Classroom Technology Opinion

Three Great Resources to Help Students Fight Off Fake News

By Patrick Larkin — December 16, 2016 1 min read
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In my previous post on the topic of Fake News, I mentioned that Fake News is nothing new. There have always been individuals and organizations that have tried to influence people by presenting them with stories that stray from the truth. While these stories vary in the degree of factual information they contain, the more important question regards the ability of the reader to delve into these articles and blog posts and pull out where things veer from fact to fiction. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) highlights the following skills for students in its 21st Century Literacies Framework:

  • Students in the 21st century must be able to take information from multiple places and in a variety of different formats, determine its reliability, and create new knowledge from that information.

  • Students in the 21st century must be critical consumers and creators of multimedia texts.

In order to attain these skills, teachers are encouraged to reflect on the following questions:

  • Do students analyze the credibility of information and its appropriateness in meeting their needs?

  • Do students use information to make decisions as informed citizens?

  • Do students strive to see limitations and overlaps between multiple streams of information?

  • Do students analyze and evaluate the multimedia sources that they use?

While the bulleted items above are just an abridged look at the skills and questions that are outlined in NCTE’s Framework 21st Century Literacies Framework, an equally important issue is in regards to the resources that are available for students to utilize to determine the credibility of sources of information that they come across. The resources below are a few of the ones that I have come across to help support students in this complicated task:

  1. Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world - (A great post from Joyce Valenza on School Library Journal’s Website)

  2. How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to Be Media-Savvy) - (From Common Sense Media)

  3. FAKE NEWS vs. REAL NEWS: How to Determine the Reliability of Sources - (Website from Northern Essex Community College)

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