By Layman (Buzz) Allen, president, Accelerated Learning Foundation

We’re all exposed to propaganda techniques every day: from politics and advertising to peer pressure and personal relationships – whenever someone tries to influence your attitudes and behavior. The first step to avoid manipulation is to recognize HOW it’s being done. When you see the mechanics, you can evaluate more clearly and focus discussion on reasoned arguments and facts.  This leads to better decision making.

I am the director of a small, non-profit educational foundation. We are creating online versions of classic academic gaming materials developed by the University of Michigan Instructional Gaming Group. We have just finished a social media version of the Propaganda Game by Robert W. Allen and Lorne Greene. It teaches more that fifty propaganda techniques used every day in politics, advertising and media, relationships, peer interactions, parenting and other areas of daily life. The game allows teachers to have students research and submit their own examples from the world around them in preparation for playing, discussing and debating them in class.

The Propaganda Game was invented by educators in 1965 to teach more than fifty-five different propaganda techniques used to persuade and influence people. Tens of thousands of students have used this game to develop practical, critical thinking skills in daily life – including innovators like Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy.

The new online version of the Propaganda Game makes it easy to find and share examples from the onslaught of information we face daily. Students love to discover and create their own examples as homework