It’s mid-term political season in America and you’re likely to see political ads, statements and news surface in your social media feeds. A news story posted by your uncle, another shared by your best friend and another served by an advertiser all seem to contradict each other. Understanding how news can be skewed based on the writer’s viewpoints, intentionally and unintentionally, is critical to making informed decisions in the modern world.
The heightened role of social media and the ease of sharing makes it more difficult to form our own opinions. Thankfully there are some resources that can help you as an individual and as an educator understand the bias that a source may hold.
AllSides offers news, issues and talking points through a lens of bias. Read how stories about the same topic are different based on who writes them. AllSides also houses a strong media bias rating system that uses “crowd-wisdom” and statistical analysis to identify sources as left, center and right.
Media Bias/Fact Check also provides a strong media bias rating system. It generally has information on more sources than AllSides and also rates the factual credibility of the site.
Here’s an activity to try with your students, teachers or building staff to open a conversation about media bias and explore how it impacts your community. Need a little help? Feel free to use this slide deck with the activity.
- Take note of the news sources in your social media feeds. This can be done in any grouping (individually, as a class, as a building) that might yield interesting perspectives.
- Use AllSides or Media Bias/Fact Check to check out the ratings of the sources you recorded.
- Create a line plot for the articles you see.
- Draw conclusions from your graph and discuss.
- What does the shape of your graph say about your social media feed?
- How might getting information from these sources influence your thoughts and opinions?
- Is good or bad for Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. to use an algorithm that serves you more posts, ads or articles that match your assumed political views?
- How might we use this information to build awareness of media bias in our community?
DigCit Quick Hits are short activities designed for educators to use with students, staff or community members. Our intention is to build awareness through open dialogue around pertinent topics in digital life that affect our communities. Please contact Keith Tramper at email@example.com with questions, requests for support or feedback.
MDE, #GoOpen Michigan, University of Michigan and Collabrify invite Michigan educators to learn about and create valuable resources for the classroom.
Full participation will be awarded $200 with an opportunity to earn more.
Please read through the attached flyer and share with all of your educational staff and colleagues.
This is time sensitive so please act now!
Please view the Go Open Flyer-Revised for additional information.
The ability to communicate ideas and thinking in effective ways is highly prized in the modern workplace. This can involve creating visual, text-based, or aural representations, and can include all three in interactive formats. Think digital flyers, project reports, social media, and other work that requires creative thinking and skills to deliver a message. See the Creative Communicator section on the ISTE Standards for Students page for more specifics about the skills students need in this area.
Cultivating these skills is not always easy for time-strapped teachers operating within defined curriculum, but there are some simple ways to build these into activities that can also boost core learning outcomes. Here are a couple to consider:
- Ask students to use Autodraw to represent a concept or model thinking. Use the autodraw feature, free draw, shapes, and/or text to create in ways that force students to grapple with your content and creatively show understanding. (other options include Google Drawings templates, or inserting a Pear Deck drawing activity in Google Slides)
- Use Screencastify to record a how-to, a message, an explanation, or something else. Students can save it to Google Drive and embed it in a Google Slide or share it by link. See this screencast guide for tips and ideas for teachers and students alike.
Extra bonus: combine these elements in one place by copying, saving, embedding, linking, or other means. See this published Google Slide that includes an image from Autodraw, video from Screencastify, and a link made in Slides. It is by no means a great example, but not bad for 15 minutes of work.
As with any tech-based activity, these will have the most impact when students receive feedback (peer or teacher), verbalize their thinking (turn and talk), and work in authentic tasks (a local company…). While that’s not so easy, it is achievable, and guiding students to create and communicate with these modern tools will help them build towards the expectations that await them.
The REMC Virtual Courses are free and open to Michigan school personnel. You can take courses “just to learn” or you can complete all assignments. SCECH credits are available for successful course completion.
Courses take place over three weeks. Each consists of two one-hour webinars and four hours of resource review, assessment development and written reflection and six SCECH credits are available.
Exception: the What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER) course takes nine hours and nine SCECH credits are available.
These courses are available through an agreement between Presidio/Dell and the REMC Association through its REMC SAVE device purchasing program.
- REMC Virtual Courses are FREE and open to all Michigan school personnel
- You can take courses “just to learn” or you can complete all assignments (SCECH credits are available for successful course completion)
- Sessions take place over a three week period
Click here to view a multi-month schedule of course offerings. You may register for these courses at any time but note that courses have different start/end dates.
Use the REMC Virtual Course FAQ for answers to often asked questions.
Do your teams need strategies to use right away with students? Are they looking for ideas to increase student access, communication, behavior? Want a chance to leave with an iPad, Chromebook, App codes, switch activity or sensory tool? Then they won’t want to miss AssisTechKnow 2018 at Kent ISD in Grand Rapids! Learn from and connect with national presenter Beth Poss providing two days of sessions focused on early childhood and young learners. Join Sharon Plante and Karen Janowski to learn strategies to support reading, writing, math, organization, executive function and professional productivity.
And they won’t want to miss tools and tips shared by 20 additional state and regional presenters with expertise on inclusive strategies to support all learners, technology supports that level the playing field, literacy and math supports, strategies for student writing and more!
Yes! AssisTechKnow is back and believe it or not – it’s bigger and better than ever before! And the cost is still only $20/day!
- October 18 & 19, at Kent ISD, Grand Rapids, Michigan
- 3 Presenters who are nationally recognized leaders in assistive technology, educational technology, differentiation and UDL – Beth Poss, Sharon Plante & Karen Janowski
- Over 20 additional regional and state presenters
- Topics ranging from early childhood through transition, general education strategies through complex needs, including reading, writing, math, executive function, professional productivity, AAC and more!
- Idea & Innovation Showcase highlighting vendor products and local student creations
- Low-Tech Maker Space and Make-it-Take-It Activities
- And of course – another year of AMAZING Door Prizes – iPad mini, Chromebook, Hokki Stools, Gift Cards, App Codes, Switches/Toys, Sensory Tools, and much, much more!
AssisTechKnow has always filled, and registrations are coming in daily – so encourage folks to register now to secure a spot! Come for one day or both, and leave with strategies, ideas and tools that can be put to use with students right away!
AssisTechKnow 2018 Registration Link
Assistechknow 2018 FLYER
Learn what’s new with Discovery Education, including reading passages, lesson plans, digital interactives, virtual field trips, instructional strategies, VR, and more to share the world with your students and teachers. Rediscover the resources, strategies, and tools that help take your students anywhere – from the cities of China to the pen of a playwright. Whatever the topic, Discovery Education Streaming is the central hub for student engagement and achievement.
The Discovery Education Experience (DEXP) is a one-day no-cost experience for educators to immerse themselves in all things DE. The target audience is inclusive of ALL educators (teachers, principals, curriculum, instructional technologists, and many more). Together, all will explore and learn about the resources Discovery Education has available for them!
The day of interactive professional learning is brought to you by Discovery Education, in partnership with the REMC Association of Michigan and your local REMC 8.
Come join us on November 15, 2018 at REMC 8 – Kent ISD in Grand Rapids. Click here to register and save your spot! Seating is limited. 5 SCECHs are available for attendees with an application cost of $5.00
Contact Ron Houtman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.