Apple Supporting Digital Literacy Nonprofits
- By Dian Schaffhauser
intends to support three major media literacy nonprofits in their
work to help young people develop critical thinking skills. The News
the United States and Osservatorio
in Italy will each get help from Apple in advancing their missions.
hasn't publicly released information about the extent or form of its
support. However, some portion of it is financial. A statement from News Literacy's Founder and CEO, Alan Miller, noted that the
investment from Apple, "represents the largest corporate
contribution in our history." He said, "We are deeply
grateful for the company's commitment to fighting misinformation and
sustaining quality journalism."
the initiative, the News Literacy Project will receive both a
"significant contribution" as well as "ongoing
support" from the technology company. Miller stated that the
donation would enable his organization "to scale up our programs
and resources." Those include Checkology,
online lessons to help students learn how to evaluate and interpret
news and choose what sources of information to trust and share; The
free weekly newsletter for educators that provides them with
"teachable moments in news literacy"; and the planned
Newsroom to Classroom program, which will connect working journalists
with educators in a premium version of Checkology, expected to launch
later this year.
Sense, which focuses on helping families and educators cope in a
digital media world, has developed free Digital
for K-12 to help students develop critical thinking, safe behavior
and responsible participation in online media. The nonprofit also
supports teachers with training and recognition through digital
badging. A new News Literacy project is intended to provide timely
content and resources for parents, educators and teens.
lack of young people's news literacy skills is a growing problem for
our country. Revelations about the manipulation of news and the
resulting impact on society have shed light on both the importance
and scale of the issue," said James Steyer, founder and CEO of
Common Sense. "We need to help our students not just seek out
legitimate news, but also think critically about the broader world of
media and ideas."
Italian organization delivers citizenship education focused on media
literacy projects. Osservatorio trains high school teachers, who then
bring its media literacy projects into their classrooms. As students
compare different news sources, they learn to distinguish between
reliable journalism and fake news. "At a time when fake news is
spreading, we cannot give in to the idea that third-party
fact-checking services are the only way to assess the reliability of
news sources. We can exercise our own minds, and be masters of our
own destiny," said Andrea Ceccherini, founder and CEO of the
organization. "Our ambition is to help form more citizens,
increasingly opening our society to a culture of civilized debate and
confrontation, which is the basis of every healthy democracy."
literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and thriving democracy,
and we are proud to be collaborating with organizations on the front
lines of this effort," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a
statement, adding that each organization is doing "important
work" in "empowering young people to be active and engaged
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.