Media Literacy, Internet of Bodies, Arctic Governance: RAND Weekly Recap

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August 6, 2021

We discuss how to help teachers implement media literacy education; a look at sexual harassment and gender discrimination among active-duty U.S. Army soldiers; how labor regulations may be affecting L.A.'s push to build supportive housing; new artwork inspired RAND's Internet of Bodies research; addressing the risk of conflict in the Arctic; and how to promote equitable data analysis.

High school students and their teacher work on laptops during class, photo by eyecrave/Getty Images

Photo by eyecrave/Getty Images

Helping Students with Media Literacy: A Guide for Educators

Navigating today's fast-paced media environment requires a wide range of skills, such as critical thinking, detecting bias, and understanding relevant social and historical contexts. Many teachers believe that their students lack these skills, and that there isn't much guidance about how to promote them in their classrooms. A new RAND report aims to close this gap by providing step-by-step recommendations for implementing media literacy education in K–12 schools.

Focusing on media literacy education could do more than just help young people consume and engage with media responsibly; media literacy may also be a powerful tool in slowing the spread of Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts in U.S. political and civil discourse.

Soldiers assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as 'The Old Guard,' participate in the U.S. Army Birthday Run at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, June 14, 2021, photo by Spc. Laura Stephens/U.S. Army

Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment participate in the U.S. Army Birthday Run at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, June 14, 2021.

Photo by Spc. Laura Stephens/U.S. Army

Preventing Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination in the Army

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination look different and occur more often for women in the U.S. Army than for men. However, the settings where men and women soldiers experience harassment are similar, and the perpetrators are almost always men. That's according to a new RAND report. These and other key findings may help the Army better understand this problem—and find ways to prevent it.

Construction of the Missouri Place housing project in Los Angeles, California, photo by Steven Sharp/Urbanize LA

Construction of the Missouri Place housing project in Los Angeles, California

Photo by Steven Sharp/Urbanize LA

Are Labor Regulations Affecting L.A.'s Push for Supportive Housing?

In 2016, Los Angeles voters approved Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond intended to fund construction of 10,000 apartments for those experiencing homelessness. But this effort is falling short of its goal. According to a new RAND report, one reason may be the requirement that a primarily union workforce builds housing developments of 65 units or more. The report estimates that, without this stipulation, about 800 more housing units could have been funded on top of what's already in the pipeline.

The latest RAND Art + Data visualization raises questions about how perceptions of the human body will transform with and through Internet of Bodies technologies

The latest RAND Art + Data visualization raises questions about how perceptions of the human body will transform with and through Internet of Bodies technologies

Image by Giorgia Lupi

The Internet of Bodies and 'Our Connected Future'

RAND's Art + Data program continues this month with a new creation by inaugural artist-in-residence Giorgia Lupi. Her piece was inspired by RAND research on the potential risks and benefits of the Internet of Bodies, an ecosystem of internet-connected devices that monitor the human body and collect personal biometric data. Lupi says she sought to evoke “the future 'data ecosystems' that will surround us when these technologies are employed at huge scales.”

Topographic map showing Russia and the Arctic region, image by FrankRamspott/Getty Images

Image by FrankRamspott/Getty Images

Exploring Gaps in Arctic Governance

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States have long cooperated in the Arctic. But conditions in the region are changing rapidly. In a new report, RAND researchers identify potential catalysts for conflict, including Russia's central role in Arctic access, increasing safety and environmental risks, and China's growing involvement in the region. They also consider how Arctic governance could evolve to address these risks.

Dieumeeci Ufitimana, (C) signs up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Bethel AME Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, July 23, 2021, photo by Octavio Jones/Reuters

Dieumeeci Ufitimana (center) signs up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Bethel AME Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, July 23, 2021

Photo by Octavio Jones/Reuters

Lessons for Equitable Data Analysis

Information is almost never neutral. What data gets collected and how it's analyzed, reported, and used reflects preexisting assumptions and biases. This may be especially true for open-source data, which has been widely used to understand the inequitable effects of COVID-19. Writing for the RAND Blog, a group of RAND researchers and partners from the Black Equity Coalition and Surgo Ventures explain how they sought to overcome this challenge by building equity into the entire research lifecycle.

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