Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Engaging with the Duke Polarization Lab

This morning I submitted the “Get Involved Form” shared by the Polarization Lab at Duke University. This two minute video (shared in November 2019) from the Duke University Department of Political Science provides a concise overview of the Lab’s focus and mission. The “Mission” page of their website also provides more details.

Submitting this interest form provided an opportunity for me to concisely summarize my professional interests and work at this point in media literacy, reducing political polarization, and (overall) working to support both representative democracy and human rights here in the United States and in our world, through education. Here’s what I submitted on their form:

Question: What are your skills?

My name is Wes Fryer. I am a middle school media literacy and STEM teacher at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am an avid multimedia creator and advocate for both educator sharing on the social web (Fediverse / Mastodon / Threads / BlueSky / LinkedIn / FaceBook / K12 Leaders / etc.) as well as media literacy skills at all levels. (See I have shared 3 TEDx talks and love both digital storytelling and oral history. I continue to share this work via my passion project “StoryChasers” (formerly an Oklahoma non-profit) I am a teacher-volunteer with TIP Teachers (Teachers for an Informed Public – affiliated with the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public. In June 2023 I participated in the “Teaching for Resilience: FinnishED Workshop” hosted by UW’s CIP. (See

I am specifically interested in short surveys / survey instruments which I could use to help measure my students’ understanding and skills applying the SIFT web literacy framework ( in a pre-test / post-test format. I am interested in publishing and sharing my work on media literacy and addressing political polarization in schools. My past and upcoming conference presentations / workshops and handouts are available on I maintain the website “Show with Media: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?” ( and am hosting a free “EdTech PlayDate – AI Edition” in Charlotte on Saturday, Jan 20, 2024 (

I would love to participate in Polarization Lab events, network with your scholars and community members, and network / collaborate to make positive contributions toward the goal of supporting responsible civic engagement both online and offline to sustain / improve representative democracy and human rights in the United States and in our world.

Link to your website or resume: (It just let me link to 1 site, so I included the second link below for my #ConCW project)

My Middle School media literacy unit on “Froot Loop Conspiracy Theories:

My ongoing media literacy inquiry project “Conspiracies and Culture Wars”

My Jan/Feb 2024 6 week online class, “Teaching the Conspiracies”

My social media channels / links:

I encourage you to check out the shared resources and work of the Duke Polarization Lab at Unfortunately because of API changes at Twitter, several of of the powerful and useful tools they previously developed are now broken. However, several tools are still online / available, and projects like the “Polarization Pen-Pal Network” are still under development. Their “Media page” includes a variety of videos including mainstream media interviews the founding director of the lab, Chris Bail, has shared.

Two more things I’ll note and commend to you:

  1. Chris Bail’s professional website ( reveals that he is one of the most connected university professors I’ve encountered to date on the social web. He includes links to his profiles on Threads, Blue Sky and Mastodon, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn. This is impressive.
  2. Chris Bail’s most recent book from 2021, “Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing,” directly addresses “The Tech Correction,” a common theme on “The EdTech Situation Room,” the weekly podcast I co-host with Jason Neiffer. I just bought it on Audible and look forward to listening to it in upcoming days!
An AI Visualization of Wes Fryer’s Media Literacy Work” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer