FETC 2018 Preview: Weird Enough Productions Teaches Media Literacy and Responsibility With Super Heroes
This is not fake news. Parents today have about zero control over the media that their kids will consume. Parents of the 80’s and 90’s tried to make sure their kids didn’t eat too much soda or waste their time watching horror movies or cartoons. Today, parents have little to no control over what their kids watch on tv, in class, on their smartphones or their iPads.
Filter systems, like Blocksi, are nice, but at the end of the day if a kid wants to see some kind of content, they’re going to find a way to see the content. Back in the day if my dad thought me and my 6th grade friends were getting into his stash of Playboy magazines, he was probably right, but he would just move them to another location. Today, if one parent blocks content from their kids phone or device, they will see it somewhere else.
While kids can consume any content they want, only a handful will actually go check out “the bad stuff”, what’s really happening here is an entire new wave of freedom. Kids are able to start forming their own opinions much earlier in life by taking in their own content and media and forming their own opinions, outside of what their parents beliefs may be. This can be the most empowering tool in the universe.
We talk about technology and generations here on nibletz.com a lot. While we were covering EDUCAUSE, the largest higher ed conference in the United States, it was always important to bring up that college freshmen in 2017 were the first generation of college students to live in a time that has always had Google. Let that sink in.
Well on the other hand, today’s K-12 students are the first generation of kids that grew up with devices in their hands. Various research institutions, including Pew, have revealed that parents are putting devices in the hands of kids as young as three years old.
So here’s some more not fake news, those parents, that put devices in three year old hands, at the same time annihilated the helicopter parent. When this generation of kids, goes off to college, they will have done all the research, all the applications, and all the opinion forming, on their own. Parents created this.
This powerful tool, in the hands of all K-12 students today, needs Jedi Knight training. Well, I guess not Jedi Knight training, but training support from a group of super heroes, developed by Weird Enough Productions, an edtech and media literacy startup out of Atlanta.
Weird Enough, of WE for short, has created an engaging digital curriculum that will teach students the fundamentals of media literacy and how train them to use this very powerful tool. WE wants kids to be able to make their own strong opinions about the content they consume so they can make better decisions, and participate in more important conversations. They want to teach kids at a young age, how media affects not just them, but the people around them.
The Weird Enough curriculum is appropriately called Get Media L.I.T., if you’re not familiar with the term Lit, you’re already behind.
Get Media L.I.T. uses videos, comics and super heroes to teach middle and high school students the fundamentals of media literacy, how to deconstruct the media and find what’s true, and how to use that knowledge and information to become stronger young people.
The Get Media L.I.T curriculum focuses on five main core objectives:
- Core Skill 1: All Media Is Constructed
- Core Skill 2: Media Uses Influence To Gain Money or Power
- Core Skill 3: Media Effects The Way You See The World
- Core Skill 4: All Media Is Biased Based On The Intentions Of The Creator
- Core Skill 5: You Have The Power To Control How Media Affects You
Also along the way students will learn how to combat fake news, debunk stereotypes and identify media bias. They’ll also be able to understand gender and race misrepresentations.
As someone who has built their career and several very successful businesses in online media, I fully, wholeheartedly endorse every single aspect of what Weird Enough is doing, and at the time this article was written I have never even spoken with them.
This curriculum is one of the most important things that students in middle and high schools need. Developing these skills at a young age is going to make these students more acutely aware of the media in their surroundings and help them make important decisions and create their own important opinions about the media they consume.
You need to make time to stop by and speak with Weird Enough at FETC 2018 in Orlando Florida, January 23-28th, booth #2011L and find out more online at weirdenoughproductions.com