Critical Ignoring as a Core Competence for Digital Citizens

I used to spend a lot of time on Twitter. I’ve deleted the app from my phone, and check it a couple times a day from my laptop. I’ve been reading more news and fewer tweets. I followed a Twitter bot that reminds me to go do something else that’s not scrolling slack-jawed through tweets. Low-quality and misleading information online can hijack people’s attention, often by evoking curiosity, outrage, or anger. Resisting certain types of information and actors online requires people to adopt new mental habits that help them avoid being tempted by attention-grabbing and potentially harmful content. We argue…

The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’

The discourse around “learning styles” (the idea that because some students prefer to learn visually, orally, kinesthetically, or through reading/writing, teachers should adapt their lesson plans to meet student preferences) has been useful to me in that it helped me to realize that some methods of instructions that seemed natural to me were actually choices I was making because I was familiar. But students who blame teachers for not respecting their “learning style” aren’t doing their education (or their teachers) any favors. I was introduced to “learning styles” early in my career, by a college administrator who was an evangelist…

Adobe steals your color

What a horrible situation. The Adobe monthly leases are way too expensive for a student paper that only prints a few magazines a term. The software costs more than the printing process, and about the same as the web hosting service. Just not worth the expense. We are making do with free alternatives. For people who work in prepress, a key part of their Adobe tools is integration with Pantone. Pantone is a system for specifying color-matching. A Pantone number corresponds to a specific tint that’s either made by mixing the four standard print colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black,…

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Media Bias Chart version 10 — Left / Center / Right; Fact vs Fabrication; (Ad Fontes Media)

The very useful “media bias chart” is one of several useful ways to classify sources of journalism. While individual items published by any of these sources can vary considerably from the general location depicted in this chart, the takeaway message is that journalism can still be valid and useful even if it has a slant. I make sure to check in regularly with sources above the green line. If I find myself spending a lot of time with the sources in the yellow box, I will hop across the aisle regularly to make sure I understand what credible voices on…