The Social Studies
Educating students to understand overt, subtle, and erroneous claims made by partisan advertisers is no small feat. Often students are passive consumers who need to learn how to become critical listeners, viewers, readers, and producers of all types of media. Because of this, media literacy--the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms--is growing in importance in schools across the country. This article documents one exercise in which preservice teachers at two universities assigned a project of creating digital advertisements as a mechanism for understanding the Bill of Rights and partisan politics. Specifically, using Windows Movie Maker, these preservice teachers crafted political commercials for the 2004 presidential election in which they advocated a position with regard to the First Amendment and the controversial Patriot Act, the Second Amendment and the assault weapon ban, and the Fourth Amendment and reciting the pledge of allegiance in schools. The purpose of the project was for students to explore how media can be used (and abused) to advance a position using common persuasive techniques. Additionally, the students were asked to reflect on the "value-added" of the technology in the project and the power of digital media in everyday lives.
Preservice Teachers, Mass Media Role, Political Campaigns, Media Literacy, Advertising, Preservice Teacher Education, Technology Uses in Education, Constitutional Law, Elections, Federal Legislation, Computer Software, Copyrights, Internet, Persuasive Discourse, Social Studies
Swan, Kathy and Hofer, Mark J., "Digital Campaigning: Using the Bill of Rights to Advance a Political Position" (2006). Articles. 42.