Edtech Solutions
Network Summit

Media Binds or Blinds? Eradicating Algorithmic Bias Through Media Education

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: La Nouvelle Ballroom, Table 15
Experience live: All-Access Package

Participate and share : Poster
Poster presentation

Alan Schorn  
MELDA Gerber  
Dr. Melda Yildiz  
Bilge Can Yildiz  

This participatory action research (PAR) project investigates the role of algorithmic bias/injustice in integrating new technologies (i.e. GPS) in developing global competencies, geospatial intelligence and computational thinking skills, and offers creative strategies and possibilities for integrating new technologies into teacher education programs.

Audience: Coaches, Library media specialists, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Mac
Topic: Teacher education
Grade level: Community college/university
Subject area: Computer science, Math
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Citizen Advocate
  • Inspire and encourage educators and students to use technology for civic engagement and to address challenges to improve their communities.
  • Partner with educators, leaders, students and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.
For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
Additional detail: Student presentation, Preservice teacher presenter, Graduate student

Proposal summary


Borrowing and extending the work of critical theorists, Henry Giroux and Paulo Freire, participants studied the Transformative Critical Pedagogy and explored three key topics in order to understand the global educational experiences of the teacher candidates: the wide range of meanings educators associate with myth and misconceptions in P20 classrooms; the impact of developing transdisciplinary and innovative multimedia learning objects (modules) and assessment strategies on students’ reaction, and understanding of global issues; and the ways in which the students respond to Multicultural, Multilingual, Multimedia activities.
The PAR study focused on the role of media literacy in a global context. The study used several theoretical frameworks and standards, including media literacy (Len Masterman, 1985, Buckingham, 2003), semiotics (Chandler, 2014), and multicultural education (Nieto, 2013). The study examined the role of new media and technologies in transforming teacher education curriculum by aligning local national, and international standards and frameworks, such as those from 1) National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE); 2) Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE); 3) Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD); 4) Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21); 5) Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) and Asia Society Partnership for Global Competencies (Boix-Mansilla, et al, 2011).; 6) National Center on Universal Design for Learning at Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST); 7) International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).


This participatory action research (PAR) study focuses on transforming teacher education through race, gender, human rights, and global issues using new media and technologies. The participatory community-mapping/ digital storytelling project documents global voices and human rights issues, collects the wisdom and experiences from thirty-five educators around the world, and develops a community-based, transdisciplinary, interactive online platform that showcases oral history projects and digital stories from Australia, Iceland, Israel, Nepal, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the United States. The online platform uses mobile technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and Google Earth. It serves as a repository of interactive maps and a searchable database of lesson ideas and projects.
Methodology included analysis of surveys, reflection and responses to online activities, and the process of developing globally- connected lesson plans and curriculum projects. The study explored the wide range of meanings participants associate with media education; the impact of transdisciplinary activities in K12 curriculum; and the ways in which they integrated media education in their curriculum.
For their curriculum projects and lesson plans, the participants deconstructed and assessed the national curriculum, frameworks, and standards; interviewed students and educators; and documented their stories to articulate the realities of conditions in schools found through their research, analysis, and dialogue.
Through the rediscovery process, teacher candidates explored and designed strategies, curricula, and programs for improving student outcomes, and integrated multiple literacies as a means of further developing P12 students’ global competencies and 21st-century skills, while re-thinking and re-designing innovative learning activities.
The study was conducted among my teacher education candidates while collaborating with other educators around the world. It investigated 35 participants, 24 students (19 female and 5 male) and their experiences. Eleven educators participated in our dialog over skype call. They were from (1) Australia, (1) Iceland, (1) Israel, (1) Nepal, (3) Turkey, and (4) Turkmenistan. Thirteen students were in their junior year and eleven students were in their senior year at a Teacher Education Program in a University in Northeast region of the United States.
Our investigation was guided by these questions:
1. AUDIENCE-What are the participants’ personal experiences and reactions to the GMLE activities?
How can educators prepare teacher candidates for culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy?
2. PROBLEMS- What common problems do the participants share in their activities?
3. SUGGESTIONS- What suggestions do participants provide to eliminate myths and misconceptions in education?


