Category Archives: EC&I 831

Three Kids One Stomach Bug and Some Reflections on Kony 2012

What a week.  Three of my four children were sick with some kind of enteric stomach bug that would bring  a woolly mammoth to it’s knees.  The afternoon and evening had been cacophony of tears, dry heaves and vomit. My wife and I fought valiantly against the scourge than has consumed our children. The only weapons at our disposal were children’s Gravol, ginger ale and towels.

For awhile the outcome looked bleak. Eventually we managed to stem the torrent of barf by putting the the quarantined children into a Gravol induced coma.   As I cleaned the hallway with the last Lysol wipe, I could hear the kids grunting and moaning in their beds. This is what  a civil war hospital must have sounded like. I thought to myself (upon refection civil war hospitals were probably better organized with less vomit and requests for Paw Patrol).  I finished cleaning the floor and basked in our victory. Then it dawned on me. It was Tuesday. Class started in ten minutes. Thank goodness for online learning.

The discussion on online activism was thought provoking for me. As I sat there in the glow of the laptop screen with my one year old son on my knee, I realized how long it had been since I thought about Joseph Kony . I remember the first time I saw the Kony 2012 campaign flash across my Facebook feed. To be honest, I was impressed at the thought of being involved in a grass roots movement, using social media to contribute to bringing awareness and change to a major international issue. My Facebook feed was adorned with comments like ” It is good to see people getting behind something like this.” I watched the likes and shares pile up. How could you not behind a movement such as this? In retrospect this movement was not free from some well founded criticisms.

As the saying goes hindsight is always twenty twenty. This video from 2013 sums up a number of issues of the Kony 2012 movement.  However, at the time it felt like an unbridled wave of positive energy and influence. As a young man, I got caught in the altruistic hype that surrounded the campaign.

Then as quickly as it came the Kony 2012 movement faded. The rampant idealism of the campaign was replaced by the (as the above video so eloquently puts it)  next internet craze featuring a man dancing like a horse . This rapid exit from public consciousness caused some to view the Kony 2012 campaign as a punchline and a shining example of quick and easy activism .

I did not realize how cynical I was of internet activism until last week’s class. I would be bothered by statues strung together with hashtags drawing attention to various causes and profile pictures sporting different filters. Why is this? Am I getting crusty as I approach middle age? Am I an old man yelling at the kids to get off my digital  lawn?

Source: Giphy

I don’t think so. I think that Kony 2012 taught me to think more critically about online social action. I need to be careful that I don’t ignore the benefits of digital activism. In the final analysis, Kony 2012 did in fact demonstrate how social media can be used to bring awareness to a cause . It also showed the importance of skepticism when considering digital social movements . In the end, Kony 2012 serves as an example of the power of social media and digital activism and the need to use social media responsibly as platform for social action.

I was not expecting to have such a marked reaction to the subject of digital activism. I would be interested to hear other viewpoints and opinions. How does digital change as social media advances? How is involvement in a cause defined? With so many options for communication, how does one ensure a consistent message ? I know I have just touched the surface of a complex and intriguing subject. These are just a few of the questions rolling around in my brain at 12:30 on a Friday night. Thank for taking the time to read this and please share your thoughts in the comments if you are so inclined. See you in class!

 


Social Justice in the Online World

Social activism or social slacktivism?

The burning question this week (drum roll please)…

Can online social activism be meaning and worthwhile? 

I think the short answer is yes! Of course. There are meaningful examples of social activism online however I do feel this can quickly become overshadowed by social slacktivism which is becoming more and more visible on my own social feeds now that I’m more aware of armchair activism and tuning in.

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Image via Google Definition

Take the #bringbackourgirls movement for example. Maclean’s article “The Problem with Slacktivism” argues the #BringBackOurGirls campaign is the” latest disgrace from slacktivists, those who support good causes by doing very little, and achieving even less.

