Recognizing and Confronting Antisemitism
Behind the Lies of Holocaust Denial - Deborah Lipstadt TED talk
ADL Antisemitic stereotypes persist in America
ISD Global: Rise of Antisemitism during the pandemic
Ex-neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini: "The words I used to say are now part of the mainstream"
Truah: A Very Brief Guide to Antisemitism
ADL: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Mother Jones: Inside the radical uncomfortable movement to deradicalize
Breaking Hate: Supporting kids to push back against white nationalism
ADL How to support kids to push back against white nationalism
What I learned from friendship with a former white supremacist
Freedom of Religion
FACT CHECKING WEBSITES
KNOW YOUR SOURCE - Media Bias Ratings
FURTHER READING FOR STUDENTS
True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News by Cindy L. Otis. A former CIA analyst unveils the true history of fake news and gives readers tips on how to avoid falling victim to it in this informative YA nonfiction title.
Clearing the Confusion: AI vs. Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning This is an easy-to-understand explanation of the difference between these terms.
Using AI Networks to create avatars of fake people Is that account you’re following on social media a real person?
Right Wing Media Outlets duped by Middle East Propaganda Campaign (Daily Beast) Some of the accounts in this propaganda network used AI generated avatars.
Deep Voice Software can clone anyone’s voice with just 3.7 seconds of audio This is faster than similar programs such as Lyrebird and Adobe VoCo.
Simple out-of-context photos can spread misinformation (Neiman Labs) We don’t need deepfakes to create confusion.
Deepfaking photos of the Earth has the potential for serious military consequences
Deepfakes and the New AI-Generated Fake Media Creation-Detection Arms Race Manipulated videos are getting more sophisticated all the time—but so are the techniques that can identify them
NEWS LITERACY PROJECT a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, empowers educators to teach students the skills they need to be smart, active consumers of news and other information and engaged, informed participants in civic life.
MEDIA MANIPULATION.ORG from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard. The Media Manipulation Casebook is a research platform that advances knowledge of misinformation and disinformation and their threats to democracy, public health, and security. The Casebook is a new resource for building the field of Critical Internet Studies by equipping researchers with case studies, theory, methods, and frameworks to analyze the interplay of media ecosystems, technology, politics, and society.
NAMLE: National Association of Media Literacy Educators non-profit organization dedicated to advancing media literacy education
CENTER FOR MEDIA LITERACY an educational organization that provides leadership, public education, professional development and evidence-based educational resources nationally and internationally.
CLOSE READING THE MEDIA by Frank Baker offers great material on the MiddleWeb site.
MEDIA LITERACY NOW Advocacy organization for Media Literacy legislation on the state level.
FACT vs. FICTION - Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgens is a great resource for educators
SPOT THE TROLL - Test your ability to spot fake profiles
Students’ Civic Online Reasoning: A National Portrait: A disturbing study from Stanford that shows how much work we have to do.
From the abstract:
Students displayed a troubling tendency to accept websites at face value. Ninety-six percent failed to consider why ties between a climate change website and the fossil fuel industry might lessen that website’s credibility. Instead of investigating who was behind the site, students focused on superficial markers of credibility: the site’s aesthetics, its top-level domain, or how it portrayed itself on the About page.
Nearly all students floundered. Ninety percent received no credit on four of six tasks.
Reliable information is to civic health what proper sanitation and potable water are to public health. A polluted information supply imperils our nation’s civic health. We need high-quality digital literacy curricula, validated by rigorous research, to guarantee the vitality of American democracy.
Education moves slowly. Technology doesn’t. If we don’t act with urgency, our students’ ability to engage in civic life will be the casualty.
The spread of true and false news online A study that backs up Jonathan Swift’s observation in 1710: "Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.” With social media, falsehoods fly even faster, to a wider audience.
From the abstract:
False news reached more people than the truth; the top 1% of false news cascades diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people, whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people. Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth. The degree of novelty and the emotional reactions of recipients may be responsible for the differences observed.
