Real Strategies for Fake News

Laptop office internet writing

This week we continued our learning around Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital Citizenship, in particular Digital Literacy. Fake news has been around for a long time, but with the expansion of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc) the quantity, access, and reach has increased. We need to develop strategies for ourselves and our students to determine fact from fiction within our digital worlds.

Digital literacy also includes the ability to differentiate between real and fake content, which can have a negative impact on the lives of your students. They need to learn which content is good for them and what they should avoid in order to lead a balanced life.

As teachers, we need to share these strategies with our students so they may also be conscious consumers of their digital world. I think it is very important to teach digital literacy to all students in each and every grade and subject. This is especially true any time students are doing research or exploring content online. However, I am going to do a bit of a deep dive in to the Psychology 20 (2020) curriculum as that is a course I am currently teaching.

Canadian’s were ahead of the curve in their teaching of fake news – Commercial from May 1999

Psychology 20 Connections

During my exploration I found the website Media Smarts. Media Smart’s website has a list of the various curriculum connections for Psychology 20 as well as a large variety of other Saskatchewan curriculums. The Media Smart’s website has tons of resources and links each resource to the particular curricular outcome, which is fantastic!

However, the Psychology 20 curriculum was recently updated, so I am going to explore a few more connections that are not on the Media Smarts website. These connections are the outcomes and indicators of the recently updated Psychology 20 curriculum. Some of the outcomes of the new curriculum align with the old curriculum so the Media Smarts website is still a vary valuable resource.

P20. 2 Explore how spiritual, biological, cognitive, emotional and social dimensions influence the way we think and feel about the world
(j) Discuss the impact of symbols/logos that affect emotions and attitudes
(e.g., sport logos, mascots, media)

P20.6 Assess impacts of individual behaviour on relationships and society
(g) Examine how the use of technology (e.g., social media, gaming,
texting) can affect interpersonal relationships

P20.7 Investigate connections between mental health and personal environment in relation to holistic development and behaviour.
(a) Examine how an individual makes sense of the world and how
worldview influences behaviour

P20.8 Analyze the impact of social-constructivism ideas on developmental behaviours
(b) Critique influences of culture and social norms on the definition of
concepts of justice in a society
(d) Investigate various social movements present in own community
(f) Conduct an inquiry into how perception affects behaviour

P20.9 – Investigate contemporary social psychology issues
(c) examine challenges that various worldviews can present in social
situations in a culturally diverse society
(h) Analyze collective behaviours and in the influences of ‘groupthink’
on group behavious
(n) Investigate contemporary beliefs for characteristics of beauty and
the influences of cultures and media on defining qualities of

As you can see there are a variety of outcomes and indicators that link specifically to the media and its impact on individuals. In fact, the whole course is about how our behaviours, attitudes, and perceptions are shaped so there is multiple ways you can bring in media literacy into the course.

NCTE Framework

The NCTE framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment has 6 elements:

  • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology
  • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought
  • Design and share information for global communities that have a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneously presented information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by complex environments

Upon review, you can see how digital literacy can be integrated into each element. Students need to be critical thinkers when they are interpreting online sources and especially before sharing such sources, perpetuating the problem. If educators follow the NCTE framework, they will also be teaching digital literacy in the process.

Classroom Ready Resources

Here is a list of some resources I explored to help teachers tackle fake news with their students:

Check Please Starter Course
KQED Lesson Plans
Bias in the News Worksheet
How to Choose your News – TED ED Lesson
Don’t get Tricked by Fake News Lesson
How to Teach your Students About Fake News
Teaching Kids News


Hashbrown’s Modelling Debut

My dog is spoiled. However, from her perspective she probably thinks that I neglect her. I go to work all day and take classes or do planning at night – it really cuts into the amount of pets she gets and the length of her walks. So this week’s learning project task is dedicated to her. I decided to make her a collar bandana.

Here she is super bored of her humans being on the computer all day. Big side eye.

I found a super easy tutorial on YouTube that had an accompanying blog post. The original instructions were for a sewing machine, but I just used a running hand stitch instead.

I really enjoyed this tutorial because it had both a video and a blog. Sometimes it was easier to read the information in the blog (cutting the fabric) and other times it was easier to watch the steps (sewing in the corners).

I think my final result turned out well and I have a very stylish and happy pup now.

This semester I made felt owls, scrunchies, a mask, and now a bandana. Which one was your favourite?


Social Media Sleuthing

white smartphone

This week we were tasked with investigating (creeping) a partner from EDTC300 to determine what their digital footprint says about them.

