technology, education, digital media, misinformation, election
Photo credit: Teaching and Learning with Technology / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Digital Media Literacy: Can the Republic Survive an Algorithm? (Maria)

The authors write, “Shawn Lee, a high school social studies teacher in Seattle, wants to see lessons on [the] internet akin to a kind of 21st century driver’s education, an essential for modern life. Lee has tried to bring that kind of education into his classroom with lessons about the need to double-check online sources, to diversify newsfeeds and to bring critical thinking to the web. He’s also created an organization for other teachers to share resources. ‘This technology is so new that no one taught us how to use it,’ Lee said. ‘People are like, “There’s nothing we can do.” … I disagree with that. I would like to think the republic can survive an algorithm.’ Lee’s efforts are part of a growing movement of educators and misinformation researchers working to offset an explosion of online misinformation.”

A Four-Decade Secret: One Man’s Story of Sabotaging Carter’s Re-election (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “It has been more than four decades, but Ben Barnes said he remembers it vividly. His longtime political mentor invited him on a mission to the Middle East. What Mr. Barnes said he did not realize until later was the real purpose of the mission: to sabotage the re-election campaign of the president of the United States. It was 1980 and Jimmy Carter was in the White House, bedeviled by a hostage crisis in Iran that had paralyzed his presidency and hampered his effort to win a second term. Mr. Carter’s best chance for victory was to free the 52 Americans held captive before Election Day. That was something that Mr. Barnes said his mentor was determined to prevent.”

Florida Reporter Fired After Calling News Release on DeSantis Event ‘Propaganda’ (Russ)

The authors write, “An Axios reporter in Tampa said he was fired … after he responded to a Florida Department of Education email about an event featuring Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling the news release ‘propaganda.’ Ben Montgomery said he received a call on [last] Monday evening from Jamie Stockwell, executive editor of Axios Local, who asked Montgomery to confirm he sent the email before saying the reporter’s ‘reputation in the Tampa Bay area’ had been ‘irreparably tarnished.’”

Newsom Announces Norway-Inspired Plans to Transform San Quentin (Dana)

The author writes, “California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has announced a plan inspired by Norway’s system of prisons to transform the state’s San Quentin prison into a rehabilitation facility for prisoners. The California governor’s office said in a tweet that the state is transforming its most notorious prison to the ‘most innovative rehabilitation facility’ in the country. San Quentin houses the country’s highest number of people on death row, but it is being ‘repurposed’ for rehabilitating inmates, educating them and breaking ‘cycles of crime.’” 

Colorado Lawmakers Seek Suspension of Utah Oil Train Project (Laura)

From Colorado Newsline: “U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado on Monday wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to formally suspend federal authorization of a Utah rail project that will send up to five, two-mile-long oil trains a day along the Colorado River, under the Continental Divide at Winter Park, and through downtown Denver. Citing ‘ongoing concerns about the risks to Colorado’s communities, water, land, air, and climate from the Uinta Basin Railway Project,’ Bennet and Neguse noted the U.S. Forest Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, has yet to issue a special use authorization for construction of the 88-mile railway that would run through the Ashley National Forest in Utah and connect the oil fields in the northeastern part of that state to the nation’s main rail network.”

The Filthy Truth About Your Tap Water (Reader Jim)

From Wired: “Following years of concern, the US Environmental Protection Agency moved this week to clean up drinking water, announcing the nation’s first standards for six ‘forever chemicals’ found in tap water. It’s a foreboding and informal name for human-made chemicals that coat nonstick pans, food packaging, and waterproof clothes before ending up in the water you drink. … If the EPA rule is finalized, public water companies will need to monitor for the chemicals and keep two widely studied ones, PFOA and PFOS, below levels of 4 parts per trillion — around the lowest threshold measurable. The rule will also regulate combined amounts of four other types of PFAS chemicals.”

There’s No Planet B (Sean)

From Aeon: “Given all our technological advances, it’s tempting to believe we are approaching an age of interplanetary colonization. But can we really leave Earth and all our worries behind? No.”


Comments are closed.