From the abstract:
This study examines the effectiveness of deploying news literacy (NL) messages on social media by testing whether NL tweets are able to affect perceptions of information credibility and NL beliefs. Using two experiments, this study tests NL tweets designed to (a) mitigate the impact of exposure to misinformation about two health issues (genetically modified foods and the flu vaccine) and (b) boost people's perceptions of their own media literacy and media literacy's value to society broadly. Findings suggest that NL messages are able to alter misinformation perceptions and NL beliefs, but not with a single message, suggesting the need to develop tailored and targeted NL campaigns that feature multiple messages and calls to action
Millennials at the back gates: how young adults’ digital news practices present a new media logic for news gathering and gatekeeping as user-oriented activities in a participatory news ecosystem. See extremely disturbing quote from study below.
From the study: (my bolding)
A surprising majority of informants (96%) also indicate that when they see a news item on social media they almost invariably refer it to a Google search to see if other items appear, which seems to confirm and authenticate news information to this study’s cohort, even without checking to see if the other links or articles found come from credible or reliable news sources. To them, the simple fact that other articles are being shown on a Google search result list provides a certain level of confirmation and legitimacy, making Google’s search engine itself a primary news authenticator.
From the abstract:
Despite the pervasiveness of digital disinformation in society, little is known about the individual characteristics that make some users more susceptible to erroneous information uptake than others, effectively dividing the media audience into prone and resistant groups. This study identifies and tests procedural news knowledge as a consequential civic resource with the capacity to inoculate audiences from disinformation and close this“resistancegap.”
From the abstract:
Findings reveal that students were more likely to leave the presented webpages and investigate the sources before making a credibility judgment after the curricular intervention. Furthermore, after the intervention students were more likely to prefer a more credible source of information over a less credible source when the two sources were presented. However, few students improved in their ability to assess a single deceptive website, despite applying several of the strategies taught in the intervention. We conclude that strategy-and skills-based information literacy instruction holds promise but must be paired with foundational knowledge about how the internet is structured and the kinds of online source
- Cyberbullying Research Center
- Megan Meier Foundation | Bullying and Cyberbully Prevention
- A THIN LINE, MTV's sexting, cyberbullying, digital dating abuse campaign : www.athinline.org
- Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
- NoBullying|Bullying & Cyber Bullying Resources & Advice
- Help Stop Bullying and Cyberbullying | STOMP Out Bullying™
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Amanda Todd Legacy (Official website) | #amandatoddlegacy
Peer victimization in children and adolescents is associated with higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (JAMA Pediatrics, 2014).
Cyberbullying was strongly related to suicidal ideation in comparison with traditional bullying (JAMA Pediatrics, 2014).
Cyberbullying has negative effects on victims, such as lowering self-esteem, increasing depression and producing feelings of powerlessness (Anderson, 2014).
About 21% of teens have been cyberbullied and about 15% admitted to cyberbullying others at some point in their lifetimes. (Patchin & Hindjua 2013)
All info below from Pew Internet Study:
How American teens navigate the new world of digital citizenship (Lenhart, Madden, et al 2011) 88% of social media-using teens have witnessed other people be mean or cruel on social network sites.
• Among social media users, 88% of teens have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social network site. Asked, “When you’re on a social networking site, how often do you see people being mean or cruel?,” teens who use social network sites say the following about how frequently they witnessed such behavior:
• 12% say they witnessed cruel behavior “frequently.”
• 29% say they saw meanness on social network sites “sometimes.”
• 47% say they saw such behavior “only once in a while.”
• 25% of social media teens have had an experience on a social network site that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone.
• 22% have had an experience that ended their friendship with someone.
• 13% have had an experience that caused a problem with their parents.
• 13% have felt nervous about going to school the next day.
• 8% have gotten into a physical fight with someone else because of something that happened on a social network site.
