Twenty years ago, it was easier to identify fake news. There were the tabloid papers in the grocery store checkout line and the sensationalized “news” programs that promised inside looks at celebrity lives. Now, between the number of online information sites and the proliferation of social media apps, plus near constant mobile phone use, determining a story’s credibility seems to call for advanced detective skills.
In her edWebinar “Fight Fake News: Media Literacy for Students,” Tiffany Whitehead, school librarian for the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says that’s exactly what we need to teach students. While today’s youth may be aware that not everything on the internet is true, they don’t have the tools to evaluate accuracy and authenticity.
First, Whitehead says educators and students need to use the same definitions for the same terms, such as news literacy and fake news. Otherwise, any conversations could result in miscommunication. For her students, Whitehead uses definitions from the Center for News Literacy. More important than defining the words is how just discussing the definitions can engage students in reflective conversations. This is an opportunity for them to identify what they have seen and read online.…Read More