I’ve converted the curriculum for the fifth (and final) week of this info literacy learning community into this newsletter covering the people facing issues from all the topics we’ve studied. This post is divided into three sections that you can review and study at your leisure during the week.
During our time together, we’ve explored many issues involving technology, privacy, and truth. To conclude this learning community we’ll turn our attention toward how these problems we face manifest in people’s lives. These issues are why we’ve gathered here in the first place, because we want to better prepare ourselves and our students to face these problems.
As we conclude our time together, spend time this week reflecting on how each of our topics plays a role in your own life. Your experiences may not be too far removed from some of the stories we’re about to explore.
To spark our discussion this week, we focused on three stories of the issues facing real people in higher education and around the world.
First, we considered the right to be forgotten, revenge porn, and how fabricated video can readily be produced. We explored these topics through this story of a 30-year-old victim of revenge porn who was secretly filmed by her ex-boyfriend. The victim found herself unable to gain employment because searching her name online yielded these videos.
For our next story, we talked about how fake news and hoax narrative was used to justify government inaction in the case of the kidnapped Chibok girls. Stephanie Busari’s Ted talk video (above) was the foundation for much of this discussion, although recently another hundred girls have been abducted by the same terrorist group, Boko Haram. These are some of the real consequences of proliferating false information—justification of inaction. These are ramifications we need to engage our students with as we approach issues of truth and misinformation.
Finally, we explored online harassment and the disproportionate targeting of women and people of color. These issues were explored through the lens of higher education, in particular we focused on Tressie McMillan Cottom’s story. With the rise of hate crimes and white supremacist propaganda on our campuses, it’s imperative that we engage our students with these issues.
Many of these conversations were difficult and unnerving, but critical for us to consider as we explore the best ways to address these topics in our lives and in our classrooms.
Based on your interests and as you feel compelled, here are a few more topics to explore related to social media:
Personal Digital Health
- Reading: Take the time to review and ensure your digital hygiene by W. Ian O’Byrne
- Curriculum: Digital Detox 2018 from Middlebury’s Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry
- Reading: Should you be allowed to delete yourself from the internet? from BBC
The Root of the Problem
- Reading: The Real Threat To Campuses Isn’t ‘PC Culture.’ It’s Racism by Tressie McMillan Cottom
- Reading: Fake News: Not Your Main Problem by Maha Bali
- Reading: On Facebook, Driving and Control by Maha Bali
- Video: Automating Inequality featuring Virginia Eubanks
- Reading: Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’ from ProPublica
- Reading: PSA: A.I. To Generate Revenge Porn Of You by Keegan Long-Wheeler
- Reading: He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse from Charlie Warzel
Lastly, you’re invited to reflect on questions such as:
- From the content you studied this week, what should we be teaching our students about the people facing issues from the topics we’ve studied?
- What’s a small change you can make in your course for the benefit of your students?
If you’d like for your reflections to contribute towards a “document of recommendations” composed of all the reflections of the participants in this training, you can submit your thoughts to this form.
The featured image is provided CC0 by Christopher Burns via Unsplash.