A slacktivist is someone who believes it is more important to be seen to heImage result for bring back our girlslp than to actually help.”  It’s become very common to simply comment or share a post of a genuine cause and believe we are helping when in reality it is achieving nothing but a trending hashtag. Is tweeting out a particular hashtag really going to help the cause? The Maclean’s article makes the point that if people really wanted to help, they would simply donate instead of pinning a pink ribbon to their jacket, or not shaving their face in the month of November, claiming “These things are not the talismans of empathetic supporters. They are proof that you care more about yourself than
Image via mirror                                    the cause.”
This leads me to question how many people draw attention to themselves during the Movember campaign or the Ice Bucket Challenge actually fail to donate to the cause, while gaining the positive attention they are looking for.

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Image via @ROSAPRINCEUK

To counteract this, I do believe in many of these causes that go viral and explode on social media draw an impressive amount of attention and awareness, and as a result of the buzz generate more donations than they perhaps would have without the use of social media and doesn’t that account for something?

And then there is opposite side of the spectrum – people who demonstrate fear of judgement for sharing their opinion on hot topic issues and social justice causes. This is something many teachers can relate to in the fear of judgement from parents and most often their employer. Katia Hildebrant makes a compelling argument on her blog post that  “In Online Spaces, Silent Speaks as Loudly as Words”

What message do we send when we say nothing at all?  Katia explains “If we are online, as educators, and we remain silent about issues of social justice, if we tweet only about educational resources and not about the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report in Canada, or about the burning of Black churches in the southern United States, we are sending a clear message: These issues are not important.”

Katia’s argument made rethink my own use of social media and social justice issues. Although I visit my social media feeds often to check the news and occasionally share special events to stay connected to friends and family, I seldom use it as a tool for social activism.  Could I be doing more? Clearly the answers is yes.  Although I will sometimes share a post outlining a cause I believe in, I very rarely involve myself in political posts and discussions. But why? Was I worried about whether people would disagree or judge? I’m not sure – I think partially yes. There is an aspect of fear of judgement. I haven’t made the choice to use social media in this way.Image result for don't speak monkey I could relate to blogger Debs post Why I’m Scared to Express my Opinion Online who commented on the “barrage” of tweet replies a friend received after voicing her opinion online. Although I’ve never experienced this barrage, I often choose not to comment to avoid it. She speaks about avoiding the Twitter drama, which is something I feel holds me back from posting my opinion. I don’t want to get caught up in an online battle and it seems as though people love getting into these heated online debates that really aren’t my personality or style. Do I need to become braver? Do these online battles of opinion make a difference?

Katia’s post made me consider my privilege, along with the responsibilities I have as an educator to model active digital citizenship online. In our second reading from Katia’s blog posts titled “What Kind of Digital Citizen?” was an informative read for me, particularly reading into  Joel Westheimer’s framework about “Kinds of Citizens”. as I immediately thought of my learning project which combines social media use in the classroom using a classroom Twitter account and implementing a digital citizenship curriculum.  I do believe we have a responsibility to teach students how to be responsible citizens and move them along the continuum of being a “Personally Responsible Citizen” who volunteers to someone who advocates organizes, and seeks answers to areas of injustice.


Image via Westheimer’Article as cited by Katia Hildebrandt

Right now, my project is focused on issues such as “The Power of Words” online and more basic, yet still important, aspects of technology use. I think it’s important to remember that students don’t have to stay in this “box” of general citizenship and to think outside the box in terms of also teaching more justice driven citizens.  I think I model digital citizenship but in terms of social activism in an online space, I’m not sure I’m there yet and to be honest I’m not exactly sure how to model this well.

Parting Thoughts & questions
I believe all teachers should share responsibility as educators to provide experiences for students to explore issues of injustice and ways we can help both online and offline. This should happen across all grades so once these students have a foundation of citizenship they can continue to build on this and push outside the box of a personally responsible citizen towards becoming “Justice Oriented”  leaders in the community. This is an exciting prospect and I would like to see some examples of how classrooms and teachers are doing this.

Do you keep your opinions to yourself or are you an open book online?

How do you model social activism in the digital world? 


The Golden Rule

This week, we discussed social activism online and whether or not it can be effective.  Is it worthwhile?  I think it is possible for it to be worthwhile and meaningful if the people that are advocating for the cause are invested beyond just social media.  We discussed in class the idea of slackivism.  Wikipedia explains this to be the concept that people believe that are contributing to a cause by simply re-tweeting, sharing or liking a page.  However, sharing or liking something on Facebook, although a great way to create more acknowledgement towards a specific issue, does not solve the issue.  It is a way to share information and give people who actually WANT to create change, a medium to do so.

