Today I am participating in Digital Learning Sunday with Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. This week Margaret has encouraged us to share our thoughts on fake vs. real news.
When Margaret gave her plan for this month, and I read the topic, fake vs. real news, I didn't think I would have much to contribute. This is such an important topic in today's classrooms, but I have yet to really tackle it with my students.
I always begin our research unit with lessons on how to evaluate websites. It is a lesson plan from Common Sense Education and Teaching Channel where students evaluate websites using an extensive set of criteria. I know these lessons open their eyes as to what sources they can trust and what makes a website reliable, but there is so much more to teach. With the recent overwhelming amount of fake news in the media, teachers are scrambling to not only educate themselves, but to also find lessons, resources and ideas to teach media literacy, especially the discernment of fake and real news.
After researching, reading, and learning, I have curated a list of links and sources that will hopefully encourage teachers to begin tackling this issue.
I suggest you begin with a recent study by Standford researchers on "civic online reasoning" by middle, high school and college students. They state that "Overall, young people's ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: bleak." You can read their findings and see samples of their assessments here. The students' responses are interesting, yet disturbing, but I think they also would reflect the thoughts and reasoning skills of my students.
Website Dedicated to News Literacy
The News Literacy Project is a nonprofit organization that "works with educators and journalists to teach middle and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age." I am still sifting through their website, but I have enjoyed reading their teachable moments section on their blog which takes news stories and shows how you can use turn them into "teachable moments." Below is a video from their website.
Article for Students
Real news reports on fake news people try to figure out the difference by Newsela
Articles to get the thinking started.
How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to Be Media-Savvy) and Teaching Kids Media Smarts During Breaking News by Comon Sense Media
Battling Fake News in the Classroom by Edutopia
Who Stands Between Fake News and Students? Educators by NEA Today
10 Ways to Spot Fake News by EasyBib
Lesson plans and teaching ideas for middle to high school students.
Hoax or No Hoax? Strategies fro Online Comprehension and Evaluations by ReadWriteThink
How to teach your students about fake news by PBS Newshour Extra
News Literacy: Critical-Thinking Skills for the 21st Century by Edutopia
Teachers no longer teach just reading, writing, and arithmetic. Fake news is in our world and in our classrooms. We must teach media literacy and give our students the skills needed to navigate this media-driven society in which they live.
How are you helping your students to develop media literacy skills? I would love to hear your ideas and for you to share them in the comments section below.