How do we know if it's real or fake news?
Submitted by Susan Finn Miller on November 23, 2016 - 3:43pm
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Hello colleagues, A lot of people are talking about all the fake news that proliferated during the 2016 presidential election. Many of these fake news stories were shared in social media with titles that can be described as "click-bait," i.e., the title is something so surprising or shocking that one is enticed to click on the story to find out more. However, in many cases, the story has nothing at all to do with the title and may even contain information that is untrue. Unfortunately, some readers are not aware that the story is false.
How can we tell if something is a fake news story or a real one? Gretel Kauffman reports in the Christian Science Monitor on a Stanford University study with teens that showed that 82% of middle and high school students could not distinguish between real and fake news.
Most adults are likely to be better at spotting fake news than teens; however, some learners in adult education classes may struggle with this, especially if they have limited experiences online. Conducting research online is a common standards-based assignment. Have you taught lessons that require students to evaluate the credibility of web sources? How have you structured these lessons?
Kauffman references Renee Hobbs' website Media Education Lab which features the webpage, Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda. This page offers a range of teaching resources to support students to think critically about the messages all around them. Please share your impressions of this webpage and its instructional resources.
Cheers, Susan Finn Miller
Moderator, College and Career Standards