Tag Archives: media

Lesson Plan for Teaching Kids to Spot Fake News

Fake News is the phrase du jour. The reality is that misinformation propagates social media (especially Facebook). With the proliferation of Social Media and the use of Social Media (by main stream news organizations, political pundits, and our sitting President), it will remain a platform for sharing information (including the news) for the foreseeable future. Both Facebook and Google have made attempts to tackle fake news. In addition to their own filtering methods, Facebook allows users to flag and report fake news stories. Google has also expanded its fact-check tools to spot and flag fake news.

The reality is, however, that we cannot expect our online platforms to keep up with the deluge of fake media. Media literacy is a necessary skill for our students to learn in order for them to wade through the glut of information available to them online. However, a recent study from Stanford found that most students cannot tell real news from fake.

There is an exercise that I like to do with my students. We talk about the realities of fake news, perhaps ask them to share stories that they thought were real, but later learned were fake. I share with them resources for spotting fake news:

How_to_Spot_Fake_News

Next, I ask them to create a Fake News Story for me. Something that they are likely to see online via Facebook. For this exercise, students often create the obvious: “You Won’t Believe what the Democrats did this Time!” or “Donald Trump is Getting Impeached!” examples. These stories are the most obvious to spot.

The best exercise, however, comes when I ask them to team up and we make a game out of each. Each team presents five news stories. Three of those news articles are fake, two are real. If they are able to “trick” the opposing teams, they receive 1 point for each news article they fool the opposition into believing. They receive 1 point for each article they correctly identify as fake. Students then work really hard to “trick” their classmates – they play off of one another’s known biases, create convincing “news networks,” and spell check like no one’s business! They learn the ins-and-outs of posting and sharing news, viral marketing, and deceptive practices. This makes them better discerners of published media and more able-minded digital citizens.

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Creative Commons Resources for Classroom Teachers | CTQ

A few months ago, I wrote an article “How to Find License Free Content for Classroom Projects.” Issues surrounding copyright, plagiarism, and online resources are becoming more important as our schools become more digital. Check out this great article by the Center for Teaching Quality, that highlights how to find Creative Commons Resources:

Creative Commons Resources for Classroom Teachers | CTQ.

PBS LearningMedia – Thousands of Classroom Ready Digital Resources

PBS LearningMedia is a free resource for educators and students that provides access to tens of thousands of digital resources: images, video, audio, and more. You can easily browse PBS LearningMedia’s website by content, grade level, state/federal standards, and collections. It even has a great collection of less plans for you to browse!

masthead-lm-bubbles-plain

Go to their website and browse their content for free!

Common Sense Media – Great Resource for Educators & Parents!

Many parents struggle with their children and the internet. What is appropriate for my child? What should they be learning to do on the internet? What is dangerous? Should they have a Facebook or a Twitter?

A great, non-profit website Common Sense Media helps parents to understand the new digital world of their children and helps them to provide appropriate guidance and support. Their stated mission and beliefs:

Our Mission

Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

We exist because our nation’s children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development . As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.

Our 10 Beliefs

  1. We believe in media sanity, not censorship.
  2. We believe that media has truly become “the other parent” in our kids’ lives, powerfully affecting their mental, physical, and social development.
  3. We believe in teaching our kids to be savvy, respectful and responsible media interpreters, creators, and communicators.  We can’t cover their eyes but we can teach them to see.
  4. We believe parents should have a choice and a voice about the media our kids consume and create. Every family is different but all need information.
  5. We believe that the price for free and open media is a bit of extra homework for families. Parents need to know about the media their kids use and need to teach responsible, ethical behavior as well as manage overall media use.
  6. We believe that through informed decision making, we can improve the media landscape one decision at a time.
  7. We believe appropriate regulations about right time, right place, and right manner exist. They need to be upheld by our elected and appointed leaders.
  8. We believe in age-appropriate media and that the media industry needs to act responsibly as it creates and markets content for each audience.
  9. We believe ratings systems should be independent and transparent for all media.
  10. We believe in diversity of programming and media ownership.

Using Wikimedia in the Classroom for Creation

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.16.53 AMMany people are familiar with Wikipedia, the online open encyclopedia. However, Wikipedia is just one component of a larger Wikimedia world. One of my favorite tools for students to use for creation is Wikimedia Commons. This is a repository of images, sound, video, and more that is free for users to use and share (with very limited licensing restrictions).

Materially hosted on Wikimedia is under an open content license. This means that users can reuse the material without contacting the creating, but:

  • some licenses require that the original creator be attributed,

  • some licenses require that the specific licence be identified when reusing (including, in some cases, stating or linking to the terms of the license), and

  • some licenses require that if you modify the work, your modifications must also be similarly freely licensed.

If you have your students create videos, presentations, websites, or more, this is a great place for them to learn about copyright law and licensing restriction without fear of unwittingly violating the law.