Teaching Media Literacy Protecting Your Mind from Manipulation
by William Jackson , Twitter @wmjackson
My Quest To Teach #MyQuestToTeach
The discussion continues about who is responsible for allowing fake, false and manipulated news to gain a foothold on American televisions and social media platforms. As committees, subcommittees, discussion groups, media “experts” and others that claim to know the pulse of how the news runs share their knowledge about fake, false and alternative news, the other questions are who is going to help our kids recognize this?
Teachers are tasked now to prepare students to recognize, understand, interpret and even tell others about fake news. The reality is that even before Social Media news has been manipulated, infused with propaganda, half-truths, false lies, twisted perceptions and cognitive suggestions to manipulate how people think, rationalize and understand the social foundations of our society. The movie, entertainment and even food industries globally have used music, sound bytes, actors, animation and special effects to sway thinking and realities for decades.
Listening to the testimonies of media experts during hearings and social media marketers there is factual truth that manipulation of the judgement of people have been influenced in buying soft drinks, to washing powder to tooth paste and the list continues. “Media Literacy” is seen now as a priority because of the potential influences.
Consumers are blasted with music that seems to magically explode from tv’s, psychedelic shows of lights and color telling consumers what to drink, where to shop and even what to brush their teeth with. There is more out in the media and cyberspace. Media executives know how to draw the attention, the mental attachments and even distractions to the brain that allow for a change in perceptions and decision making.
Teachers themselves have to be prepared to recognize the mental manipulations that is alive on Social Media platforms. Parents even fall for media companies that go straight to children and “suggest” what toys to buy, clothes to wear and even how their interactions are supposed to be with siblings and parents. The age of Social Media is an age of digital engagement not one of social interactions that require a physical connection and responsive actions. NPR 2017, “a Stanford study showed that students at practically all grade levels can’t determine fake news from the real stuff, the push to teach media literacy has gained new momentum.” More needs to be done to prepare youth, teens and young adults to mentally prepare and protect them from elements that create a false sense of understanding and knowledge.
Parents need to take the time to listen and learn how the media and Social Media are allowing manipulation from foreign governments, companies and even advertisers that buy into mental manipulation that is border-line brainwashing. Additional issues are those students that are ELL – English Language Learners that are vulnerable to fake news. Media literacy for ELL students is important because they lack knowledge in the language they’re reading and trying to comprehend. False news about immigration, the rights of immigrants and even refugees can have a major impact on their lives and perceptions of their rights.
Educators are tasked with more responsibilities to decipher, translate, comprehend and teach how to protect against fake and false news. Professional development is needed to empower educators to teach their students at all grade levels.
Teachers Fight Against Fake News
How Teachers Can Teach About Fake News
How to Protect Students from Fake News
Watch: Facebook, Twitter & Google to testify in House Russia