Posts tagged literacy

Understanding and Defining News Literacy
The Berkman Center recently published a series of research and practice briefs about news literacy as part of their Why News Matters network, which is very worth checking out. 
H/T to EdWeek for alerting us to the briefs which include:

1) "The Challenges of Defining ‘News Literacy’ " seeks to stimulate a discussion about approaches to defining, framing, and understanding core concepts such as ‘news’ and ‘news literacy’. The brief draws on our growing body of research into everyday youth behaviors, and identifies key competencies for youth to become empowered, informed, connected citizens.

2) "Mapping Approaches to News Literacy Curriculum Development: A Navigation Aid" helps build the capacity of our community of practitioners to develop and teach news literacy curricula. We provide a concise summary of approaches to news literacy, current methods of reaching youth through instruction, as well as a roadmap for innovative curriculum design.

3) "Youth News Perceptions and Behaviors Online: How Youth Access and Share Information in a Chicago Community Affected by Gang Violence" takes an on-the-ground approach to news readership and examines the everyday information needs of youth living in Chicago. The brief draws upon focus group interviews that raise new questions about how youth online behaviors are affected by community violence.

4) “Evaluation in Context: Reflections on How to Measure Success of Your “WNM” Program" is a thoughtful roadmap for organizations and programs to implement a data-driven evaluation cycle. Written by Youth and Media mentor Justin Reich, with the support of the YaM team, this practice brief encourages nonprofits, as learning organizations, to critically and impartially examine and improve their self-efficacy as they work towards meaningful objectives.

Image: Why News Matters’ news personality quiz, one of a number of quizzes and challenges on the site.
Bonus: Some posts on news literacy from the FJP archives.

Understanding and Defining News Literacy

The Berkman Center recently published a series of research and practice briefs about news literacy as part of their Why News Matters network, which is very worth checking out. 

H/T to EdWeek for alerting us to the briefs which include:

1) "The Challenges of Defining ‘News Literacy’ " seeks to stimulate a discussion about approaches to defining, framing, and understanding core concepts such as ‘news’ and ‘news literacy’. The brief draws on our growing body of research into everyday youth behaviors, and identifies key competencies for youth to become empowered, informed, connected citizens.

2) "Mapping Approaches to News Literacy Curriculum Development: A Navigation Aid" helps build the capacity of our community of practitioners to develop and teach news literacy curricula. We provide a concise summary of approaches to news literacy, current methods of reaching youth through instruction, as well as a roadmap for innovative curriculum design.

3) "Youth News Perceptions and Behaviors Online: How Youth Access and Share Information in a Chicago Community Affected by Gang Violence" takes an on-the-ground approach to news readership and examines the everyday information needs of youth living in Chicago. The brief draws upon focus group interviews that raise new questions about how youth online behaviors are affected by community violence.

4) “Evaluation in Context: Reflections on How to Measure Success of Your “WNM” Program" is a thoughtful roadmap for organizations and programs to implement a data-driven evaluation cycle. Written by Youth and Media mentor Justin Reich, with the support of the YaM team, this practice brief encourages nonprofits, as learning organizations, to critically and impartially examine and improve their self-efficacy as they work towards meaningful objectives.

Image: Why News Matters’ news personality quiz, one of a number of quizzes and challenges on the site.

Bonus: Some posts on news literacy from the FJP archives.

Hip-Hop At Harvard

Ammunition Group:

When multi-platinum hiphop artist Nas was growing up in the housing projects in Queensbridge, New York, he probably wouldn’t have guessed Harvard would ask to create a hiphop fellowship in his name 30 years later. But it’s happening. So how do you design a home for hiphop at Harvard? We ventured to find out.

Yes, much of the Internet is free. But it takes time and energy to develop the skills and habits necessary to successfully derive value from today’s media. Knowing how to tell a troll from a serious thinker, spotting linkbait, understanding a meme, cross checking articles against each other, even posting a comment to disagree with something–these are skills. They might not feel like it, but they are. And they’re easier to acquire the higher your tax bracket.

Ryan Holiday, The New Digital Divide: Privilege, Misinformation and Outright B.S. in Modern Media, Betabeat.

Holiday writes of the extreme privilege often inherent in digital literacy and the fact that it’s expensive to be a core user of online media. 

If I work as a security guard or at the counter of a Wendy’s, our media environment is significantly more difficult to track. Not everyone has their Internet time subsidized by an employer who asks them to sit in front of a computer all day. In fact, many people have jobs that forbid them from doing just that, with bosses who will write them up if caught checking their phone. These people–we often refer to them (derisively) as “average Americans”–are removed from the iterative, lightning-fast online media cycle for hours at a time and often for the entire day.

Before you joke about how lucky they are, think about how that would change someone’s relationship with culture. It means they end up getting their news from Facebook or from the “most emailed” stories of the day (of dubious validity). With only so much time left at the end of the day, they go to the one or two places that can give them the gist. Their reality is shaped by the things that tend to trickle about and from the Internet

He raises the food/nutrition analogy to point out how dangerous the consequences of such a divide can be. American’s obesity epidemic, caused in large part by a culture of eating what’s cheap and convenient because of a lack of access and affordability, can and will replicate itself in unhealthy media consumption patterns. (Related: The Information Diet by Clay Johnson)

Culturally, a portion of the population will be stuffed with hormone-injected garbage (Huffington Post slideshows, Facebook linkbait and other Cheetos-like information) while the other portion lives in its own reality of tailor-made, high quality information that makes them increasingly wealthy and utterly detached. One side will be able to influence, direct and exploit the other side because one controls the media while the other is at its mercy.

