Telling the truth

| November 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Online magazine www.educationdive.com reports that in the US, high school teachers are swamping experts such as the News Literacy Project in Chicago, Illinois, with requests for resources that will help them teach their students about the phenomenon called “fake news”. Natasha Casey, an associate professor of communications at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, says that because teens are engaging heavily with online media, they are being bombarded with “news” all day. Casey’s research indicates that young people are often unable to distinguish between “real” and “fake” news. This is despite the fact that they are able to navigate swiftly between social media platforms. Says a researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education (SGSE), based in California, “Students, despite their social media savvy, often can’t discern the difference between advertisements, sponsored content and genuine news articles.” The need for teachers to add “fake news” into their teaching problems is international, too, says Casey. A global news literacy conference, held at Stony Brook University in New York in August 2017, saw experts from various nations speak to issues such as news literacy assessment and adapting instruction for
specific audiences. In at least two US states, bills were signed in 2017 instructing public schools to build media literacy into their curricula. According to Casey, “We live and work in a continually evolving media technology landscape where information overload can be overwhelming. Media and information literacy provide the skills, knowledge and critical thinking approaches needed to deal with this reality.” The National Association for Media Literacy Education in New York City; Project Look Sharp, based at Ithaca College in New York; and News-Decoder, part of the Paris-based non-profit organisation Nouvelles-Découvertes, or “New Discoveries”, are plans about spotting fake news. The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG), attached to the SGSE, has developed a curriculum that teaches students how to evaluate primary sources. That curriculum (see: https://sheg.stanford.edu/rlh) has been downloaded 3.5 million times, and is used by schools around the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy
(http://www.unesco.org/new/en/gapmil/) is also an excellent resources that teachers anywhere can use.

Category: Education around the world, Summer 2017

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