My Scary Culture (Halloween episode)
During the first week of this module, we studied the blurry line between fiction and fact and all its frightening implications. The manipulation of our minds by using emotional hooks and half truths is in full swing on digital media. I like to think I'm cynical and experienced enough so that I don't fall prey to these goings on. However, I worry about those young people brought up in a different era than me. They didn't have fact checking and the filters in place when exposed to these stories and lies. How can they be expected to distinguish the truth from within the maze?
It is horrifying but not too surprising that towns like Velez, Macedonia exist...churning out fake stories that we jump at like panting dogs after a steak bone. To think that some of the young people there are proud of their work. Yet who can blame them? Within their society, and with limited options, this accomplishment and the money would be hard to turn down. There would invariably be a sense of pride in work well done.
Two things: 1. Why are we so desperate for false information? 2. And how can we help the generations to learn to be critical thinkers?
Suggested solutions: 1. We need to fill in the gaps in our humanity and connection in order to allow us to be less needy and continually searching externally for answers. We need to spend quality time finding new ways to communicate with each other and cross the chasms that we've created with our new digital identities. Storytelling will be a part of this solution.
2. We need to mold our youth into savvy critical thinkers. And we must respond quickly in order to save our own shaky culture that is disappearing. Educators must find ways to teach critical thinking NOW. Make a stab at it even if isn't an ideal method. Time is of the essence if we don't want to continue creating generations of citizens who are unequipped to understand their surroundings. Awareness starts early, so parents will also need to jump on the bandwagon and teach children not only street smarts, but digital smarts.
The second week of the module showed us some powerful positive waves of progress in our digital human connection. Educators across the country seem to be making strides in attempting to educate our students about other cultures across the globe. Using the "story as passport" allowed a group of American students to communicate effectively with counterparts in South Africa. They were able to overcome their previous simple and stereotyped views of one another. These kinds of efforts will go along way to enlighten our population in the long run. Closer to home, UC Boulder also made strides in trying to understand a young Latin populace at home. Although I found the study to be incomplete in its reference to how it affected the youth, it was uplifting to see the effort made.
For me, the most effective media this week was the video "The Danger of a Single Story." The idea of a Single Story being, by its very nature, incomplete never crossed my mind. I will always adopt that lens now of looking for the other stories that should parallel the one I've heard. This has been an important reminder to me to shift my perspective as often as possible. I may not be as savvy and clear headed in my judgement as I thought. Imagine that!
I enjoyed my first challenge using Adobe Spark Page. I reconnected with my brother and family to create my Blast from the Past which is listed here in my last blog.
I helped to host and I presented at a conference at UCCS and then immediately took off to Utah for some training for work which shifted my homework schedule considerably this module. As a result, I didn't get to my daily creates until today!
Thanks to Kelly for the opportunity to get to interact with her. It was fascinating to take this look back to such a well known event and get Kelly's take on something that was history before she was even born compared to one that I knew of since childhood. Her opinions were insightful.
Thank you to my House mate Arielle who I found particularly inspiring in so many of her annotations during this module.