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DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP/MEDIA LITERACY BILL BECOMES LAW

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP/MEDIA LITERACY BILL BECOMES LAW
In cooperation with the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media (NW-ARM) and Action for Media Education (AME)
4616 25th Ave NE, #310, Seattle, WA 98105
April 2, 2016
CONTACT:
Lynn Ziegler 360-930-3044, 360-204-8674 Linda Kennedy 206-799-4321
DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP/MEDIA LITERACY BILL BECOMES LAW
It’s official: in Washington State, the Digital Citizenship /Media Literacy Bill IS THE LAW!
The new law addresses the growing public concern regarding the way our children use media screens and what the screens teach children about the world.
Sponsored by Senator Marko Liias (D, Lynnwood), the just signed law establishes a process to ensure ongoing discussion and action at both the state and local school district levels. It stresses that our children must learn how to safely, ethically, responsibly, and effectively use technology.
“Our schools can and must play a leading role in teaching students to become safe, principled users of digital resources in an increasingly complex communications environment,” said Senator Liias.
Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will work with an advisory group to identify best instructional practices and develop a set of recommendations on digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy. Beginning in 2017-18, WA school districts will be required to annually review their policies and procedures on electronic resources and Internet safety and to consider OSPI recommendations.

Seattle-based nonprofit Action for Media Education (AME) initially proposed the bill. AME’s mission, throughout its 25 year history, has been to foster and promote digital and media literacy for children and the citizenry at large. AME’s president, Claire Beach, says the need for this bill has never been greater. According to a recent study, teenagers spend an average of nine hours on entertainment media per day and “tweens” (ages 8-12) an average of six hours a day, not including time using media for school or homework. (Common Sense Media, 2015). Many of our children spend more time in front of screens than with any other activity besides, perhaps, sleeping.

“In this 21st century, our definition of literacy must be expanded to include digital and media literacy education,” said Marilyn Cohen, Director of the NW Center for Excellence in Media Literacy at the University of Washington.
Though digital communications have had many positive influences on the world, parents and educators have recently expressed major concerns. Cyberbullying, for example, occurs at alarming rates and can have devastating results. Media can create false realities. Children do not have the maturity or the sophistication to understand and process all the material to which they are exposed. Digital and media literacy are essential 21st century skills which help students navigate the modern world. Media literacy teaches them to recognize stereotypes and bias; it teaches them to look for what is left out of the message; and to ethically and responsibly use the tools given to them.
What do Washington State’s kids get out of this new law? According to Michael Danielson, Media Literacy Teacher at Seattle Preparatory School, students easily remember how to define media literacy simply by using vowels (a, e, i, o, u): Analyze, Evaluate, Interpret, Organize and Understand media.
Parents will be happy to learn that media literacy helps develop critical thinking skills, especially important in election years, according to AME’s Media Critic, author Lynn Ziegler.

Stay tuned!

New State Bill to include Media Literacy in Public Schools – Please help support before January 16, 2016

New Bill Proposed for Digital Citizenship in Washington State — Please Help by writing to your Washington State Senator or Representatives  in Olympia

An act relating to safe technology use and digital citizenship in public schools. Bill Number xxxx
Co-sponsors: Senator Marko Liias, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Rep. Strom Peterson, 21st Legislative District

Summary of Bill: The legislature recognizes that as technology becomes more prevalent, students must learn how to thoughtfully, ethnically and responsibly use the tools available to them. The legislature intends to provide a process whereby students, parents or guardians, teachers and other school employees, administrators, volunteers, and community representatives will engage in an ongoing discussion concerning safe technology use and digital citizenship.
Definition of Digital Citizenship Continue reading

an art exhibit

Facebook Support Filter

The terrorist attacks in Paris have created a sense of unity in the world. For those who do not live near France, it is difficult to show support for those suffering. All over the Internet digital landscape there are signs of support for Paris. Popular websites like Amazon and YouTube have changed their formats to show solidarity. Facebook allows users to cover their profile picture with a blue, white, and red filter. This filter is not automatic; the user has to personally change it. Even though, the blue, white, and red filter is small and insignificant it creates power in unity. All of a sudden on Facebook there is a sea of these filters and those logging on cannot help but think of France.

How does it “Stand With France”? Does it overshadow other conflicts related to terrorism around the world? Why is it important to understand what the filter means? Even though this is not the first time Facebook has created these filters, are they sending an effective message? Is it significant that users have to change their profile picture manually? Does it help those suffering from the terrorist attacks? What does the filter mean to you? Mass media can promote unity – a prosocial effect.

 

Prayers and thoughts go out to those in suffering in Paris and, as well as, those affected from by terrorist attacks.

“Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”

Jimmy Kimmel has a segment on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, called “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”. Celebrities read really crude and rude tweets while R.E.M’s song “Everyone Hurts” plays in the background. While it is hilarious and they are making light of the tweets, there is still a disturbing unidentified aspect. There are people writing these messages, tagging people, and posting them. Kimmel even says he, “…gets bombarded with hundreds of insults a day.” Celebrities are not the only people who get mean tweets. Everyone else gets them too. Canadian Safe School Network posted a mock video of “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”. They replaced celebrities with teens. Teens read crude and rude tweets that their peers wrote. Whether it is to a celebrity or not, writing disturbing, painful and life altering messages is bullying. The internet is an open network and everything is permanent. What kind of public discourse do we want to encourage from our entertainment media? Healthy? Divisive? What are we celebrating when we hold up hatred? How much power does a message under 140 characters have?

To see the videos you can find them on YouTube channels “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Canadian Safe School Network”.