• 6% have gotten in trouble at school because of an experience on a social network site.
Social media-using teens who have witnessed online cruelty say that people most often appear to ignore the situation, with a slightly smaller number of teens saying they also see others defending someone and telling others to stop their cruel behavior.
• 95% of social media-using teens who have witnessed cruel behavior on the sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior; 55% witness this frequently.
• 84% have seen people defend the person being harassed, with 27% seeing this frequently.
• 84% have seen others tell someone to stop; 20% report seeing this frequently.
A majority of teens say their own reaction has been to ignore mean behavior when they see it on social media.
When asked about their own behavior, social media-using teens are most likely to say they ignore the behavior themselves, though others defend the victim and tell people to stop.
• 90% of social media-using teens who have witnessed online cruelty say they have ignored mean behavior on social media, and more than a third (35%) have done this frequently.
• 80% say they have defended the victim; 25% have done so frequently.
• 79% have told the other person to stop being mean and cruel; 20% have done so frequently
For general advice and influence, parents are still the top source for teen internet and cell phone users. However, teens receive advice from a wide array of sources.
• 86% of online and cell phone-using teens say they have received general advice about how to use the internet responsibly and safely from their parents.
• 70% of online and cell-using teens say they have gotten advice about internet safety from teachers or another adult at school.
• 45% have received advice from friends or classmates, 45% have received general advice from an older relative, and 46% have received internet safety advice from a brother, sister, or cousin.
• 58% of teen internet and cell phone users say their parents have been the biggest influence on what they think is appropriate or inappropriate when using the internet or a cell phone.
• 18% of teens say their friends have been their biggest influence on appropriate internet or cell phone behavior.
• 8% say “no one” has influenced them.
CLICK HERE FOR ONE PAGE PDF WITH INFORMATION ON CYBERBULLYING AND BACKLASH FROM SCHOLASTIC PRESS
Here's a list of books that I found helpful in terms of understanding the causes of eating disorders and learning to overcoming them:
The Body Project - An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg. I found this book particularly fascinating because it traces the changes in emphasis from developing a girl's character to her looks over the last century. I would read this book in a mother-daughter book club with my daughter at some point. There's so much for discussion.
The Body Betrayed - A Deeper Understanding of Women, Eating Disorders, and Treatment by Kathryn J. Zerbe, MD
The Disappearing Girl - Learning the Language of Teenage Depression by Dr Lisa Machoian
The Secret Language of Eating Disorders - by Peggy Claude-Pierre
Here's a basic character worksheet I created for my creative writing workshop
THE CRAFT OF WRITING
The Highlights Foundation has an amazing archive of talks given at their annual Chautauqua conference. You can search by topic or author or year of the conference.
Great post from author Jenny Crusie on Pacing, using a clothesline analogy
If you want to write for children or teens you should definitely join the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Here are some other useful sites:
Cynthia Leitich Smith - Cynthia's site is packed with fantastic information, author and editor interviews, you name it!
FOR TEENS WHO WRITE:
FIGMENT - a writing community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors.
Teen Ink - an e-zine written for teens by teens. It also has a section listing writing contests you can enter.
YARN (Young Adult Review Network) is a new website that features fiction, essays, poetry and reviews for young adults.
Medallion Press has launched the Ya-Ya imprint, which stands for “Young Adults writing for Young Adults.” It will showcase aspiring authors ages thirteen to eighteen. This line will be comprised of a variety of fiction genres to be released in print and e-book formats. Click on the link for their submission guidelines.
David Barr Kirtley's Website has information about Science Fiction and Fantasy writing contests
Merlyn’s Pen– Fiction, Essays and Poems from America’s teens.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have launched many famous writers
FOR PRE-TEENS WHO WRITE
Stone Soup - publishes stories and art from kids up to the age of 13.
