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Monday, October 1, 2018

Mind Over Media - New Resource for Teaching Propaganda and Media Literacy

This is a guest post from writer and researcher Beth Holland (@brholland).

I first met Professor Renee Hobbs from the Media Education Lab last spring at the SXSWedu conference. She led a fascinating discussion about how to foster media literacy and digital literacy in an age of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Towards the end of the session, she posed a question that has perplexed me for months: how do we help students develop critical literacies such that they comprehend what media might be telling them when they cannot readily view the biases behind the algorithms generating that information? In other words, when students are constantly surrounded by media and messages, how can they quickly, efficiently, and accurately identify propaganda or bias versus information?

This week, in collaboration with a team of scholars from the European Union, Professor Hobbs announced the launch of Mind Over Media - a free online resource devoted to helping individuals understand how to recognize and interpret propaganda in media. This site expands an earlier project that Professor Hobbs completed with the United States Holocaust Museum.

Whereas the initial project focused specifically on propaganda and the rise of Naziism during World War II, the Mind Over Media project addresses the broader idea of propaganda in the 21st century. A teachers page includes a complete curriculum as well as eight lesson plans. Teachers can create a free account to curate media for their lessons and view sample, teacher-created custom galleries. Because the platform includes a crowdsourcing feature to encourage educators to share more examples of propaganda, the library of available media will continue to grow.