Lessons

Lesson Plan: Technology and Activism in Mexico

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Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

UPOEG community leader and political activist Miguel Angel Jiménez Blanco spoke to voters’ in small towns – San Marcos, Límon, Ayutla, Tecoanapa – in order to collect testimonies of alleged vote-buying and coercion in San Marcos, Guerrero in June 2015.

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A voter near San Marcos, Guerrero tells Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco of alleged vote-buying and coercion by political parties in June. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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If this key is lost or stolen, all the information is encrypted or concealed by secret codes so that no names are attached. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco speaks to voters in San Marcos, Guerrero in June. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Information is accessed anonymously by Méxicoleaks reporters through the use of a small USB thumbdrive key. If this key is lost or stolen, all the information is encrypted or concealed by secret codes so that no names are attached. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco convinces voters in the San Marcos, Guerrero area to give their video testimony of vote buying in June. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Sebastian Barragán Hidalgo, 29, reporter with Aristegui News accesses information anonymously from Méxicoleaks through the use of a small USB thumbdrive key. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco and co-workers exchange video testimonies of vote buying in the San Marcos, Guerrero, in June. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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Citizens interested in "hacking" solutions meet during CodeandoMéxico's Civic Hack Nights at Mexico City’s Laboratorio para la Ciudad, or City Lab. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

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One of the local community self-protection groups organized by Unión de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Estado de Guerrero or the Union of People and Organizations of Guerrero. Image by Kara Andrade. Mexico, 2015.

Objective:

You will be able to analyze how an author reports on activism in Mexico using different subjects and mediums in order to write a social media post that informs your community about corruption in Mexico, or in your own city.

Warm-up:

1. If you have your phone with you, use the records on your phone to note the following:

  • What were the last few text messages you sent?
  • What were the last few posts you put on social media?

2. Today’s lesson looks at how phones can be used for activism. How would you define activism? Write a brief definition.

3. Consider the following and write your responses using a scale of 1-10 (1=not comfortable and 10=very comfortable)

  • How could comfortable would you feel posting on social media about an issue you wanted to bring attention to?
  • If you had proof (photos/documents) of corruption in your community, how comfortable would you be sending that information to a journalist?
  • Use your responses above to consider the following: What would it take for you to be willing to investigate and share information about corruption in your community?

Introducing the Lesson and Resources:

Today’s lesson explores Kara Andrade’s project “Mexico: Technology, Civic Participation and Accountability,” which investigates how technology is being used in Mexico to investigate corruption.

Review the resources attached and answer the accompanying questions. As you review the resources attached, also consider the following:

  1. How does the author explore how technology is being used to address corruption?
  2. What details does the author emphasize?
  3. Why do you think the author emphasizes these details? What is the impact on the reader/listener?

Discussion:

Use details from the resources attached to guide a conversation that explores the following questions:

  1. What issue is the author exploring in these pieces? How do you feel about this issue?
  2. What details does the author emphasize in the pieces, and what is the impact? What details are sticking out to you?
  3. Why do you think the subjects of Andrade’s reporting are using technology to address corruption? Why do you think it matters to them?
  4. How does this story connect to you and your community?

Extension Activities:

1. Using details from Andrade’s reporting, plan 3-5 social media posts that communicate what you learned about corruption in Mexico to your community. Consider what quotes, images, exchanges and facts most stood out to you as you decide what to include in your posts.

2. Write a short essay that uses personal reflection and details from Andrade’s reporting to address the following questions:

  • What leads a person to activism, and what role can technology play?
  • How could technology play a role in changing something in your own community?
Educator Notes: 

This lesson plan investigates the use of technology in Mexico to combat corruption and the impacts of that activism. The lesson asks students to analyze what details are emphasized in each piece in order to create social media campaigns informing their communities about corruption in Mexico. Throughout the lesson, students also reflect on their comfort with speaking up in the face of challenges in their communities. The lesson is written for students to explore independently, but could also be facilitated to include whole-class discussion and small group reflections.

Please reach out to education@pulitzercenter.org with any questions about this lesson plan and/or to connect your class directly with Kara Andrade in person or over Skype.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.7

Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

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