Mediactive: How to participate in our digital world

Course Introduction

We’re in an age of information overload. Learn how media literacy principles can help you make sense of your digital media environment.

We’re in an age of media overload

Not only is there more useful information than we know how to handle, but far too much of what we watch, hear and read is mistaken, deceitful, or even dangerous. Yet we all can take control and make media serve us — all of us — by being active consumers and participants.

This course will introduce you to foundational media literacy principles that will help you make sense of the digital media environment.

You’ll learn how:

  • to spot misinformation

  • to assess credible sources and claims

  • to explain how the professional news media operate

  • to use media to participate in your community

Sponsored by

Facebook Journalism Project

Exploring the course concepts

Part One
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Introduction

It’s a messy world of information these days. News Co/Lab Co-founder Dan Gillmor outlines how and why we need to meet this challenge.

Part One
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Here we go!

It’s not just about being better at consuming information. This is about how we need to be active users of media, as consumers and creators, and do that with integrity.

Part One
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Principles for media consumers

Be skeptical. Exercise judgment. Open your mind. Keep asking questions. Learn media techniques.

Part One
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We are all media creators

The tools for creating media have never been so numerous or easy to use. That’s why it’s more important than ever to do it correctly.

Part One
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Sharing with integrity

Sharing is where consuming media overlaps with creating it, and it’s where we can have positive impact by doing it right.

Part One
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A confusing info environment

Never stop asking questions about where information comes from — and why it’s there.

Part One
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Trusted media sources in your community

We suggest a few organizations and people at the local level who are likely to have earned your trust, based on their longstanding practices.

Part Two
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Welcome

We’re going to drill down into the principles we briefly discussed in Part One.

Part Two
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Be skeptical

Even trustworthy media organizations make mistakes, and social media is full of misinformation. So we have to start with skepticism — about everything.

Part Two
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Exercise judgment

While we should be skeptical of everything, we should not be equally skeptical of everything. Judgement can help sort out what’s trustworthy.

Part Two
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Open your mind

We need to read widely, going far outside our cultural and ideological comfort zones. And we need to challenge our own assumptions.

Part Two
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Challenge your own assumptions

A varied media diet is helpful, but it’s not enough. We all need to challenge our own assumptions.

Part Two
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Understand how media works

We’re all media creators. But do you understand how people can use media to inform, influence, and even manipulate us?

Part Two
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Keep asking questions

No single article or video tells the whole story. If you have questions, you may find answers in other coverage.

Part Two
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Slow news

Take a breath and consider a “slow news” approach, both as media consumers and creators.

Part Three
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Welcome

We’re going to drill down into the principles we briefly discussed in Part Two.

Part Three
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We create

We’re all creators! Learn more about the responsibilities and rules you should abide by.

Part Three
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Journalism 101

Even though you aren’t a journalist, these principles are important for all media creators to understand, and, ideally, to practice.

Part Three
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Navigating social media

When was the last time a friend or family member shared a fake story online?

Part Three
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Building a better community

If we’re online, we’re part of online communities. Here’s how we can participate in ways that make our communities better.

Part Three
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Laws and norms

Cyberspace may be a more open information environment than analog media, but laws still apply.

Part Three
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Privacy and security

We have given up an enormous amount of privacy — and security in key ways — for the sake of convenience.

Part Three
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Centralization

Despite the online world’s centralization, you can still have at least some control over your digital lives.

Part Three
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So much more

Being media savvy is an ongoing process. We need everyone’s help in making our information ecosystem a better place for us all.