out where and how they fit into this country and who to blame for the difficulties in their lives – all of which ultimately obstructs citizens’ ability to act as competent and informed voters capable of fulfilling their democratic responsibilities.

It is hard to argue with the reality that many people in this country are suffering, and many are deeply confused and misguided about why – the combination of which can easily manifest as hate. I’ve heard a lot of people identify the events of January 6th as at base a manifestation of the currents of white supremacy that flow through America’s veins, which is certainly a reality and almost definitely played a role in the events of January 6th. However, I would argue that if you look even deeper beneath that explanation you will find that this is at base a manifestation of deep individual and collective suffering; of unchecked conspiratorial thinking, ignorance, and profoundly incoherent narratives; and of our inability as a society to equip each citizen, in every part of this country – rural, urban, poor, rich, black, white or otherwise – with the cognitive defenses required to be able to reason through this uniquely confusing and difficult period of history, and find our place within it.

There is no way, short of violating free speech, to ensure that bad and dangerous ideas won’t be thought, discussed, and circulated throughout our society, particularly given the way that social media amplifies outrage and misinformation while allowing for anonymity. This is going to be a fact of life in the digital age until we get serious about implementing the systematic regulation of online platforms. The only way we can truly protect ourselves, our society, and our civic institutions from being held captive by falsehoods, dogma, and delusion is to build our internal cognitive defenses in such a way that each individual is capable of filtering out lies from truth, and of reasoning through propositions in such a way that logic will prevail as the only natural conclusion. The only means by which we can achieve this is education, and more specifically media literacy education.

Last week I watched the second round of impeachment proceedings being brought by the House of Representatives against Donald Trump. As the votes trickled in, following neat and seemingly inviolable party lines, I began to worry that there is no event, action, or threat to our democracy capable of sufficiently shaking those politicians held hostage by ideological conformity and egocentrism to cross this imaginary party line, and I wondered about the millions of citizens that voted these people into office. The neglect of the relationship between education and democracy is in my view our greatest contemporary failure, and it has led us precisely and inevitably to this moment of profound civic crisis. Trump has been a stress test for our democracy, and if we expect it to hold as we move forward into the Biden Administration and into what will surely be a challenging and uncertain future in the United States, we need to learn this vital lesson. 

actions to take

Reflect upon your own education and/or the education of your children. Challenge yourself to fill in any gaps in your knowledge of civics, social studies, sociology, and government. 

Think about what you can do to ensure that the schools in your community prioritize media literacy, critical thinking, and civics in their curriculum choices. Contact your local school board to make sure your voice is heard.

Take pride in being an informed and intelligent citizen capable of holding your elected officials accountable. Encourage those around you to do the same. 

Don’t let falsehoods, misinformation, or conspiracy theories be spoken without challenge. Use your voice in pursuit of the truth.

Reflect on how your community has neglected the relationship between education and democracy.

questions to consider

Who benefits from a society filled with citizens who don’t know their rights, don’t understand how their government operates, and aren’t encouraged to think deeply and critically about the society in which they live?

Think about how the idea of “divide and conquer” is playing out in the ways in which narratives are weaponized and mis/disinformation and outrage are perpetuated online. Who benefits from this?


News Literacy Project

Checkology: Checkology’s lessons and other resources show you how to navigate today’s challenging information landscape.


Use Your Voice


While we recognize the limitations of any singular blog post’s ability to answer big questions like the ones we’re asking, our intention is not to tell you everything there is to know about this issue, but rather to open up a space for conversation, reflection, curiosity, and a consideration of all the other questions this one question sets in motion.


Should you write to your State Representatives?


by: Bridget Haina

When we start to consider our role in democracy outside of voting, the actions we need to take can become less clear, less quantifiable. I know I have heard my whole life that if I feel a certain way about an issue I should write to my Elected Representatives, that a letter from a constituent is worth 10 lobbyists. But when I look at the trend in policy towards corporate interests it becomes harder to believe that that action, or my voice, could make a difference. 

My grandfather, Carl Streeter, inspired a different perspective in me. Out of all the people in my life, he is the only one I know that regularly writes to his representatives. His pen is relentless in the fight for accountability and fairness, and when he was younger, his presence at every public forum was one to be remembered. Every letter and speech held a dedication to the search for truth and a demand for the answers to difficult questions. 

