David Warlick Ryann Warlick Martin Warlick
Shakabuku Infographics Video

Trust, Media & Democracy Survey

Critical Media Consumers
Graph 1

I recently ran across a Gallup/Knight Foundation survey entitled American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy.  The poll of more than 19,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older attempts to measure how our changing information landscape has affected media trust in the U.S. and made it harder for the news media to fulfill their democratic responsibilities.  It is important to note that Trust, Media and Democracy was a nationally representative mail survey.  So a back-of-your-mind question should be, “Who took the trouble to share their views by mail?”

That said, a couple of things especially caught my attention.  First, it seems that younger respondents were more likely to consider the intentional spread of inaccurate information over the Internet and bias in the media to be a “Major Problem.”  See graph 1.

It leads me to wonder if we (educators) did a better job than we thought, over the past 10 to 15 years, of teaching our students to be critical media consumers.  Or perhaps it’s a result of a generation who is, unquestionably, more net-savvy than their elder.  Regardless, we have more work to do.

Fake News
Graph 2
What disturbs me is how many people do not really know what “Fake News” is.  Wikipedia defines it as

..a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines.. (Wikipedia)

That pretty much aligns with my own understanding of “Fake News.” Yet 20% of Democrats believe that an accurate news story that casts a politician or political group in a negative light is “Fake News.” The percent is higher for Independents and Republicans. See graph 2

Fake News
Graph 3

This one surprised me, that the more conservative a person is, the more likely they are to consider “Fake News” to be a serious threat to democracy. See graph 3 and please explain this to me.

There is much more available through the PDF report, which you can download at: https://goo.gl/emk1EM

I created the graphs from the survey data using Create a Graph from the Department of Education web site.

Education Blogger Survey

I learned, via Hack Education, about a survey from the Institute of Educational Technology (The Open University). Announced by Alice Bell in her blog, the study is based on work they did last year exploring brain bloggers (early data).

Go here to get and complete the survey, and do it now – because today’s the deadline.

Here are my answers…

Blog URL: http://davidwarlick.com/2cents or http://blog.idave.us

What do you blog about?

Teaching and learning, and how their practice and purpose have evolved as a result of contemporary and emerging information and communication technologies and more specifically the effects of these technologies on the nature of information and literacy.

Are you paid to blog?

No!

What do you do professionally (other than blog)?

I usually describe myself as an author, programmer, public speaker, entrepreneur and 35 year educator. My income comes mostly from book sales, public speaking and ad revenue from one of my web sites.  I am currently in the “slowly retiring” phase of my career.

How long have you been blogging at this site?

Since November of 2004

Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)

I have written four books, three of them self-published (Lulu) and one via a traditional publisher. I’ve also written chapters for other books, most recently the foreword for What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media, (2011) by Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann. I have also written numerous magazine articles, but not in a long time. If asked to write one today, I would probably decline. It makes little sense, today, to carefully write a timely piece, only to have it published 9 months later.

Can you remember why you started blogging?

Initially (2004), I started blogging because it seemed the thing for a progressive and tech-savvy educator to be doing, sharing my knowledge with my readership. However, I very quickly realized that blogging was really a conversation, between the bloggers I read, what I wrote, the commenters who read and wrote on my blog site, and the bloggers who reflected on my ideas. Blogging is a learning experience for me. I blog to learn.

I learn because blogging requires me to organize and refine my own ideas. I also learn from the commenters and response blog posts.

What keeps you blogging?

To continue to learn.

Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?

I suspect that I have a fairly large audience, but only from the personal contacts I have with educators at conferences and also from the almost daily requests I receive from PR firms asking me to blog about their clients. I do have 15.7K followers on Twitter.

What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?

I deeply appreciate comments and have never deleted a comment (to my knowledge) unless it was obviously spam. I learn from commenters, and that is often especially true from comments that disagree with what I have written. The number of comments has declined, since much of that conversation has moved to Twitter. This disappoints me, since 140 characters is often not enough space to deeply explore any issue about education.

Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology)

Yes, though this was probably more true before so many edubloggers started moving to Twitter as their primary means of engaging the community. But I suspect that I would be part of the edtech blogger community, though I rarely write specifically about technology.

If so, what does that community give you?

What I learn from this community, which spans the blogosphere, twitterverse and F2F connections at conferences.  I learn about new technologies and applications. But more importantly, I learn new stories and new language for talking about retooling classrooms.

What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?

This is easy. The advantage is the space to more deeply examine issues of contemporary teaching and learning practices. The disadvantage is the space required to deeply examine issues. Busy educators have little time to read. It’s why Twitter and status updates have become so prominant in the education and edtech conversation. The key is learning to link the two together.

But in a broader sense, blogging empowers us to share, engage and build new knowledge.

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)

Yes, though people who do not already know that I am a blogger, probably do not know what a blogger is.

Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

There may not be a direct correlation, but invitations for public speaking engagements dramatically increased when I started blogging – which was good since my children were starting college at that time.


Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
• Amazon
Raw Materials for the Mind
(2005)

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