Teacher Reflections

Information Literacy & Fake News

The recent election and the growing popularity of social media have created new urgency in the battles English and Social Studies teachers along with Librarians are fighting constantly—combating fake news.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv6GvBkBZVk]

A powerful resource that could help in this effort is www.checkology.or. Although the paid version offers teachers more features for monitoring student progress, there are free resources on:

  1. Filtering News & Information
  2. Exercising Civic Freedoms
  3. Navigating Today’s Information landscape
  4. How to Know What to Believe

The pace at which media changes and the frequency with which politicians are using it to distort reality is growing. Therefore, it is difficult for educators to have updated examples of misinformation and methods for detecting it.  Checkology provides current examples of news sources and social media and how they can be used to spread fake news. Also, the lessons are gamified so students earn points for completing each one. Most importantly, it provides realistic activities for students to apply their information literacy skills. For example, students are asked to:

  • Be the Editor: Decide the Day’s Top News
  • Participate in the Watergate investigation
  • Make a PSA & Dissect Rumors
  • Recognize bias in various sources

I recommend looking at checkology if you’re hoping to build your students’ information literacy skills and join the fight against fake news.

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