8 Advocating Digital Citizenship and Common Core, librarians should update the traditional way that me- dia literacy is taught. You may remember learning about the 5Ws—Who, What Where, When, and Why—for evaluating information. Perhaps you were given an article and then asked to fill out a worksheet, or the teacher asked the class to identify what was being said and why. These 5Ws are important they ground the student in a process of inquiry and educate on how to be skeptical of media. Librarians, teachers, and media specialists should update how they teach the 5Ws. Trends in technology have outpaced instructional trends (Rogers- Whitehead, 2020). How we find information has changed over the last gen- eration. Here are some suggestions to adapt the 5Ws for the 21st century and under the subject of digital citizenship. Who? During the 2020 presidential election, researchers from Carn- egie Mellon University found about two times as much bot activity as human activity online. From their research, they discovered that from January 2020 through the election “82 percent of the top 50 influential retweeters are bots.” These bots were 20 percent of all tweets involving political conspiracy theories like QAnon (Metz, 2020). As Twitter and other social media platforms crack down on these bots or automated software, the accounts become more sophisticated and harder to detect. When instructing on the Who of a media source, librarians should real- ize that “Who” is not necessarily an actual person. What? Social media algorithms are driven by engagement, not reality. This means posts and comments that drive emotions filter up to the top of feeds and are more widely shared. With this controversial algo- rithmic reality, a crucial part of media literacy is evaluating not other media, but ourselves. Users should be more aware of their emotional responses to the media. Where? As discussed before, finding information on a smart speaker is different than on a search engine. Mobile devices also change our search and reading habits. The smaller screen makes it harder to dive into deeper content, and people on mobile devices are more likely to use the voice assistants and the smart searching enabled there. The “Where” can also be the browser used. A browser that tracks searches and uses cookies may bring back different results than a private browser. When? Journalists and media outlets are pressured more than ever be- fore to churn out stories fast. The 24/7 newsroom and people’s appetite for information make speed sometimes more of a priority than accu- racy. Sometimes misinformation spreads from the first media outlet out of the gate, missing a fact—and that falsehood rapidly spreads from
Previous Page Next Page