I’m glad to see Tumblr contributing to MESH education with a series on media literacy.
For this reason, I would suggest a renewed focus on MESH education, which stands for Media Literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History. Because if these are not given equal attention, we could end up with incredibly bright and technically proficient people who lack all capacity for democratic citizenship.
The future of the nation and the world depends on an engaged, informed, and critically-thinking population. That means we need more than just STEM, more than technological advances, and more than high standardized test scores. We need MESH and civic competence as well.
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don’t care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives: As Facebook regularly reveals in earnings reports, a US Facebook user is worth about four times a user outside the US. The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of US display advertising – a declining market for American publishers – goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook – and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters.
Since most students engage in television as a cultural medium from an early age, tapping into their broad spectrum of experiences with various shows seems like a really great way to help them wrap their heads around close analysis. To read the mood of a title sequence involves analyzing the subtle interplay of music and imagery and light and color and all sorts of other things that I know kids notice because we talk about them all the time during our film analysis activities. Recognizing mood is such a useful skill for SO many types and genres of media that finding inviting, accessible ways to encourage kids to practice it is really important to my classroom.