1) READ! READ! and then go READ some more! The best writers I know are also phenomenal readers. I also listen to books on tape when I go on long car trips with my kids. I thought Harry Potter was brilliant when I read it, but listening to Stephen Fry read it (we got the English version) I was even more impressed by JK Rowling's imagination and her skill with words. Same with "Double Fudge" by Judy Blume - one of our family favorites. We listened to it on the way down to Washington, D.C. so of course we had to visit the U.S. Mint! ("Money, Money, Money, I love Money Money Money")
2) Take lots of showers. My characters always seem to talk to me when I'm in the shower. (One of the things I like about being a writer is that when I tell my agent that my characters are talking to me in the shower, she says, "Great!" instead of putting me in a straightjacket and shipping me off to the funny farm.) Not sure if it's the running water that makes them so chatty. But I always seem to get snippets of dialog when I'm in the shower. Problem is, I can't take a notebook and pen in with me, so I have to remember to write things down when I get out.
3) Can't think about what to write about? Use your own feelings and experiences. A lot of the things Jussy feels and thinks about in "Confessions of A Closet Catholic" are things that I was grappling with in middle and high school. The circumstances might be different, but the feelings are the same. And I have to confess - the obsession with chocolate is very autobiographical...I come from a long line of chocoholics!
4) Get to know your character. What do does he/she like and dislike? What does your character want the most in the world? And what is stopping him or her from getting it? You might not use every little detail when you write, but it helps to know about your character before you start. Even so, you'll be surprised where your characters lead you by the time you finish!
5) Write a little bit EVERY DAY! Set yourself an achievable daily word count and try to stick to it. Writing every day helps to keep your characters' voices chattering away in your head. If you ignore them for too long they tend to get all huffy and stop speaking to you - at least that's the case with my characters. They're a temperamental lot.
I like to collect quotes about writing and the writing life. Please e-mail me any good ones you find.
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing. ~Cormac McCarthy
An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations. - Charles de Montesquieu
There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard
Until we invent telepathy, books are our best choice for understanding the rest of humanity. - Christopher Paolini
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ~Vita Sackville-West
Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener
The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. ~Orson Scott Card
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov
I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries
Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. ~Hannah Arendt
Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron
Writing is a struggle against silence. ~Carlos Fuentes
The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie
Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake. ~E.L. Doctorow
As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall. ~Virginia Woolf
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. ~Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 19 August 1851
It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis
Writing is both mask and unveiling. ~E.B. White
Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's life. ~James Norman Hall
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947
You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected passages from the best writers in the world. ~G.K. Chesterton
The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958
Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. ~George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947
The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new. ~Samuel Johnson
The best style is the style you don't notice. ~Somerset Maugham
Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible. ~Leo Tolstoy
Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will. ~Goethe
#Freedom to Read Resources
There’s a coordinated, well-funded effort in the United States to ban any books that elevate the voices of minority communities.
Students of history know that this never ends well. We need to fight it whenever we see it. Young people are already under enough emotional stress and pressure after living through a global pandemic. They NEED to know that they are seen and heard.
I write young adult novels because I WISH I’d had books that reflected the things I was going through when I was a teenager. It would have shown me I wasn’t defective. It would have given me comfort that I wasn’t alone.
Join the fight. Support teachers. Support librarians. Support authors whose books are challenged. Support public education that reflects our diverse and wonderful tapestry of ALL Americans.
Don’t be afraid of ideas that make you uncomfortable. Talk about them. Listen to the thoughts and experiences of others. That’s how we learn and grow, a life-long process.
Before it was changed during the “Red Scare” of the 1950’s, our national motto was “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, Latin for “Out of Many, One. We need to go back to that idea.
School Library Advocacy
“Libraries made me a writer, but more importantly, they made me a thinker.”
—Sarah Darer Littman
Advocating for libraries and literacy is my passion.
Here are links to two advocacy pieces I’ve written about the importance of trained librarians.
And here is a speech I gave at the Ferguson Library in my hometown of Stamford, CT about the influence of libraries and librarians on my life.