Conspiracy theories are popular on social media and influence our local as well as national conversations and politics. How we can constructively teach about conspiracy theories and help students develop their media literacy skills to better evaluate information and sources in our digital world? This session will highlight the "Froot Loop Conspiracy Theories" media literacy unit, taught to 6th graders since fall 2020 at Casady School in Oklahoma City. By focusing on the Apollo Moon landings, students learn how to use and apply the "SIFT" web literacy framework (S = Stop, I = Investigate the source, F = Find trusted coverage, T = Trace to the original) analyzing together several online videos. While this unit is designed for middle school students, it an be adapted for other grades / ages / developmental levels. Access the full unit on lessons.wesfryer.com/lessons/conspiracy-theories.
Welcome to an ongoing project catalyzed by a mountain of Twitter direct messages between Brian Turnbaugh (@wegotwits) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) in 2019-20 following the Summer 2019 Summer Institute in Digital Literacy in Rhode Island. This blog post from July 23, 2020, provides more background about this project and our current resources.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome! Share on Twitter with the hashtag #ConCW and userIDS @wfryer @wegotwits!
Our current project resources include:
Summer Institute in Digital Literacy: July 2020
Workshop: Summer Institute in Digital Literacy
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 6 pm ET / 5 pm CT / 4 pm MT / 3 pm PT
Description: Media literacy, web literacy, and the ability to employ critical thinking strategies as we consume, filter, and share information today are vital. Join Brian Turnbaugh (@wegotwits) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) in an exploration of classroom strategies, resources, and lesson ideas related to conspiracy theories and culture wars online, in social media and mainstream media. Workshop resources on medialiteracy.wesfryer.com/concw.
Media Exhibits for Digital Forensic Analysis
Inspired by the Mind Over Media propaganda collection of the Media Education Lab (@MedEduLab @reneehobbs), Brian and Wes have started a collection of media artifacts to use with students in lessons relating to the themes of this "Conspiracies and Culture Wars" media literacy project. Use this Google Slideshow (also embedded here) and copy/paste slides for student group or individual analysis.
As explained on slide 2, we recommend creating a digital space for students to share their analyses.
Mountain Moot: 16 July 2020
Mountain Moot 2020 Keynote
Title: Conspiracies and Culture Wars: Media Literacy NOW!
Description: Social media and digital technologies shape public perceptions, mainstream media headlines, and culture today more than ever in earth history. To be literate and constructive citizens of our communities, everyone connected to the web needs robust skills to filter information, identify credible sources This presentation seeks to connect the dots.
#ConCW Project Planning & Brainstorming
1 hour, 24 minutes long, Also available as an audio podcast on speedofcreativity.org. Shownotes:
Brian Turnbaugh (@wegotwits)
Wes Fryer (@wfryer)
Summer Institute on Digital Literacy (July 19-24, 2020)
Lesson website: “Fact or Fiction? Apollo Moon Landings” (NOTE: This is a lesson under development and is not finalized!!!)
67 minutes long. Also available as an audio podcast on speedofcreativity.org. Shownotes:
Brian Turnbaugh (@wegotwits)
Wes Fryer @wfryer
Summer Institute in Digital Literacy (virtual: July 19-24, 2020)
Mountain Moot (virtual and free: July 15-17, 2020)
Wes’ collected Media Literacy resources: medialiteracy.wesfryer.com
Welcome to the ‘Rabbit Hole’ (New York Times, Kevin Roose, 16 April 2020)
Video: Moon Landings Faked? Filmmaker Says Not! (VideoFromSpace, 29 Jan 2013)
Podcast Channel: Short Wave by NPR
Podcast Episode: How to Correct Misinformation, According to Science (Short Wave by NPR, 22 May 2020)
Book: “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads” by Tim Woo (@superwuster)
“The Attention Economy and. the Net” by Michael Goldhaber (1997, First Monday)
Mark Twain quote (but actually probably not Twain): “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes”
E.O. Wilson Quote: “The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.”
Wes’ story idea: Cognitive Dissonance with Jane Yolen’s “Encounter”