Media literacy scholar Julie Smith estimates that the average American spends more than fifteen hours every day listening, reading, clicking, sharing, and viewing media. In these times, it feels increasingly urgent for all of us–as citizens, workers, and humans–to gain the skills needed to make sure that time is well spent.

This workshop will cover:
-“Fake news”– what it is, where it comes from, why we fall for it
-“Baloney detection”–rules of thumb for critical reading from Carl Sagan, Daniel Kahneman, and more
-Tips, habits and tools for constructing a healthier, more balanced media diet
-How to engage on social media while avoiding anxiety, rage and/or depression
-What media makers can do to combat truthiness

Suggested: bring a list of the last five articles, videos, etc, you have shared online, and a list of your top browser tabs or sites visited daily for news, media, and information.

Anya Kamenetz is the lead digital education correspondent for NPR. Her team’s blog is at She was formerly on staff at Fast Company magazine, has a syndicated personal finance newspaper column, and has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Yahoo News, Slate, Vice News, and many other outlets. Anya is the author of several books about education and technology. Her forthcoming book, Digital Parenting In The Real World, (PublicAffairs, 2017), is the essential, don’t-panic guide to kids, parents, and screens.

Lisa Tagliaferri is a researcher, developer, and educator. Her digital humanities dissertation, Lyrical Mysticism: The Writing and Reception of Catherine of Siena explores issues of language, authority, transmission, and reception. This project uses network analysis and visualization, topic modeling, and text mining to better understand Catherine of Siena’s literary contributions. Lisa studies digital pedagogy. She is building out a free Creative Commons-licensed Python software development curriculum. You can read her tutorials, based on student-centered pedagogy and informed by the open web for free online.