Participants enjoyed working on experiential learning activities, creating digital stories and developing interactive projects and also gained media literacy skills. A number of participants said they learned more than the Internet technologies. One participant said, “It was amazing to be part of the participatory research. I signed up to improve my English, but this project gave me much more to think about, more than the content of this workshop. I enjoyed learning new skills, creating historical maps of Turkmenistan and share with the world.” Another one wrote, “More than learning how to use a GPS device, this project allowed me to learn from global communities. I reflected on my own Internet habits, and how to search the web.” They found the online activities and the resources engaging and helpful in understanding the role its unique characteristics.
One of the pre-service teachers in who collaborated with Azerbaijani teachers said,
Here I was participating in an online chat, if not the most important exchange in my undergraduate career and I had absolutely no information about Azerbaijan. As a future teacher, I know I wanted to be a fair grader, reliable and accessible. Not having more information I participated in this study with reserved expectations. I decided that I would enter with an open mind and do my best to be engaging and at the same time absorbing as much information as possible. The minute I stepped into the online dialog on that Tuesday, I knew it would be one of, if not my favorite experience of the semester, and it turned out my predication was true. I was able to learn and acquire a broad array of knowledge and skills that will without a doubt be beneficial in the field of Early Childhood. I would hate to be associated with the phase “Lies my teacher told me,” because I was too lazy to seek out the correct information. I want to make a difference to each young life, help them to be global citizens and that is what this project has taught me to do.
Another student wrote in her online reflection.
Through zoom, we’ve covered a wealth of content that provides important information to future educators. It was great to help translate our subtitles to our videos. I learned how to design a UDL model lesson focusing on “pedagogy of plenty” versus “pedagogy of poverty”. As a future “global scholar” I will not bring “myths and misconceptions” to my teaching. I will help my students to read between the lines and find ways to bring global stories into my classroom. I hope to be able to use skype in other classrooms around the world for instance. This research project has helped me to pay attention to global perspectives. I shared so much of what I have learned over the past few months with my family and friends and will continue to develop multiple perspectives.
The Turkmen teacher participants repeatedly said in their reflection papers how much they were intimidated by the new technologies, especially social software at the beginning. They were discouraged to use computers in their schools because they were afraid, they would break and their institution might ask them to pay for it. After two weeks, most teachers said they were encouraged to use new technologies, and they especially enjoyed collaborating with pre-service teachers in the United States. They felt like being part of the world community is critical in teaching their students. As one said, “I don’t believe all Americans are the same anymore. There are even Turkmens living in the US. We need to re-read media messages. I created a lesson plan integrating billboard commercial on the streets of Ashgabat. I want my students to understand all the news statements can be true or false depending on the point of view.”
Participants, in addition to creating UDL lesson plans integrating maps and media into the curriculum, developed Internet search skills, focused on deconstructing websites and analyzing wiki entries. Lesson activities and projects were designed by the team using the UDL model to fit the needs of all children (e.g. Special Education, English language Learners). The UDL modules we designed and implemented in our study can be replicable and adoptable in other schools.


Situated within the context of global media education, this participatory action research (PAR) project aims to advance scientific knowledge of social justice education as a means to promote global media literacy skills in teacher education programs and attempts to address deep-rooted ideologies to social inequities and misconceptions by creating a space to re- examine current curricula as compared to transformative, collaborative, and inclusive curriculum.
To develop culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy, teacher candidates investigated the transformative teaching models through the lens of multicultural education, semiotics, and media literacy in the global education context.
This PAR promotes media education as a means of deconstructing the myths and misconceptions in P20 classrooms, integrates community mapping and digital storytelling into the curriculum, offers creative suggestions for producing media in the classroom with minimal resources and equipment, and showcases innovative and inclusive projects and best practices for developing critical autonomy, global competency, and 21st century skills in teacher education programs. As transformative education intersects with human rights, a global education framework can be used as a tool for social justice education.
By actively involving teacher candidates in producing media (e.g. wikis, blogs, digital storytelling), deconstructing textbooks and curricula, and collaborating with educators around the world while researching historical artifacts and stories, and developing community maps through globally connected projects, participants improved their global competencies, identified myths and misconceptions in information, gained alternative points of view on world issues, and renewed interest and commitment to human rights. As they became the producers of their own media, they became informed consumers and citizens of the world.
As Umberto Eco (1976) said, “A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection, not an invitation to hypnosis.”


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Resources Used
Coded Bias
Algorithms rule us all - VPRO documentary
Reading Materials
Find out your life expectancy

Algorithmic Bias Playbook

More [+]


Alan Schorn, Great Neck North High School
Dr. Melda Yildiz, NYIT

Melda N. Yildiz is a global scholar, social justice educator, assessment and curriculum consultant, instructional designer, author, and edupreneur. She is the chair of the Instructional Technology program and associate professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education at NYIT.

Bilge Can Yildiz, Jericho High School

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