I'm Heather, a Senior Humanities Content Creator here at Khan Academy. I’m thrilled to announce the release of a new “Social media literacy” course designed by the Center for Humane Technology. This student-, family-, and teacher-facing course will walk you through the how and why behind the design of social media products that hijack our attention and behavior. In a world where technology is playing an increasingly important role in our lives, knowing how to navigate and mitigate the harms of social media is an essential skill.
Here are the top three features you can expect from the new course:
- In-depth explanations of the attention economy, persuasive technology, and the impacts of social media on the brain: Want to understand why you can’t stop looking at your phone? In this course, you’ll learn why your attention is worth so much to social media companies.You’ll also learn about how social media companies are taking advantage of the brain’s vulnerabilities to hook us and change our thoughts, beliefs, and behavior in the process. Finally, you’ll find out what steps you can take to work for a better social media environment.
- Reflection and discussion activities: The course offers 20 reflection guides paired with educational articles. These reflection guides contain questions designed to stimulate thinking, writing, and discussion on the intersection between what you are learning and your own experiences.
- “Take action!” lessons: It’s important to understand how we’ve been manipulated by social media companies, but it’s also a good idea to find out what we can do about it. Three “Take action!” lessons guide you through how to share your social media stories, take control of how and when you use social media, and envision a more humane technological future.
We at Khan Academy believe in the importance of responsible digital citizenship, and we hope this new course will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to take control of your social media use and create change for a better world!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the course. Please feel free to share any questions or comments below. Happy learning!