“Life is filled with tests, one after another, and if you don’t recognize them, you are certain to fail the most important ones.” By Brian Herbert
In a recent study from Stanford, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning, displays that a vast majority of students can’t determine it what they read on websites is true or false. (I would also be interested in a further study to see how many adults can identify fake news as sometimes I see adults posting fake news too.) The skills of evaluating fake news and information are a very important part of Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy.
As educators we need to have an understanding ourselves where information comes from so we can help guide students. We need to explicitly teach if an article, blog post etc is reliable and accurate. We can start doing that be utilizing these three core ideas:
Consider the Source: Where was the information published? Remember anyone can make a website.
Check the Author: What do you know about the author(s)? What else have they written?
Check the Date: When was the information posted? How long ago was it updated?
Below are some resources you can use in the classroom for teaching how to spot fake news:
Snopes (Put in a url you are wondering about and they will fact check it)
Fictitious, Satirical, Bogus, Fallacy-laden Websites (Sites that are fake you can use to teach students about digital literacy and spotting fake news. I would make this into a web-quest mixing real and fake news to see how many they can identify)
More articles on fake news: