*The original post was uploaded on Craig Kemp‘s website on February 22, 2017. In collaboration with Craig, we wrote this post to address how we can help students learn how to consume and produce media.
We live in a fast-paced, constantly changing world with many struggles and frustrations that are often out of our immediate control. The recent viral trend of “Fake News” has taken the internet by storm and our role as educators is to support our students to understand who is behind the information that they are consuming.
In order to support our students, we first must ensure that our teachers are fully upskilled on the matter and understand it themselves. Our responsibility is to prepare our students for the world they live in NOW. Blocking and banning is not the solution. Here are five ways to teach kids how to navigate “Fake News” as consumers and producers:
Fact Vs. Fiction
As an example, let us look at this website on The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. The site has information about the tree octopus and even includes resources, citations, sightings and images. The question we need to ask our students is “is it even possible for an octopus to live in a tree?”.
When we are researching online, we must run through a checklist to determine if the site is fact or fiction. Consider these questions next time you get stumped:
Schools must prepare students for the real world instead of continuously protecting them from it in the little bubbles we have in our communities.
*Here’s the start of some additional “Fake News” resources.