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Image Via Wikipedia

One excellent example I found was Wael Ghonim: a social activist who used social media to help create the revolution in Egypt in 2011.  Essentially the movement began with the death of Khaled Said, and a picture that was posted and shared relentlessly on social media.  This sparked interest and Ghonim created a Facebook page to support this outrage.  He gathered hundreds of thousands of followers; then realized, it wasn’t enough to just gather online.  They needed to do something.  He asked his users an important question: “Today is the 14th of January. The 25th of January is Police Day. It’s a national holiday. If 100,000 of us take to the streets of Cairo, no one is going to stop us. I wonder if we could do it.” (TED, 2015)  And they did it.  The video goes on to explain the aftermath and the revolution we know today.  I think it is awe-inspiring that something so life-changing began on social media and with one picture.

As educators, I think we do have a responsibility to model active citizenship online, but it can be difficult.  As teachers, we are on the radar all the time.  Anything we say online can be traced, twisted, or interpreted the wrong way and it can affect us, personally and professionally.  The challenge then becomes to advocate professionally and ask ourselves questions before interacting online:

  • “How will this be viewed by people who do not know me?”
  • “How will this be viewed by people that do know me?”
  • “Would I be okay if my students saw this?”
  • “Would I be okay if my colleagues/family saw this?”

Although, it is unfortunate we cannot be as uncensored as other people can be online, are these not questions we consider before speaking out loud?  Why should what we discuss online be different than what we talk about in our classrooms or in our day-to-day lives?  And shouldn’t all people really abide by these “unwritten rules”?  We are taught from a young age to be kind, to listen to other’s opinions, to think before we speak, so why is it that as soon as we are hidden behind a screen and a keyboard that we forget these guidelines apply and become trolls, argumentative or outright rude?  I think the most important thing is that we model our personal beliefs and values and model the

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Image via CCTV

ideologies that we would be okay with our students, our friends, and our families seeing and modeling too!  After all, that is our job and yes, sometimes it is hard to remain in this mindset in the heat of the moment, but these rules apply to the real world, why shouldn’t they apply to the online one too?


Blast off!

Since I made the decision to change my project idea, I have been very eager to start the process of cross-stitching! So, after watching a cross-stitch tutorial for beginner’s video on YouTube, I was able to figure out the basic materials I need in order to get organized before actually learning how to cross-stitch. I recently went to Michaels and was able to find the materials I needed, and much more! I must say, I was blown away by the variety of fabrics, needles, threads, pattern books and embroidery hoops! I could have looked around for hours!

Here are the basic materials I picked up:

  • Aida fabric (14 count)
  • Tapestry needle (size 22)
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors

After purchasing these materials, I realized that I was unable to purchase thread because I have not yet decided on a pattern!! I learned that there are a ton of thread colours available for cross-stitching and these threads are all colour coded! For instance, black thread is coded 310 and green thread is coded 701. At first, I was confused and didn’t understand why the thread colours were colour coded until I realized the threads are colour coded because they coincide with a specific pattern, similar to a map & legend. Therefore, I came back home with the 4 basic materials I purchased and began searching Google and Pinterest for some pattern ideas. Turns out, there are tons of patterns out there! Many patterns are available for purchase and many are free!! I briefly became overwhelmed as many of the patterns are clearly based upon experience level. Well, as a beginner I am looking for “beginner’s” pattern! So, the process of finding a pattern I feel capable of doing may take some time! After I have selected a pattern, I can purchase the appropriate thread colours I will be needing.

Although I am feeling somewhat nervous about getting started, I am still looking forward to this journey! Cross-stitching is a skill that may take a while for me to learn but I am ready to give it my best shot! So, wish me luck and stay tuned for some more progress!

Thanks for stopping by!


