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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Egypt Lesson Plan

Everyone loves a good story.
In fact, we love good characters so much that they often re-appear. The step parent was evil in Cinderella, and that hasn't changed much in the new blockbuster Step Father.

The media has always been a vehicle to tell a large story to a large audience. Now with the dawn of the digital age, we too can become story tellers. We share our personal narratives with our Tweets and add our voice to movements on Facebook and newstories on CNN.
But who's story is NOT being told?
Those without access to technology, either because of their membership in a lower economic group or a higher age group. Aka, those without the skills or the money cannot be cultural storytellers.

This was not the case in Egypt, however.
While the inernet was shut down, only outsiders could tell the Egyptians' story. BBC and American news networks innitially told the tale of the Egyptians without adding individual narratives. Instead, blanket statements about the protestes (not as individual protesters but as a group) were made and few individuals spoke out. The largest issue, however, was that allowing individuals outside of the culture to tell the story automatically seeps the tale in the values the other culture holds. Thus, Egyptian stories were being told with American values.

Now BBC runs a day by day update including blog posts and tweets from a myriad of sources. I have created a lesson plan utalizing this source.
Students will investigate one blog entry, one tweet, and one video clip from one day's worth of coverage.
Students will
1) understand who's story is being told, or left out
2) understand which medium adds or detracts from the story

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