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Workshop: Best Practices in Propaganda Education

This workshop helps you introduce the Mind Over Media website and curriculum to educators.

Goals of this Session. 
  • Appreciate the need for a major overhaul in teaching people how to critically analyze propaganda
  • Deepen your understanding of new forms of contemporary propaganda 
  • Gain an understanding of some "best practices" for teaching about propaganda 
  • Learn to use Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda and other digital tools to support critical thinking about media
Target Audience: teacher educators, scholars and researchers, government education and culture ministers, non-profit NGO leaders.
Time Needed: 3 hours
Warming Up. Topics for discussion:
  • What is propaganda?
  • Why is it important to critically analyze it?
  • How did you learn about propaganda when you were in school?
  • What's different about propaganda that we experience in the 21st century? 
Free Play. With a partner, explore the Mind Over Media website using the "rate" tool to view and discuss some examples of propaganda. Discuss your interpretations of some examples and be sure to use both the rating and comment tools. With the large group, briefly describe what you looked at and some insights gained from your discussion. 
Model Lesson #1. What is Propaganda? 
Learners examine different definitions of propaganda and explore how to find propaganda in news, advertising, public relations, entertaibment, advocacy and education. After modeling the lesson, we discuss: How would you adapt this lesson to meet the needs of your learners and learning context?  
Review Feaures of the Website. Review the Learn page, the Browse page, the Upload page,. Review the content of Propaganda Techniques and check out the For Teachers page.  
Model Lesson #2. Propaganda Techniques
Learners review four different propaganda techniques and identify which techniques apply.  
Model Lesson #3. Propaganda in Context 
Using the example of a Voice of America video news release, learners use role-playing and research to explore the importance of context in critically analyzing propaganda. Video news release worksheet for learners is here.  
Model Lesson #4. Understanding Viral Media
After learning about virality, learners play "To Share Or Not To Share?" by exploring the Mind Over Media gallery to find examples of propaganda that they would share (or not). We reflect on our reasons for sharing (or not sharing) propaganda with our social networks. 
Model Lesson #5. Understanding Native Advertising
After viewing a short video on sponsored content, learners create a screencast to identify how they experience sponsored content on the different forms of digital and social media they use each day.
Model Lesson #6. Ethics of Propaganda
After viewing, small groups discuss the potential short- and long-term consequences of the message for the filmmaker, the viewers and the larger society.  Example: The Interview
Close Analysis of Propaganda. Use ANT digital video annotation to help students develop comprehension and analysis skills as they respond to video. Example: "The Interview"
Discussion: What are "Best Practices" in Propaganda Education?
Application. How can you adapt these ideas and activities to be relevant to your learners and context?  
More to Learn. How did this experience activate your intellectual curiosity? What more do you want to learn?