The amount of news at our finger tips these days is more than anyone could ever comprehend, and the amount of it that is simply not true is even more staggering. From what seemed to be reliable media outlets broadcast news that seems to be fabricated, too retweets and sharing of fake news among people on social media, the amount of fake news seems to be overtaking the real news in a landslide. The spreading of this fake news through social media outlets such as fake news is not by coincidence, studies show that the most important catalyst of fake news was the precision in which the purveyor targeted the audience. This article goes on to explain how the fake news can spread like wildfire when the initial targeted audience is poorly informed and struggle to tell if news is real or fake. So how do we educate people in determining if news is fake or not?
Fake news has been around forever, the only difference appears to be the skill that these fake news creators have obtained. When teaching about collective digital literacy in the classroom there are many effective strategies that can be employed to help teach these skills at a young age. Using real world examples of fake news can be an easy way to show students how fake news can be so easily believed and spread. Additionally, we must teach students to identify bias using a variety of media bias charts can be a great way to understand that all stories have a perspective attached to them. Being able to separate fact from opinion is much more difficult that it would seem and as Damon Brown mentions in his TED Talk about How to Choose Your News he mentions that very thing and stresses the importance of reading from multiple outlets as we must verify news before spreading it.
As we increase the usage of technology in the classroom we must be sure to stress the goals of the NCTE framework and in particular, that delivering inaccurate information is dangerous. While we might think that sharing clickbait type news stories will be great for mentions or likes, it can have unintentional effects on society. By not fact checking news before spreading it you could be contributing to a message that has a much deeper, darker meaning that you intended. Furthermore, we have Heads of State that seem to spread fear through misinformation on the regular. Finally, Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Kildebrandt provide a list of strategies that can be used in dealing with fake news, from investigative techniques to critical disposition, this article provides information that can be taken into the classroom as we strive to create digitally literate students. Although it may be next to impossible to rid ourselves of fake news, by educating students we can help turn the trend for the better.