Thursday, April 5, 2012
Disrupt their thinking - teaching students about propaganda
In my middle school technology course, I spend a lot of time teaching kids how to create impactful messages using video. There is a lot of noise out there, and if they want their message to be heard, there are techniques they need to be able to use skillfully to give it a chance. In much the same way it is also equally important that they are able to be good, discerning, and critical consumers of what they see.
A new UK website, Digital Disruption, is beginning to be a great resource for helping to teach this important way of thinking and awareness to kids.
Digital Disruption is a website aimed specifically at teens, and focuses on 7 commonly used propaganda techniques in video. Students are then given a series of simple but thought provoking polling questions - asking them things like if they would share the video they just saw. The site accepts contributions of actual YouTube videos to use in its lessons, which is very useful for teaching this at a realistic level.
Digital Disruption headline question, "Who Owns Truth", surely gets them thinking more critically about what they view.
Digital Disruption are going to become a necessity for teachers and parents to have in their toolbox. Kids need our guidance - and this particular skill, or awareness, is something we have to mindfully teach -we simply cannot expect our students to figure this one out on their own. When it comes to the digital media our kids consume on a regular basis, it's crucial that they understand "No One Owns Truth".