Today, the Newseum, in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), launched a new set of online resources to address critical educational needs in media literacy.
The Media Literacy Booster Pack, which is available for free on NewseumED, helps students navigate today’s complex media landscape. The resources, which include infographics, videos, historical sources and activities, offer students and teachers the tools to understand how news is made and how they can take a more active role in the information cycle.
The eight overarching topics of the Booster Pack are evaluating information, filtering out fake news, separating facts and opinions, recognizing bias, detecting propaganda, uncovering how news is made, spotting errors in the news and taking charge of your role as a media consumer and contributor. As junk news continues to infiltrate the newsfeeds of millions of social media users, education and awareness have become the best line of defense against the spread of misinformation and disinformation.
Many tools in the Booster Pack are designed to help students form sound opinions about social issues and politics and share those opinions effectively. For example, the activity “Slanted Facts and Slippery Numbers” uses the case of the gender pay gap to build strategies for analyzing contradictory claims and forming a fact-based opinion, and “Confronting Confirmation Bias” helps make students aware of their own biases on issues they care about. “Weed Out Propaganda: How Master Manipulators Try to Control What You Think,” (shown to the right) explains how to recognize and resist propaganda, which poses a threat to news consumers in many parts of the world, including the United States.
The Booster Pack supplements a suite of free standards-aligned resources for students and teachers that are already available on newseumED.org. The existing resources include two poster-sized infographics, developed in partnership with Facebook, that explain how to analyze content and leverage social media platforms for sharing ideas and information.
NewseumED.org was recently endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The association is dedicated to supporting social studies educators in teaching students the content knowledge, intellectual skills and civic values necessary for citizenship in a participatory democracy.
The AAUW previously partnered with NewseumED on “Women, Their Rights, and Nothing Less,” an online learning module that explores how suffragists embraced the First Amendment as a tool to help achieve passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920; as well as “Election 2016: Stumped!?”, which presents important historical context to help students understand and participate in the American electoral process. In August, AAUW supported Women’s Equality Day at the Newseum, during which visitors learned about woman suffrage through educational activities and Newseum artifacts.