Project re-route!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been debating the topic idea I had originally chosen for my major digital project. Initially, I had planned to design and implement an open classroom blog. As explained in my very first blog post in EC&I 831, I love to blog and for numerous reasons! Although I do not consider myself to be a professional blogger, I enjoy it and learn a lot from it. Blogging has always been an experience I’d love to share with my students. However, seeing as I am currently on maternity leave, many of the ideas I had planned for my open classroom blog will not follow through without the participation from administration, students and their parents.

Therefore, I have decided to change my major digital project idea and focus on a particular skill I’ve always wanted to learn, and that is Cross-Stitching. Cross-stitching is a form of sewing. Cross-stitching is a unique skill to learn because it involves concentration, numeracy, consistency and most importantly, patience! Why cross-stitch? Well, as a child I would watch my older sister sit on her couch and cross-stitch, sometimes for hours! I’d ask her why she liked cross-stitching because it looked super boring. She’d reply “I love to cross-stitch” and offer to teach me, if I wanted to learn. However, at that time I had no interest in sitting on my couch and staring at a piece of fabric while holding a sharp needle and some string! My sister is truly amazing at cross-stitching! Although she does not have much time for it anymore, she has made many beautiful pieces. Now, I regret not learning this skill and spending what could have been some great quality time together. But like they say, “it’s never too late” or “you’re never too old to learn a new skill”!

So, here it goes! I will start my major digital project by figuring out the materials I need to get started. Aside from my sister’s guidance, I will also rely on a variety of social media sources to help me throughout my journey and document my progress. I am looking forward to getting started on my project but I am also nervous as I have never considered myself to be very artsy. This is the first crafting skill I will have learned, let alone taught by myself through the use of social media! For my major digital project, I will create one (medium sized) cross-stitching pattern. Therefore, wish me luck as I set out to track down the materials I need in order to get started on my very first cross-stitching piece!

Thanks for stopping by!


Digital Identity: Googling Myself and Some Thoughts About Raising Kids in the Digital Age

In my learning project post I touched on the idea of digital identity. In my case I’m thirty four years old and just now making my first foray into the world of social media. Just how much information about me is out there. So I took a deep breath and Googled myself…Capture.JPGAs it turns out there are about 6,430 results for a basic search for my name. Of course there are the usual suspects, a blurb from my employer (Saskatchewan Polytechnic), my twitter account ( which has been active for 3 weeks now), this blog and of course my Facebook profile. There were a few surprises. including a LinkedIn account I forgot about, a couch surfing site I haven’t accessed since a trip to Iceland in 2008 and (if you direct your attention to the middle of the screen shot a profile on Ancestry. co.uk that proclaims I am the father of zero children ( I assure you barring some sort of DNA test this is no longer the case). The image search turned up some pictures of family members and not much else. Nothing earth shattering really. I mean, I wasn’t expecting Gangnam Style or Numa Numa level results, but I did find it a bit surprising.

Here I am yapping on the internet about how  I don’t have much of a digital identity (I assure you the irony of that statement doesn’t escape me)  while all the while I have been leaving digital footprints. I just never stopped to think how big my feet were. So why is this important? Perhaps it would be more accurate for me to say I haven’t been an active participant in decontaminating my digital information. That is to say I haven’t been actively seeking a digital identity, however, over time a semblance of one has formed without my active participation. I have blogged recently about considerations regarding social media for new nursing students

 

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What’s that saying? A GIF is worth 1000 words. Source: GIPHY

I will reiterate that developing a digital identity is a skill that this class is teaching me. It has been enlightening to read the work of my classmates whose viewpoints strike a cord with me. Joe wrote about the power that social media has to mobilize people to take social action ( his post can be found here. As a self confessed social media noob and introvert, I sometimes overwhelmed with the process of becoming functionally literate in the language of social media. At times it is easy for me to forget the awesome potential that social media has as a platform for positive social action and that it isn’t all Tinder profiles and cat videos. I also enjoyed Jaque’s post that in part gives a first hand account of the evolution of her digital foot print ( her post can be found here .) I found it to be an excellent reflection on the evolution of online influence and the impacts it has on our communication with others.

