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ERIC Number: EJ980821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1743-9884
Media Representation of the Middle East: Constructive Student Engagement in an Online Environment
Somdahl-Sands, Katrinka; Belbas, Brad
Learning, Media and Technology, v37 n3 p289-302 2012
As educators interested in pedagogical uses of technology, we utilize the internet to improve students' knowledge and awareness of the world beyond our own national borders. Web-based technologies offer us resources for our courses and can play an important role in promoting a more active style of learning from our students. Yet when teaching about politically sensitive topics, or regions of the world that are less well known, we inevitably access information that is unfiltered, out-of-context, inaccurate, or biased. This paper will be an exploration of how we taught students to critically engage with each other and with online media sources through a class blog discussing the violence in Gaza during January of 2009. During the two-week project, the students investigated this new media landscape (from blogs to "YouTube") increasing their levels of techno-literacy by searching beyond their "normal" sources and by recognizing the political bias present in all online venues. Evidence will show how the students went from passive consumers of networked information to active citizen participants as they expressed their opinions, countered each other's sources, and worked out how to fundamentally disagree without losing civility. The paper will detail the pedagogical practices and challenges to creating online spaces for constructive argumentation about highly volatile issues.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Gaza Strip; Israel; Palestine