Caution: FAKE NEWS!!!

Increasing our collective digital literacy appears to be the best way to combat fake news– as well as the dangers that come with it. There are endless variations of ways that one could teach about digital literacy and fake news.

What about the age range in particular that I will be teaching in the future? An example would be to incorporate the goals of the NCTE framework. For those who may not know, my goal is to be teaching secondary students one day. I’m taking summer classes this year to catch up and finish my second year of classes and move onto my third. Specifically, I will be teaching my students English and Drama courses (my major and minor).

Amongst the sources listed for this week’s activities, I took note of the Worksheet: Bias in the news created by Katherine Koskie (who happened to be one of my English teachers in high school). It initially caught my attention because of the name, and she made some very excellent points.  There had been several sections including:

  • how to detect bias in the news
  • bias through selection and omission
  • bias through placement
  • bias by headline
  • bias by word choice and tone
  • bias by photos, captions, and camera angles
  • bias through the use of names and titles
  • bias through statistics and crowd counts
  • bias by source control

While the worksheet is very useful and jam-packed with information, I recognize that some students may find reading article after article a little bit tedious, so I would like to include some video examples in my lesson plan. For example, John Spencer’s video on the Five C’s, or Damon Brown’s TedED video that explains how to choose your news (both included in EDTC300’s weekly plan chart).

Why is it important to teach students about fake news? In today’s day and age, the line between real and fake news has become increasingly blurred with the advancement of technology. Fake news now doesn’t come straight from the horse’s mouth anymore in broadcasts and tabloids. Instead, fake news slips through the cracks of mainstream media (social media and everyday use of technology). We need to make sure that the information our students are absorbing is 100% reliable, factual, and safe. Also, that students are able to see the difference between real and fake news for themselves outside of a classroom setting.

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