Daily Archives: June 11, 2021

Learning about Digital Literacy within the classroom – Identifying “fake news”

With all the fake news out on the internet it makes it difficult to believe what is true and what is fake. Through the internet especially in media you tend to see a lot of misinformation spreading as mentioned in the article “Fake news. It’s complicated” by Claire Wardle and won’t recognize it unless you do your research and find facts supporting it is fake. However, for students they may be new to all this and so in todays world of technology it is important than ever for educators to teach and help their students understand what is digital literacy and how it plays a role when it comes to social medias, news, internet, using the computer or their phones etc. as well as noticing fake news. Digital literacy is key to becoming good digital citizens.

We are in the midst of an information stage where no students or adults can escape the perception of information as everyone learns some news everyday when they pick up their phones but the thing is we don’t know if it is true or not. Thinking about the digital literacy and fake news as adults we have the skills to decipher between fact and opinion however, when it comes to our students especially in the elementary levels they may not yet have researching skill to understand the difference between fake and real. When it comes to the classroom there are a lot of resources via online where teachers can turn to when it comes to teaching their students about fake news as stated in the EdCan Fact Sheet called “How do we teach students to identify fake news?“. As teachers teach the two topics students start to build their learning skills about the pros and cons to technology and the dangers of media as well students are able to acknowledge this difference that will help them to be safe and protect themselves from future manipulation from all the predators out there like for instance scammers and people who commit fraud by stealing important information.

When it comes to the classroom, curriculum and teaching about digital literacy, it has some implications. The technology students use in the classroom, integration of different software’s, digital resources are all part of digital literacy as well as learning the skills and practices of different information related to the subject that the teacher is teaching in the class. We see more and more fake news and digital literacy popping up in todays society as mentioned in our recent EDTC 300 class we discussed the COVID vaccine that their putting in magnets in the vaccine and personally, I say that is fake news. That is just nuts as why would anyone who is giving out the vaccine add in a magnet. This is where misinformation spreads so easily which can cause people who have their misbeliefs about the vaccine don’t want to take it.

Digital literacy curriculum is crucial to students' educational success.

In the document “Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan schools” provides some information that talks about digital literacy as well as in the Saskatchewan curriculum. Through the curriculum digital literacy can be a root theme of the document as stated in Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship. Analysis of online news and advertising teaches critical thinking skills and prepares students to identify credible information sources. With the Saskatchewan curriculum having lessons on responsible digital communication and proper use of digital resources can better equip students for their academic and professional careers. Learning about privacy and security are also important components of digital literacy. Teaching students to understand their digital footprints, personal information actively and inadvertently shared online makes them less likely to fall victim to criminal behavior, such as cyberbullying and identity theft. An awesome way to incorporate digital literacy and to seek out those fake news, by adding them into the curriculum and the classroom are great resources that I recently found out that would be great for the classroom in helping students identify fake news and reality (news that real) is the Spot the troll and Break the fake. These are just two out of so many other resources that can be useful within the classroom to help students identify and get to know what is real and face profiles, news, media and as well social medias that they have within their phones.

Can You Spot the Troll? | Common Craft
Break the Fake | MediaSmarts

Thinking about the NCTE framework, before incorporating it into the classroom as Abby Heverin mentions “If we are to blend creative thinking and critical writing skills, students must be afforded opportunities to synthesize information they already have with knowledge acquired through higher education”. With technology steady evolving we as teachers are to help educate students on the importance of digital literacy and accuracy as in the world we live in people tend to spread misinformation out of fear to get people to believe in the most absurd information, gain followers on most social medias to gain more money. Bringing awareness to identifying misinformation (fake news) can be beneficial for students inside and outside the classroom.