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💬 THINK: “I get all my news on TikTok.”
If you haven't heard this before, get ready.
First things first!
If you haven’t read this month’s TEACH section, go do that now. No, really. Would Dr. Ken steer you wrong?
“I get all my news on TikTok.”
For Gen Z, TikTok is more than entertainment. It's a search engine. And Instagram, too (or IG, as the kiddos say).
The question is, why are they turning to TikTok for news? We could go down the list of topics we’ve discussed regularly in Fact vs. Fiction, Developing Digital Detectives, and this newsletter. Here are some of the low hanging (yet still rarely being taught in schools) reasons for its popularity with your students:
Mobile devices are frequently (7-9 hours a day outside of school) in their hands
TikTok’s interface is made for engagement
They get to follow who they “like.”
The algorithm gives them the content, and it's personalized to them. Hand-delivered with little to no work (aka searching for news via a search engine.)
It’s the “cool’ “lit” “fire” app right now. Everyone’s doing it! Filter bubble alert - they perceive their parents are not in the space.
While there is a lot to unpack here for this month's ‘Back to School’ Edition, we’d like to use the “Think“ portion to zero in on an underlining reason for social media's (TikTok example above) rise in the news game. The bottom line is it's our desire to have information delivered to us versus having to work for it - pay for journalism, go to the newsstand, search the internet, curate fact vs. fiction, etc.
As we go back to school (aka hard work) and start putting our students front and center, think about their initial reaction to consuming and sharing news. Or perhaps even media literacy in general.
Are they gravitating to the “Hard Work” discipline necessary for a better community, or the “Easy Work” driven by triggered emotions?
(For reference see Vala Afshar’s tweet below.)
Action: Back to School THINK Prompt
In the thread responding to Vala’s tweet, the question was asked,
“Is there anything that anybody would add to the hard work side?”
One suggestion @cg_lesfer was to add “acknowledge” to the hard work list and "disregard" to the easy work list.
What are your suggestions?
Please contribute to this THINK prompt in one of the two spaces mentioned in the TEACH August Back To School newsletter post:
Twitter by using the hashtag #DigitalDetectiveSquad, or
‘From The Mixed Up Files of Dr. Ken Bort Ph.D.’ Back To School Edition Padlet for the #DigitalDetectiveSquad.