Spotting Fake News: My personal experience

After reading Dylan Johns’ blog, I felt I could come clean about my news intake. (Thanks, Dylan!)

I used to watch the news and read the newspaper quite regularly. However, after the Pandemic started, I found it caused too much anxiety for me. I now only occasionally watch or read the news. When I see news links on social media, I rarely click on them. I read headlines and decide whether or not it is worth reading. Most of the news I get is from my son at the dinner table (he’s a real news junkie). 

Last school year, I taught a “Fake News” unit to a grade 8 class that I saw once a week for 30 minutes. The lessons included defining media literacy and critical thinking, spotting fake news, and creating fake news. Though the unit of study was somewhat disjointed, my objective was to get students thinking critically about what they were viewing on their own social media apps. Most of the students were shocked at how much fake news was out there. Teaching this unit really had me thinking about what I was consuming in my own online activity. 

The topic of discussion this week was about new and emerging challenges of literacy in a “fake news” world. 

When reading the article that Cymone shared, I was most intrigued by the notion that the role of the audience plays an important factor in whether or not ‘fake news’ is actually deemed fake. If the audience perceives the article as satire or parody, is it still considered fake news? The audience can play a role in co-constructing fake news, if they believe it to be true.

As combating fake news in the classroom becomes more important, reading the article that Holly shared was particularly interesting. It reminds us that our students have as much to teach us as we have to teach them.

Chris’ article about information literacy vs. technology problem, we are once again reminded to heed the warning of not believing everything you read. 

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”. 


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