Digital literacy is different from print literacy. How do we balance the trade-off?

My job includes teaching students to read long, complex texts (novels, play scripts, and academic texts.) My job also includes asking students to write researched essays that are longer documents than many of them at first seem comfortable reading. Years after they graduate, students often thank me for what I’ve taught them, and say the effort was all worth it. Buoyed by that feedback, it would be an easy thing for…

Screen shot of a Globe and Mail news article that uses an anonymous source, with an expandable inline explanation of how and why journalists use anonymous sources.

Canada’s Globe and Mail Uses Expandable Inline Meta-articles to Explain Its Coverage

Journalism matters. Educated citizens who understand and appreciate the role of the free press in a democracy are a threat to authoritarian figures who benefit by sowing mistrust. It’s perfectly reasonable to point out errors and bias in specific news stories. (News organizations love reporting about when their competitors get a story wrong, and journalists are regularly disciplined or ousted for egregious mistakes.)  It’s hardly constructive to use the errors…

Facebook Axes “Trending” Sidebar

Facebook is discontinuing the “trending” list. After the employees hired by Facebook to curate the trending news items were found to bury news they didn’t like, Facebook fired them all and tried to automate the process. If it matters to you whether their bias was liberal or conservative you can look it up, but my point is that a social media feed that adapts itself based on what you say…

America’s Real Digital Divide

If you think middle-class children are being harmed by too much screen time, just consider how much greater the damage is to minority and disadvantaged kids, who spend much more time in front of screens. |  According to a 2011 study by researchers at Northwestern University, minority children watch 50 percent more TV than their white peers, and they use computers for up to one and a half hours longer…