In the age of social media and disinformation, media literacy and digital skills are critically important for youth to engage constructively in civic space. To help build these skills, SCS Global consortium partner Engagement Lab at Emerson College developed Civic I.D.E.A.—a framework of media literacy tools to help youth be more engaged citizens by analyzing, creating, and distributing digital media that matter.
Each of the four modules in the I.D.E.A. framework—Investigate, Deliberate, Express, and Advocate—is anchored by an interactive digital learning tool and series of activity guides that teachers and civic leaders can use to facilitate fun and engaging group activities for young learners.
- In Investigate, participants analyze media content through word clouds and network diagrams to better understand the power of data visualization and the impact of word choice in media.
- In Deliberate, participants develop debate and mediation skills and learn to advocate on civic issues through the @Stake role-playing game.
- In Express, participants use MediaBreaker/Studios to analyze commercials and other visual messaging for biases and remix them to change media narratives.
- And lastly, in Advocate, participants play multi-player games in which they can create social media hashtags and memes to engage with culturally and politically relevant topics.
All facilitator guides and tools in Civic I.D.E.A are designed to be flexible and adaptable to local contexts, allowing facilitators to upload media in local languages and use relevant examples from their communities, countries, and regions. The DataBasic tool, part of the Investigate module, is also available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Danish.