My partner was Allysia and this is what I found . . .

First of all, she gives off a lot of information right on her blog about me page so it was easy to find some of the basic information.


Age: She is currently 29 years old and was born July 19th, 1991
Hometown: She grew up in Kelvington, SK
Location: Currently lives in Regina, SK. Found her physical address on her business Facebook page.
Appearance: She likes to be adventurous with her hair colour, but is usually blonde. Has multiple tattoos. Has size 8 feet.


She is currently unemployed as she is raising her daughter, Ardann. In the mean time she sells Arbonne and sells items she makes with her Cricut on the account Made X Alley. On her Made x Alley page, I was also able to find her phone number, physical address, and an email address. She has also started a motherhood podcast. She is currently not registered with the SPTRB.

Previously, she taught in Birch Hills Saskatchewan and Evansburg, Alberta.

She has two degrees, both from the University of Regina and is currently working towards a Certificate of Extended Studies in Mathematics. She did take at least one class (Bio 140 ) from the University of Athabasca.


Relationships: Married to Lance Coburn who is a journeyman Power Linesmen. They made it “Official” on December 10th, 2016 and were married on July 4th, 2020 at Over the Hills Orchard near Lumsden,SK. But I think they originally wanted to have their wedding in BC.

Family: She has a daughter, Ardann, who was born October 25th, 2020 (Dr’s due date was Nov. 13th at one time) and has two dogs. She has two sisters and a brother and is the middle child of the family. She also has several nieces and nephews.

Hobbies: Being active is very important to her, she plays ball but really loves volleyball (Balls of Fury). It was really disappointing to her when she had to wear a cast and walking boot especially to their Mexican vacation. Won the provincial silver medal for javelin in 2009. She defiantly likes to keep busy. Has a large amount of close friends. Doesn’t like reading – except to her child.


Based on my sleuthing, I think Allysia is a trustworthy person who would be appropriate to hire for my school. I think she is a bit of an oversharer, but she is trying to use social media to leverage her side hustles. There isn’t a lot of information on her social media geared towards her educational profession, more of her personal life. However, her Twitter account was just started in January for this class and is all professional.

My advice for Allysia would be to continue to grow her professional presence online. There is nothing negative or damaging that I found out about her online, which is very positive.

Now I’m nervous to see what she finds out about me . . .


Mask Making

set of medical protective face masks

This week I decided to make a homemade cloth mask. I have to wear a mask everyday and I have lots of them because I try to match them to my outfit. Disposable masks are the most comfortable to wear, but I hate the amount of waste and litter they are creating. However, regardless of what type of mask people wear, I am just happy people do wear them as we try to navigate this pandemic we are all in.

I went back to my favourite blog Sew Crafty for my instructions. I needed two layers of fabric, elastic, needle, thread, and pins. I had all of those items from when I made my scrunchies.

I cut the fabric to the specified dimensions and placed them right sides together.

Two layers of fabric – Blue outside, polka dot inside
Lining up the fabric

Then you sew the two pieces together using a running stitch. Next, you turn it inside out and fold the ends in to make a casing.

Side casings sewn

After you sew the casings to the main part of the fabric, you thread the elastic through and tie them off.

After the elastic is threaded through
Final Result

I was happy with the final product, I think it is cute and the elastics fit well on my ears. However, I have 0% confidence that this mask will prevent the spread of COVID – 19.

Until I can perfect my sewing technique, I enjoy wearing masks from a local maker Me + You Handmades (they also make cute scrunchies).

Thanks for reading again and please wear a mask!


Scrunching for Time

Black analog alarm clock at 7 01

Last week I made scrunchie for the first time. The blog that I got my instructions from said that you should be able to make a scrunchie in 15 minutes! I took waaaaay longer to make a scrunchie on my first try – an hour and 14 minutes to be exact! So this week I set out a goal to make another scrunchie, but to beat my previous time.

I also wanted to create a timelapse video to document my process, so I solicited Twitter for some suggestions.

I was going to use iMovie because I am familiar with the tool, however you could only speed up the video 2X, so I ended up using both WeVideo and iMovie. I sped up the video 8X on WeVideo then imported it into iMovie and sped up the fast version another 2X. Lastly, I added a title and some fun music.

In the end, I was able to cut my time in about half, as this scrunchie only took me 37 minutes!

High Speed Scrunchie Making!

Next week I am going to try and make a cute bow for my dog’s collar, since I neglected her all day today to work on school work and marking.