Read the rest here.

Getting Web Literate
The Mozilla Foundation released its specification for a Web Literacy Standard. This, in the foundation and extended community’s view, is what people should know when participating on the Web.
Topics range from understanding the credibility of a Web site you’ve landed on; the ability to compare “information from a number of sources to judge the trustworthiness of content;” composing content for the Web (basic HTML, how to embed a video), remixing found content into something new; and basic coding with script frameworks, loops and arrays among other topics.
Take a look and see how literate you may be.
Educators teaching the Internets should explore the standard, according to Doug Belshaw, one of the standard’s creators, and consider incorporating it into their curricula.
If you’re interested in participating in the ongoing creating of the Web Literacy Standard, Mozilla places its open calls for ideas and consensus here. 

Getting Web Literate

The Mozilla Foundation released its specification for a Web Literacy Standard. This, in the foundation and extended community’s view, is what people should know when participating on the Web.

Topics range from understanding the credibility of a Web site you’ve landed on; the ability to compare “information from a number of sources to judge the trustworthiness of content;” composing content for the Web (basic HTML, how to embed a video), remixing found content into something new; and basic coding with script frameworks, loops and arrays among other topics.

Take a look and see how literate you may be.

Educators teaching the Internets should explore the standard, according to Doug Belshaw, one of the standard’s creators, and consider incorporating it into their curricula.

If you’re interested in participating in the ongoing creating of the Web Literacy Standard, Mozilla places its open calls for ideas and consensus here

Luckily, now, truthinews is here to usher in a new standard of broadcasting. First, we ask you what you think the news is, then, report that news you told us back to you, then take an insta-twitter poll to see if you feel informed by yourself, which we will read on the air until we reach that golden day when we are so responsive to our viewers, that cable news is nothing but a mirror, a logo and a news crawl.

Stephen Colbert, The Word, June 24, 2013.

FJP: Colbert essentially speaks of cognitive dissonance—the distressing state we experience when we’re faced with opinions that don’t fit with what we already believe. If interested in what this has to do with news consumption, we recommend reading Dean Miller’s chapter (entitled Literacy after the Front Page) in Page One, the companion book to the (somewhat glorifying) documentary about the NY Times. Miller is the director of the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University. Here’s an excerpt:

Merely teaching people how to find reliable information is inadequate if they can’t open their minds to new information. Advances in neuroscience have documented the fragility of memory, the suggestibility of perception and the extent to which our own biases can prevent us from hearing or remembering discomfiting facts, much less seeking them out. The more we learn about these reactions to cognitive dissonance, the clearer it becomes that if we don’t challenge Americans about what they believe—and how they reach conclusions—they’ll never know what they don’t know.

Since <Blink> won’t blink in Blink, Firefox would be the only remaining browser that allows text to actually flash using the <Blink> element.

Vijit Assar, The Evolution of the Web, In a Blink, The New Yorker.

FJP: It must have been really fun to write that sentence. The whole piece is worth a read if you want an easy enough 101 on the history of internet browsers and what’s coming next. Which, if you use a web browser, you should. And it’s in The New Yorker, so you can show this to your grandma and maybe she’ll read it too.

International Literacy Day
780 million of the world&#8217;s people don&#8217;t know how to read or write. Learn more about it. 

International Literacy Day

780 million of the world’s people don’t know how to read or write. Learn more about it

Colombia Brings Libraries to the Park
Via Bilingual Librarian:

Monday morning I was out walking around downtown Bogota when I happened upon this lovely little library in the park. This stand makes part of the Paradero Para Libros Para Parques (PPP), a program created about 10 years ago to help promote literacy across the country. The program is part of Fundalectura in association with city parks.
Currently there are 47 PPP in various neighborhoods of Bogota, and a total of 100 across the country. Each stand is staffed for about 12 hours a week by volunteer (they do receive a small stipend, but apparently it isn’t much).
The PPP are often open during the weekend and while in service they offer regular library services. Patrons can check books out, and the person staffing the PPP organizes activities (mainly for children), is available to answer questions, and often help children with their homework.

Colombia Brings Libraries to the Park

Via Bilingual Librarian:

Monday morning I was out walking around downtown Bogota when I happened upon this lovely little library in the park. This stand makes part of the Paradero Para Libros Para Parques (PPP), a program created about 10 years ago to help promote literacy across the country. The program is part of Fundalectura in association with city parks.

Currently there are 47 PPP in various neighborhoods of Bogota, and a total of 100 across the country. Each stand is staffed for about 12 hours a week by volunteer (they do receive a small stipend, but apparently it isn’t much).

The PPP are often open during the weekend and while in service they offer regular library services. Patrons can check books out, and the person staffing the PPP organizes activities (mainly for children), is available to answer questions, and often help children with their homework.