Advertising in Schools

The design of Apple is art in itself. Are there ways to teach students that Apple is advertising its brand?
Catherine: Sixth grade class--intro to Noodletools. Seventh grade--students preferred BibMe. The tech integrator organized a Battle of the Tools for one of the classes, in which they did a works cited list and afterwards discussed what they noticed. One of the things that came up was the ads on BibMe and the fact that it’s free, whereas Noodletools is subscription-only and thus ad-free. In eighth grade they will have to choose.
A teacher passed out Apple stickers to a class of four year olds. What are the implications of this action? How many teachers have their iPhones visible in the classroom?
Karyn: We encourage students to personalize their computers so that they will take care of them, and most of them choose stickers issued from companies or stores. YouTube is non-advertising advertising--in other words, much of its content is product placement. Children don’t distinguish between ads and non-commercial information.
Rebecca: Going online often results in coveting a product.
Talia: In a fourth grade social justice class, the fourth grade students learn about banned books and can understand (and feel outraged) about this. Perhaps this “plants the seed,” in the sense of understanding about being manipulated by corporations.
By the time students can begin to understand how corporations like Google and Apple manipulate them, they have already been “indoctrinated.”
Commonsense Education--”sticky sites”--lesson plan on sites which keep the user attached to the site, i.e.: continuous videos on YouTube.
Don’t students deserve an ad-free school day? Is this even possible?
People used to be outraged by corporate sponsorships before the advent of technology. Once tech expanded, the outrage dissipated.
Karyn remembers learning about ads in sixth grade and how they learned that the company would try to convince people that if they purchased the product, they would become a different person. Can there be an equivalent type of approach to technology?
Abasi: Back then, targeted ads didn’t exist. Nowadays, Google ads are targeted, based on the user’s previous searches. Furthermore, the ads aren’t easily distinguished from the rest of the content.
Elaine: Have students tour the school with clipboards or other devices, and either make a list or take photos of advertising content
Catherine: Why exactly is advertising a negative thing?
Rebecca: Education and capitalism are at odds with each other. profit and commerce seep into schools/this is problematic.
Karyn: We’ve created consumers of Apple and thus have removed certain choices from them. In doing this, we’ve made our students passive acceptors. What will be the fallout of this 20 years down the line? Certain corporations have all of our information.
Rebecca: M.T. Anderson’s “Feed” was written before the issues that he wrote about became a reality. It’s highly relevant.
Abasi: The big tech companies have become too big, but anything new that comes down the pike is gobbled up.
What does a school that commits to no advertising look like?
Products are known by their brand rather than their function, i.e.; Xerox, Kleenex.
Suggestion: write an article for “School Library Journal” on this topic
Elaine Kaufmann
Abasi Aniton
Catherine Ellwood
LIsa Harrison
Maria Falgoust
Rebecca Duvall
Talia Neffson
Karyn Silverman