RESPOND TO ISSUES YOU CARE ABOUT,
EXTEND YOUR DEFINITION OF CIVIC ACTION
IN THE DIGITAL AGE
How do we determine a course of action using social media?
Activity 1: Thinking Through the “By Any Media” Approach
Ask your students to consider the following perspective from Tani Ikeda, the founder of ImMEDIAte Justice, expressed during a webinar on storytelling and digital civics that the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics Project organized in 2014. Ikeda said:
So if you have a camera, use that to tell your story. If you don’t have that, if you’ve got a pen
and a pad, write your story. If you don’t have that, you can literally speak your story.… It is something we always talk about because constantly, constantly, there’s a lack of resources
in our communities, so it is really about figuring out how to tell our own stories by any
Building on Ikeda’s observations, ask students to make a list of all the media platforms they currently use. Have them fill out the following table to determine how they might work through “any media” available to them.
Click here to download this exercise as a PDF.
Once the students fill out the table, have them compare their results with 1-2 other classmates:
Do we have access to similar communities? Why or why not?
How are our communities different?
Once students have compared their results with another classmate, bring the class together and ask students to share a few examples of what they had in common with their classmates and what was distinct from their peers.
Now invite students to explore how they might use different media platforms and technologies to take action in the world. To get them motivated, use or adapt the following scenario to include an issue that is of concern to some or most of your students:
Imagine you wanted to launch a campaign to promote wider use of recycling bins in your community [OR advocate for meaningful town- or city-wide summer jobs for youth OR <use example aligned to student interests>].
Consider how you might use “any media necessary” to take action on behalf of this cause.
First, make a list of all the different individuals and communities you will need to mobilize or advocate to in order to make change.
Then write a proposal describing how you might use different offline and online media and specific strategies to raise awareness about the issue, get people involved, and advocate for change.