This whole experience has caused me to reflect on what the concept of a digital identity will mean for my kids. I’ve thought about this a lot since our last class. My eldest daughters are 5 years old. They already know what a selfie is. They know how to chat and they are comfortable using an iPhone. How will social media evolve to shape their digital identities? I suppose the biggest difference between myself and my kids regarding digital identity is this, whereas I am surprised to have passively developed a digital footprint, for my children this will be just another part of growing up.  I thought back to our last lecture and remembered the idea that our online lives are merging with our social lives. How much does our online persona impact our views of ourselves and vice versa? What implications does this have for parents of young children?

I will say that I am not fearful of having my kids grow up in a digital age. However, I do wonder how this will impact their lives as they age. The risks associated with internet use by children are well documented . In my opinion, the best thing I can do with my kids is to show them that the internet isn’t something to be feared. However, it is something requires thought and attention on their part.

I suppose this is no different then helping your kids learn to ride a bike. In order to do it safely and effectively you have to develop the skill. Adapting to a digital medium would be similar. This is a difficult subject for me to think about as a parent. I mean I’m 34 years old and I forgot about an entire LinkedIn account! Never mind that, couch surfing in Iceland what was I thinking?!? All kidding aside, maybe documenting my own trials as a stumble through the world of social media and digital identity will help me as I prepare to help my kids navigate the digital landscape  doubt we may face a few of the same challenges. I would very much like to hear any thoughts from other parents out there! Thank you for taking the time to read this. See you in class!

 


It’s All Fun and Games Until You Start Cutting…

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Some shirts laid out for my blanket design!

This week was not what I anticipated.  I was going to FINALLY start my real project- the blanket.  However, things did not go how I planned and this is the first time I questioned both my sanity and ambition for starting this HUGE project!  Cutting.  Not as easy or straight forward as I thought.  I’ve had a lifetime of practicing cutting paper and really, how hard could measuring and cutting out a few t-shirts be?  HARD. REAL HARD.  Mostly it’s the process that’s difficult  It’s time consuming, tedious, and requires a lot of patience which as previously stated, I do not have much of.

My week consisted of some more research as to what step to really take next which all began after a conversation with my grandma at Thanksgiving dinner. She told me I could borrow her tools for my little adventure which I was grateful for, but then I got confused.  Don’t I have scissors?  What else do I need?  Turns out, a lot!  A lot included a very fancy cutter called a rotary cutter, measuring boards and this material called interfacing.

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The Materials (Courtesy  of Grandma)

Welp, to Google I go!  I had to do some research about this new information.  Turns out the rotary cutter would actually make life much easier as I am left-handed and struggle significantly with scissors.  It makes incredibly precise cuts and I realized I would need to cut to specific dimensions, which I chose as 14 inches by 14 inches for simplicity but also sizing.  Squares are nicer to work with, and the large squares both fit all my t-shirt designs and gives me more room for error (which at this point is very probable).  So the measuring boards were to be used to lay out the t-shirts and to cut on, and to make sure the rotary cutter had a straight line to follow!  Simple so far, but then there was this mysterious stuff called interfacing.  Apparently, it restricts stretching of material which is necessary for a t-shirt blanket as t-shirts are quite stretchy so this is supposed to make things easier for me. Supposed to being the key word.  You have to iron this stuff onto the back of the t-shirt before you can sew it all together.  So, I have to cut and iron on this interfacing to the middle of my design of my t-shirt without actually looking at the design.  Urg.

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The first cut is the hardest…

This was the beginning of a long night.  Cutting the interfacing was simple, (just 14″x14″ squares) but placing them in the middle of the design was much more difficult.  It took a lot of patience and meticulous placement.  Then came the actual cutting of the t-shirts of which there are 30…

The following two hours consisted of cutting the interfacing, ironing it onto the back of the shirt, measuring a perfect square on the front of the shirt, and then cutting the shirt out on the cutting board.  I got 8 shirts cut to my dismay.  The first one was shaky and not as straight as it should have been, and I also learned you can’t take shortcuts and cut more than one at a time…(see pictures below). I didn’t expect this part of the process to take such a long time, so I have a lot more cutting to do this week!  And then there is the placement of the shirts to do as well.  This process is going to take a lot longer than anticipated!!  More to come!

