EDTC 300

Fake news

White and Black Letter Blocks
Photo by Joshua Miranda @ Pexels.com

In EDTC 300, I have learned the importance of integrating technology into the classroom to not only improve teaching instruction, but to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and to better engage students with their learning. With the integration of technology, students must be taught how to take ownership of their digital lives. Not only is it crucial to teach digital citizenship and it’s nine elements, but it’s necessary we teach students to “approach news and information with a critical eye in order to identify intentionally misleading sources” (Couros & Hildebrandt, 2018, para 2).

Like it was said in Damon Brown’s video, today the amount of information is limitless and just a click away. With the internet multiplying the amount of information and viewpoints we have access to, comes greater responsibility as consumers to ensure we are not being fooled by fake news and the dangers that accompany it. In Wineburg, McGrew, Breakstone, Ortega’s (2016) article, they described the internet as “both the worlds best fact checker, and the worlds best bias confirmer- often at the same time” (p. 4). In his video, John Spencer stated that in a Stanford study, only 25% of high school students were able to identify an accurate news story compared to a fake news story. Students also had a hard time distinguishing between real and fake photos, as well as authentic and staged videos. This is a concerning reality. As future educators, it is our responsibility to ensure students gain the skills necessary to combat the fake news they will encounter daily. But how?

Clear Light Bulb Placed on Chalkboard
Photo from pixababy.com

Damon Brown’s advice is to: verify the news before spreading it. This is a really simple way to ensure you are not being lazy about the things you are sharing and spreading to your followers. This is something I wish more of my facebook friends would consider. As Brown mentioned, doing the necessary “work” before sharing the article helps ensure the flow of information does not become a flood- leaving us less informed than before.

I also really appreciated John Spencer’s 5 C’s of Critical Consuming method to help students identify fake news:

please ignore all of my tabs lol

Curriculum connections

As I hope to be an early elementary educator, I focused on ways to integrate teaching fake news with grade 3 students.

  • In Health Education, Outcome DM3.1 students are to: “demonstrate the importance of investigating information for making informed decisions related to healthy foods and physical activity, one’s “inner self”, helpful and harmful substances, healthy family and home, safety at home, and impact of violence.”
  • Indicator b: “Determine the kinds of information to gather and investigate for making healthy decisions.”
  • Indicator c: “Examine sources of information/misinformation in the community.”

Working with these outcomes and indicators, I was able to find a lesson plan titled: Is Seeing Believing? focussing on how people can alter digital photos and videos. From this, students will be able to:

  • Recognize that photos and videos can be altered digitally.
  • Identify different reasons why someone might alter a photo or video.
  • Analyze altered photos and videos to try to determine why.

I was also able to find another resource to use in the grade 3 classroom working with the same outcomes and indicators focussing specifically on fake news. The “Break the Fake” lesson plan will introduce students to the challenges of identifying what is real and fake online. This lesson also includes a fun, interactive quiz.

I also found another lesson plan by Media Smarts called “Can you Spot the Ad?” to help students demonstrate an understanding of:

  • what “branding” and “brands” are and how to recognize them
  • how to identify advertisements in different media
  • the goals and tactics of advertising

Overall, I believe it is extremely important to ensure we are providing our students the skills that are essential in navigating the constantly evolving online world and their online presence in order to become safe and responsible citizens online. Introducing the younger elementary grades to topics around digital citizenship is essential to ensure they become confident and responsible when using technology.

Help me out!

What other resources could you suggest I use to help teach K-5 students digital citizenship and navigating fake news online?


  • Logan Fettes

    Hey, I like the idea of “verify the news before spreading it,” as it is something I find is often overlooked. In concern for our students, there are so many scary things on the internet that our students must be aware of. It is totally an eduction thing. Great Post!

    • Alexandra Crammond

      Hey Logan, Thanks! I definitely agree, it is something so simple that is overlooked daily. Especially right now with all the COVID news articles being spread on Facebook. I agree, teaching the nine elements of digital citizenship is key for our students to ensure they are using technology creatively, and responsibly with intention. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  • Maya Rosenberg

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for a wonderful post, these are wonderful points to consider! I appreciate how you identified that we need to verify what we spread, having the responsibility element given it’s appropriate space. I also appreciate how you connected it so well to the curriculum.

    I’d even add an art project – I find that creating things helps in understanding them more deeply. From creating a “brand” for a classroom project, and more- to help understand visually as well as verbally, the topics.

    Thansk for this amazing read!


    • Alexandra Crammond

      Hi Maya,
      Thank you so much for the added art project, that’s a great idea. I love how you mentioned creating things helps in understanding things deeper and I couldn’t agree more! It’s so great to remember to aid in understanding through visual and verbal instruction, thanks for the reminder! Thank you so much for checking out my blog!

  • Van Gonzales


    It really is important to make sure that our students have the tools and knowledge to navigate the massive space which is the internet. to me its a huge device thats needs trining like a car. I also agree with you about starting early on the education and allowing the instruction and education to grown with the rapid growing of the internet. Great post!

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