Above the Noise

Is Video Game Addiction Real? | Above the Noise

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As the video game Fortnite is taking over the world, there's a rising panic that some gamers are getting full-on addicted, with headlines like “Parenting the Fortnite Addict” and “I almost lost my sons to Fortnite” popping up all over the place. Even the World Health Organization is worried about video games—just recently, it officially recognized “Gaming Disorder” as a mental health condition. But it’s not that simple. The American Psychiatric Association isn’t convinced, and says there’s not enough research showing that video game addiction is its own disorder. So what’s going on? Is video game addiction REALLY a thing? Find out in the latest Above the Noise episode. And join the discussion about video game addiction with other students on KQED Learn by going to Activity in Support Materials. (Log in required.)

Affirmative Action: Should Race Be a Factor in College Admissions? | Above the Noise

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Affirmative action is back in the news, and with it comes the age-old debate over whether or not universities should consider an applicant’s race when deciding who gets in. When it comes to higher education, affirmative action was originally intended as a way to level the playing field for women and minority students who have historically been discriminated against at these institutions. But now, many opponents say those discrimination days are over and affirmative action is actually itself a form of discrimination. What do you think? Should race be considered in college admissions? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Deepfakes: Can You Spot a Phony Video? | Above the Noise

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Recently, a doctored video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi got millions of views on social media. Deepfakes are becoming easier to make and spread, and Above the Noise is here to help people understand this new phenomenon and what to do about it. 

Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

 

 

How Can We Get More Young People to Vote? | Above the Noise

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Voting is a really important part of the democratic process. We all know this, but in reality, many people don’t vote. That is especially true for younger generations who historically have had very low voter turnout rates in the U.S. This is kind of a big deal because younger people have a lot at stake in most elections. So, why don’t young people vote as much as older people? Find out in the latest Above the Noise episode. Have your students join the discussion with other students across the country on KQED Learn. (Log in required.)

Homework in High School: How Much Is Too Much? | Above the Noise

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It’s not hard to find a high school student who is stressed about homework. Many are stressed to the max — juggling extracurricular activities, jobs and family responsibilities. It can be hard for many students, particularly low-income students, to find the time to dedicate to homework. So students in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program at YouthBeat in Oakland, California are asking what’s a fair amount of homework for high school students? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Is the U.S. Bail System Fair? | Above the Noise

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The founding principle of the U.S. justice system is fairness, right? Innocent until proven guilty. The right to a speedy trial. That’s how it’s supposed to work in THEORY. In PRACTICE, there are more than 450,000 people accused of a crime but not yet convicted of anything, sitting in jail cells as they wait for their trials. A large portion of them remain behind bars simply because they can’t pay their bail. Critics think it creates a two-tiered justice system, where the rich get to go home while the poor have to stay behind bars. Those in favor of keeping bail argue that it’s effective at keeping potential criminals off the street. What do you think? Is America’s bail system fair? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Is a Carbon Tax the Best Way to Slow Climate Change? | Above the Noise

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The UN’s latest report shows that climate change is happening a lot faster than scientists originally predicted. As a result, there’s a renewed interest in carbon taxes as a way to slow the effects of climate change. The problem is, it’s not always a popular solution as opponents argue it would unfairy hurt the poor--as we’ve seen play out in France lately with the Yellow Vest protests. Would a carbon tax work to fight climate change? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Should We Get Free Money from the Government? | Above the Noise

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When the robots come to take our jobs, what are we all going to do to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table? That’s the question that the universal basic income (UBI) hopes to answer. The government gives everyone JUST enough money to afford the basics so that no one falls into total, abject poverty. Supporters think a universal income is essential to fight financial inequality and help the millions of people who could lose their jobs to artificial intelligence. But opponents think it would be WAY too expensive and could hurt the economy by stripping away the incentive to work. Where do you stand? Is the universal basic income a good idea or bad idea? Have your students join the discussion with other students across the country on KQED Learn. (Log in required.)

False Equivalence: Why It's so Dangerous | Above the Noise

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Not every topic warrants a “both sides” approach. Some viewpoints are simply not backed by empirical evidence or are based on false ideas. Journalists and anyone who work with facts have to be careful not to present them as legit debates. If they do, they are creating a “false equivalence.” False equivalence: what does it mean, and why is it helping to spread misinformation online? 

Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

 

 

Suicide Prevention: How Can Schools Help? | Above the Noise

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No one wants to talk about it, but suicide is a leading cause of death among teens. The good news is, schools are uniquely positioned to help. Student reporters from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs investigate what schools can do. 

Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

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