(Photo via twitter.com/PhillyCAM)
As much as PhillyCAM’s mission is about making media accessible and celebrating the power of that media, the nonprofit has also always been committed to educating young and old on how to critically examine all of the above.
Now, PhillyCAM wants to help its community members teach key media literacy concepts — media ownership, media bias, media rights, etc. — to others.
The first iteration of PhillyCAM’s Digital Media Literacy Academy is a five-month fellowship running from this January to May where participants will learn about media literacy concepts and then take part in creating instructional videos that will help others understand what they’ve learned. Participants can bring their completed projects out to teach-in workshops throughout the city.
Laura Deutch, director of education and production at PhillyCAM, said the idea for this program came out of the Digital Literacy Alliance’s call earlier this year for programs that would help lessen the digital divide. PhillyCAM won a $15,000 grant from the alliance, out of a total of $850,000 given to eight orgs.
“People are learning to use the tools, but are not necessarily considering all of the ramifications of working in a digital environment,” Deutch said via email. “We are interested in building critical thinking skills, to build a foundation for thoughtful media producers and consumers.”
If you’re interested, you’ve got until Dec. 15 to apply. PhillyCAM is specifically interested in folks who are involved in the kinds of communities who often struggle the most when it comes to digital literacy: seniors, low-income residents, formerly incarcerated individuals and immigrants, Deutch said.
Now might be a better time than any to start thinking about public access as the Federal Communications Commission makes its decision mid-December concerning net neutrality, a topic Deutch gave as an example of the kind of important topic more people should be knowledgeable about.
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“Many people see the Internet as this endless pool of information and content, but are not as aware of the structures behind the scenes which collect data and information about users, direct attention through algorithms to certain types of content and not to other types, etc.,” she said.
Media Mobilizing Project ED Bryan Mercer told our sister site Technical.ly Philly how net neutrality, specifically, affects low-income citizens and people of color:
“As we mobilize to transform public education, criminal justice, and to get access to desperately needed jobs, healthcare, and housing, we urgently need a free and open internet to get our voices out past the big companies who want only to profit from our human right to communicate.”-30-
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