 

Click to view slideshow.

 


Social Media for Change?

Now I’m not one to be a Debbie Downer, however I feel as though my last post focused on the negative issues surrounding social media. I addressed a lot of my concerns regarding social media in the classroom including issues of privacy, and cyber safety just to name a few. But overall, I’m much more drawn to the positive aspects social media has to offer. This week, I chose to counteract the negative and dig into the positive aspects of social media and how it can be used in  ways – and in some cases make a very positive impact on our world! There’s pro’s and con’s to everything and just as social media is capable of doing a lot of damage when not careful, it is also capable of helping those in need and spreading a whole lot of love, happiness and positive vibes.  Today – let’s focus on the GOOD!

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Response to Natural Disasters

Not only does social media provide immediate information when it comes to natural disasters but it significantly contributes to disaster relief – anything from raising money to locating survivors.

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Image via Trendhunter

Heather Lessen  explains the use of digital responders during disasster response. She states “Digital responders can immediately log on when news breaks about a natural disaster or human-created catastrophe. Individuals and teams are activated based on skill sets of volunteer and technical communities. These digital responders use their time and technical skills, as well as their personal networks in an attempt to help mitigate information overload for formal humanitarian aid in the field. These digital humanitarians will help close the gap in worldwide disaster response.”  Aside from the importance of digital responders, think of how quickly word can spread about world disasters today compared to 30 years ago.

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Image via Trendhunter

Healthcare and Public Health

Social media has helped many people suffering from the same condition seek support, ask questions, and connect with others experiencing the same condition. Yes, there is a flip side to this as we all have friends who rapidly self diagnose using Web MD and convince themselves that they only have days to live. There is of course the positive side which allows instantaneous information to medical information at the quick of a button. “28% of health-related conversations on Facebook are supporting health-related causes, followed by 27% of people commenting about health experiences or updates.” (source: Infographics Archive). Don’t even get me started on the positive aspects of fitness and healthy lifestyle apps! Amazing!

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Image via National Prevention Information Network

Check out this link here for “24 Outstanding Statistics and Figures On How Social Media Has Impacted the Health Care Industry”. Interesting read!

Platform for Change

Remember the ice bucket challenge? This phenomenon was likely the most obvious but impressive example of how social media can make a positive impact! “More than 17 million people [in 2014] uploaded their challenge videos to Facebook … watched by 440 million people a total of 10 billion times. It is now an annual event to raise awareness and funds to find treatments and a cure. By the end of September 2014, ALSA had received an incredible $115 million from IBC donators—in less than 60 days. This represented an increase of over 3,500% in funds raised over the same two-month period in 2013, equal to 375% of its annual revenue for the previous fiscal year. It consisted mostly of small donations (but with some ranging up to $200,000) and came from over 3 million donors, over 2/3 of whom were new. According to ALSA, more than $220 million was ” (CPAJournal). Don’t forget the hours of entertainment in blooper and Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges videos.

Building Empathy

I really enjoyed reaBell-Lets-Talk-003-001blogpic.jpgding Dani’s post about many other positive aspects to social media. On her most recent blog post, she “celebrates and acknowledge the amazing work of organizations like Kids Help Phone or Bell Let’s Talk for opening the conversations about how important self care, understanding and empathy are, and for being Image via The Brock Press                  there to support youth and adults in our province.”                                                                      Social media widely contributes to the awareness of                                                                    these support for teens.
It seems as though everything has it’s pro’s and con’s and social media is no different. However, it did feel good to read about such great, powerful things happening around the world thanks to something that often gets a bad rap such as social media outlets. I think social media can have the power to transform many situations and the possibilities are difficult to imagine!

What are some of your favorite examples of social media being used for positive change?


Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

Back in the good old days, news information was mainly delivered in the form of paper, magazines, radio and television. Now, as to whether the information was false or accurate, it seemed easier to detect fake information when its delivery was simpler. For instance, tabloid magazines will often feature stories using a silly headline in a large font. They specifically do this in hopes to capture your attention and read the content found in the magazine. In my experience with browsing tabloid magazines, the “National Enquirer” and the “Star” often distribute exciting yet suspicious information/stories. Celebrities and breaking news are usually easy targets for conflict. Inaccurate information, conspiracies, lies or changes to a narrative are spread often but now a days it can be more challenging to detect fake news due to the growth of the internet and social media.

