This site provides an opportunity to explore the subject of contemporary propaganda as users can upload, examine and discuss examples of propaganda from our own daily lives. Users examine propaganda and rate its potential impact, then find and upload examples of contemporary propaganda, and share their interpretations with others. By sharing interpretations, identifying propaganda techniques, and commenting on the ideas of others, critical thinking skills are strengthened.
Why Propaganda Education Matters
During the 20th century, there was plenty of public discourse about propaganda. Unfortunately, in recent years, the study of propaganda has diminished in many educational settings. At the same time, we are surrounded by more than ever with near-constant exposure to advertising, the 24-hour news cycle, and an ever-expanding array of information and entertainment media. Misinformation, disinformation, partisanship and conspiracy theories are part of the media environment. With the significant volume of messages in our daily lives coming in so many forms and from so many different channels, it can be difficult to recognize propaganda.
Today, people might feel overwhelmed by all the media in our lives, which can lead to a "tuning-out" phenomenon where we are exposed to propaganda but do not actively recognize how it is influencing our emotions, attitudes, knowledge and behavior.
Critical thinking about propaganda and understanding propaganda's intent are crucial responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century. By entering into a discussion about contemporary propaganda, we are invited to think about the power of communication and our responsibilities as both authors and audiences. Discussion of new forms of propaganda enables to examine questions about the use and potential impact of new media and technologies.
This site allows educators and students to explore the subject of propaganda by actively engaging in dialogue, interpretation, and analysis. Learners may examine propaganda from their local communities on topics of particular interest to them or explore propaganda from from around the world to stimulate intellectual curiosity.
When learners explore and contribute to the Mind over Media website, they will:
- Learn to recognize new forms of propaganda in everyday life
- Practice skills of interpretation and critical analysis
- Consider how context shapes the way messages are understood
- Reflect on diverse interpretations of media messages in ways that promote understanding of and respect for others’ perspectives
- Shift from passive receivers to critically engaged participants in global public discourse
The Mind over Media website can be used flexibly as a single lesson or as a longer unit of study but educators are encouraged to review the lessons below to optimize the educational value and learning experience of the website.
Mind Over Media Complete Curriculum
- LESSON 1. DEFINING PROPAGANDA
- LESSON 2. CLOSE ANALYSIS OF PROPAGANDA: RECOGNIZING TECHNIQUES
- LESSON 3. TO SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE
KEEP LEARNING | PART II CURRICULUM
- LESSON 4. WHERE PROPAGANDA CAN BE FOUND
- LESSON 5. SPONSORED CONTENT AS PROPAGANDA
- LESSON 6. USING THE MEDIA LITERACY SMARTPHONE TO ANALYZE PROPAGANDA
Use these lesson plans to help students define and recognize propaganda and to assess its impact on individuals and society. It is recommended that students actively engage in all aspects of this project to maximize their learning. The lesson plans engage learners to:
- Discuss definitions of propaganda and identify common propaganda techniques
- Read and respond to writing about historic and contemporary propaganda
- Examine and analyze examples of contemporary propaganda
- Search for and share examples of new forms of propaganda in online media
- Share and discuss interpretations of media messages to consider their potentially beneficial, benign or harmful impact on individuals and society
- Evaluate the context of propaganda - the conditions of its making and its use
- Reflect on the social responsibilities of those who create and consume propaganda
MIND OVER MEDIA activities are suitable for learners ages 13 to adults in both formal and informal learning environments. Because users can upload their own examples, they help to create a robust, fresh dialogue about contemporary propaganda. Because propaganda addresses all aspects of culture, MIND OVER MEDIA provides opportunities for authentic inquiry about a variety of topics, including business and the economy, health care, global issues, science and technology, politics and government, crime and law enforcement, education, the environment, and issues of faith and values.
Teacher Log In
When you create an account on the Mind Over Media website, you can create a Custom Gallery in order to select and upload particular examples for closer examination.
- Use the Log In button on the top left of the Home page.
- Select the tab "Create a New Account." Then enter an email address and a username. A email will be sent to your address with a link for you to establish a password for your account.
- If needed, you can reset your password using the Reset your Password tab.
Create a Custom Gallery for Your Class
After you create an account on the Mind Over Media website, you can create a custom gallery in order to select and upload particular examples for closer examination. Your Custom Gallery contains a smaller selection of media items that you have chosen to explore a particular topic or issue. Follow these instructions to create and use a Custom Gallery:
- Click on My Account and then the Edit tab. At the bottom of the page use the Custom URL to create a gallery by typing in a short name (no spaces)
- EXAMPLE: http://propaganda.mediaeducationlab.com/browse/ADD-A-NAME-HERE
- To add media artifacts to your Custom Gallery, use the Browse tab to select and add examples.
- Uncheck Visible to Students to hide items from your Custom Gallery.
- To display your Custom Gallery, share the Custom Gallery URL with students. Your Custom Gallery will display best if you are logged out as a Teacher.
CHECK OUT THESE SAMPLE TEACHER-CREATED CUSTOM GALLERIES
Terrorism Propaganda: http://propaganda.mediaeducationlab.com/browse/terrorism-gallery
The resources below will help you learn more about how critical analysis of propaganda is incorporated into teaching and learning around the world.
- The State of Deception. Explore historical propaganda at this website developed at the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Propaganda Blog. Share your experiences using this website with other educators from around the world by contributing to the blog.
- The History of Propaganda Education in the United States. A scholarly article by Renee Hobbs and Sandra McGee examines the development of propaganda education in the United States.