I can’t help but wonder if I was more like him if I knew more people like him, people who not only cared about but took action to ensure a fair democracy, what kind of democracy would we have?

We will leave you with this question and the actions below to ponder.

actions to take

Find your Senators. Who are they? What do they stand for?

Write your Senators to express your views on the upcoming impeachment vote

View a Sample Letter You Can Use to Start or Scroll to Copy & Paste

Explore Outreach Resources.

questions to consider

In what ways do you feel impacted by the actions at the Capitol on January 6?

How are you civically engaging outside of voting?

What barriers do you face when trying to engage with our democracy?


APA Guide to Writing to Your Representative

Who to Contact?

Check out After We Vote to learn what you can do to Demand Justice and Protect Democracy Now


Trump Impeachment Efforts Live

Writing to Your Elected Representatives

Sample Email to Representative

EMAIL SUBJECT: Demand to Impeach. Time for action.

Dear Senator/Representative [LAST NAME]:

As a constituent, I urge you to find the courage to insist that Donald Trump be held accountable for the damage he has done to our democracy through impeachment and conviction. He must no longer, and never again, be President of the United States.

[Insert 2-3 sentences about how the actions of Donal Trump have impacted your life specifically.]

The depth of Mr. Trump’s corruption demands immediate action. From calling on a hostile foreign government to obtain and leak a rival candidate’s correspondence, to flouting the constitutional Emoluments Clause that bars public officials from being compensated in any way by foreign states, to boasting about actions that qualify as sexual assault (in terms that corroborate a string of allegations against him), Mr. Trump has violated countless standards of public integrity and personal decency. He is dangerously unfit to hold the presidency.

Article Four, Section 2 of the Constitution specifies “high crimes and misdemeanors” as grounds for impeachment. It is not restricted to offenses committed while in office, nor does it require criminal conviction. Mr. Trump’s offenses already meet this standard and will continue to do so through to the end of presidency. The Congress must act in the country’s best interests by impeaching him and removing him from office.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Official Podcast Launch!!!

Introducing Conversations with Canaries:
An American Canary Podcast

by: Lindsay Newman

If American Canary Co-founders Katie and Bird had met in person, they would have closed down any local watering hole; seated at a corner table, deep in conversation about the complexity of human nature, the tenets of quality education, and the foundations of a democratic society. Instead, I introduced them via Zoom, on the assumption that their boundless curiosity and deep seeded passion would be mutually beneficial for the impact of American Canary. This timely collaboration resulted in an effortless fusion of intellect, creativity, and community. Our weekly check-ins, group text messages, and ad-hoc conversations became so enlightening, so intriguing and perceptive, I felt like I shouldn’t be the only one listening in. We also wanted to expand how we could share out with others, beyond the written word, while also exploring how we as individuals can harness conversation as a corrective social mechanism – arguably the best tool we have to work through the problems we face as a society.

So we made a podcast! With the hopes of creating an opportunity to invite you in, to listen to the conversation that we have with each other and so often in our own heads, and to be a would-be fly on the corner-table wall. I hope that you come away from this experience/experiment as stirred, inspired, and perhaps even puzzled, as I so often do. Enjoy.

episode 1

Education, Media Literacy, and Democracy

Where Do We Fit In?

This is the first episode in our Conversations with Canaries podcast series. Join American Canary Co-founders and educators Professor Bridget Haina and Dr. Katherine Baxter in a conversation about the relationships among education, democracy, and media literacy in the United States, moderated by our third Co-founder, Lindsay Newman. 

Future episodes will continue exploring similar issues from different angles, bringing a variety of voices to bear on these important issues that will shape our world for decades to come. Listen, learn, and please join the conversation.

Intro Composition & Engineering by – John Lindsay

actions to take

Reflect how education, media literacy and democracy impact your life.

Choose one (or more) of these topics and start a conversation with someone on or off-line.

questions to consider

What has your media and technology education been like?

Do you feel as literate as you could be?

How civically engaged are you outside of election time?

How empowered are you to participate within democracy to create change in your own life?


Building Citizenship Skills through Media Literacy Education

Check out our Reflection Page to learn more about Media Literacy & Democracy