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Battling Fake News in the Classroom

In this post-election period, there has been a lot of discussion about fake news, particularly about how it is spread and shared online, and whether it influenced the recent presidential election. On November 22, Stanford University released an influential study showing that middle and high school students—and even some in college—have trouble distinguishing which online resources are credible. The inescapable fact is that young people need to be prepared for the Wild West of information that they live in and will grow up in. It is also imperative that we, as educators, prepare young people for the important job of responsible and informed citizenship. Media Literacy and “Crap Detection” Teaching media literacy is not new, but with the explosion of social media and the lightning speeds at which information is shared, critical evaluation skills have never been more important. The Role of Educators So how can educators address this emerging crisis in digital literacy? What’s Next?

https://www.edutopia.org/article/battling-fake-news-classroom-mary-beth-hertz

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear or Read Mars Peopled by One Vast Thinking Vegetable! Salt Lake Tribune, October 13, 1912 In the most recent “Right to the Source” column in NSTA’s magazine The Science Teacher, Michael Apfeldorf discusses reactions in the early 20th century to reports of life on Mars. He explains that as early as 1894, scientists noted that conditions on Mars would not support life, but wild theories persisted in popular media. That reminded us of the Library’s many April Fools’ Day posts featuring primary sources that should not be taken at face value. What these teens learned about the Internet may shock you! When the AP United States history students at Aragon High School in San Mateo California, scanned the professionally designed pages of www.minimumwage.com, most concluded that it was a solid, unbiased source of facts and analysis. They noted the menu of research reports, graphics and videos, and the “About” page describing the site as a project of a “nonprofit research organization” called the Employment Policies Institute. But then their teacher, Will Colglazier, demonstrated how a couple more exploratory clicks—critically, beyond the site itself—revealed that the Employment Policies Institute is considered by the Center for Media and Democracy to be a front group created by lobbyists for the restaurant and hotel industries. “I have some bright students, and a lot of them felt chagrined that they weren’t able to deduce this,” said Colglazier, who videotaped the episode last January.

Fake News Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts : All Tech Considered Guido Rosa/Getty Images/Ikon Images Fake news stories can have real-life consequences. On Sunday, police said a man with a rifle who claimed to be "self-investigating" a baseless online conspiracy theory entered a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and fired the weapon inside the restaurant. So, yes, fake news is a big problem. Truth and the Modern Classroom December 19, 2016 Findings from a recent Stanford study show that middle and high school students have great difficulty in effectively evaluating the reliability of online sources. The study revealed that most middle and high school students accept information online as presented without questioning or verifying it. Ignorance of facts is the enemy of liberation and is devastating to our democracy. How can our students realize their full potential if they are ignorant of the society in which they live? Should promising young minds pursue whims based on emotions or solutions based on reality?

The Fact Checker’s guide for detecting fake news Consider these points before sharing a news article on Facebook. It could be fake. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post) How Photos Fuel the Spread of Fake News During a campaign stop in South Carolina last winter, Hillary Clinton stumbled as she climbed the steps of an antebellum mansion in Charleston. Aides helped her regain her balance in a vulnerable but nondescript moment captured by Getty photographer Mark Makela. He didn’t think much of it until August, when the alt-right news site Breitbart touted it as evidence of Clinton’s failing health. “It was really bizarre and dispiriting to see,” he says. “We’re always attuned to photographic manipulation, but what was more sinister in this situation was the misappropriation of a photo.”

How to Spot Fake News - FactCheck.org Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past. Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation. Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. Snopes.com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between.

Who Stands Between Fake News and Students? Educators Every week, Dave Stuart hands out a current news article to his world history students so they can digest and evaluate the credibility of the information and its sources. One day this fall, Stuart, now in his tenth year at Cedar Springs High School in Michigan, distributed a couple of stories about the 2016 presidential candidates. In the middle of a uniquely controversial and divisive campaign, it was perhaps inevitable that during the discussion some students would dredge up information that didn’t appear in the articles their teacher had provided.

The Smell Test: Educators can counter fake news with information literacy. Here’s how. Illustration by Steve Brodner Discerning fact from fiction in news and online content has never been more challenging. From “pizzagate”—false reports of a child sex ring operating in a DC pizza parlor—and creepy clown attacks to retweeted election headlines touting events that never happened, fake news is rampant. Twenty-three percent of Americans say they have shared fabricated reports, knowingly or not, according to a December Pew Research Center report. Librarians have an opportunity to take leadership in the current crisis.

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