In today’s digital world, news information can be found everywhere. Sites such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook contains a ton of stories and informational content, which we can choose to accept as true. It can be very easy to get caught up in an interesting headline or two. However, we must be aware that online websites will intentionally try to pass themselves off as authentic when they’re not.

I must admit, I have been fooled more than once with believing fake news to be true and after realizing it is not, I feel pretty ridiculous. As we learned from last week’s class, fact checking is important, especially before sharing creditable/non-creditable information using social media sources. Although it can be difficult to spot fake news, here are five different practices to detect a non-creditable resource:

  • Look for Unusual URL’s
  • Dissect the Layout
  • Dig Deeper
  • Cross-check
  • Try a reverse image search

As an educator, it is important first and foremost that I understand how to detect non-creditable information before I can teach my students about how to detect it. But, if I am not confident in this process, how can I expect my students to be? Doing this requires both research and critical thinking. When identifying fake news, it is essential to discuss examples of creditable and non-creditable resources with our students. In Ryan’s blog, he states “Fake news doesn’t mean we need to panic, and distrust everything’. ‘It does however mean that we need to slow down and read’. ‘Not just read the title of the article, but read the article, and compare it to information that we already know’”. I completely agree with Ryan. By presenting students with the tools they need it will assist them in identifying trustworthy resources, but also teach them how to critically analyze digital literacy. As teachers, we need to model this process and offer our students practice so they may develop self-assurance in their abilities to identify fake news and information.

Thanks for stopping by!


Check In #2 You too Can Search YouTube for “How to Use YouTube.” Another Thesis Title Bites the Dust.

Well here I am again. Included in this post is the very first video I have ever uploaded. I wanted to include some different types of media into my blog, so here it is in all its glory. In the interest of full transparency this process has been a bit terrifying, but not for the reasons I originally suspected. Prior to this class I really hadn’t had much to do with social media. I’ve have used Facebook for a number of years but mostly as a third party observer ( as I type this I am suddenly acutely aware of how creepy that sounds). What I mean to say is apart from a status update every few months and the odd hilarious cat video, I haven’t been an active participant within the realm of social media ( there that feels better!).

So to move from being a social media neophyte to recording videos of myself making a record of my fitness goals has been a very new process for me. I’m learning some interesting things about myself. The following is a list of observations I have made since my last check in:

  1. I think I can finally confirm that I am in fact an introvert. Yes, it is true. Every week I sit down to write on this blog and feel a strangely invigorated and terrified at the same time. I guess this is kind of like keeping a journal. On the internet. Where everyone can see it. If you listen carefully you can hear the muffled screams of my inner introvert. At the same time this is a powerful means of connecting with my classmates and colleagues. I would be very interested to hear what other people’s experience has been.
  2.  I’m learning a lot. In truth, it hasn’t been what I expected. Allow me to explain. Have you ever tried to start a YouTube account, then realized you had no idea what you were doing and then found yourself searching YouTube for ” how to use YouTube?” Yes, it turns out I am that guy. At any rate I found out all that I needed to know. I suppose this is what happens when an observer of social media takes the first steps toward becoming an active participant. I look forward to learning more about this process.
  3. The things I’m learning have less to do with diet and fitness and more to do with how to incorporate these things into my life. I’m learning that the internet is a great provider of ” what to do” to be healthier. It is up to me to determine ” how” best to do it. I hope this makes sense. In a way this is not unlike what I have written in this blog about principles of use of social media for nursing students. I a very real way I am having to sift through online information and determine ( in my case about health and fitness) determine what meets my needs and how to incorporate  into my own life. Whoa. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see that one coming.
  4. Lastly, I will jot something down about progress. As mentioned in the video I am down 10 lbs. For my next entry, I’m going to attempt to record a snippet of one of the workouts I’m doing and talk a bit more about some of the tools and resources I have found helpful. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope your projects are going well and I look forward to reading about them!