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Fake News in the Classroom

What is fake news? Does it really matter if I share this sensational story? Why is it important to me, my social network, and maybe even my country?
Use this WebReel to find resources to teach and explore fake news in the classroom. You will find classroom strategies, assignments, and resources for multiple grade levels, as well as multimedia tools, pictographs, videos, and research studies.
Media literacy is a crucial skill for 21st century students, who despite being digital natives, are not necessarily media experts. Far from it.
Using these tools, you can teach students how to determine if the news in their social media feed is real or bogus. Help students develop their own lists of authoritative sources and fact-based journalism. To combat distrust in the mainstream media, librarians and teachers can give students frequent opportunities to analyze news stories, images, and videos. Lesson plans and videos can help a student to develop enough critical thinking to think before they click.

Stanford researchers find students have trouble judging the credibility of information online In 2016, Stanford University released a highly recognized study demonstrating that middle and high school students (even some college students) have trouble distinguishing credible online resources, ads from editorial, fake from verifiable. Stanford scholars examined “civic online reasoning, and attempted to identify skills and methods to distinguish the credible from the unreliable.
Reading Like A Historian Stanford History Education Group The Stanford History Education Group created a curriculum, Reading Like a Historian to serve diverse groups of students, with each lesson focused on a central historical question and presenting primary document designed to teach students how to investigate historical questions. Students will learn to use reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues and make claims backed by evidence.
How to teach your students about fake news: PBS 7-12 Lesson Plan PBS News offers a lesson plan on fake news for students grades 7-12. The plan teaches students successful media literacy skills to navigate fake vs. sound media, evaluate evidence, and spot fake news.
Online Sources - BrainPOP Elementary school teachers with a school subscription can do a fun quiz to help show students how to do research online, what resources are available, as well as to evaluate sources and how to fact check.
Battling Fake News in the Classroom Edutopia A teacher discusses 21st century literacy skills, including CRAAP detection, as knowledge that crosses the curriculum. This broad examination of tools and necessary skills discusses methods for teaching media literacy for multiple age groups.
The Pedagogy of Fake News: A Four-Part Critical Thinking Exercise for Upper Elementary Students Edutopia This Edutopia unit on media literacy demonstrates evidence and practitioner-based learning strategies for upper elementary and middle schoolers. Included are lessons for evaluating digital media content, reading images for emotion and authenticity, collaborative deconstruction, and virality. The evaluation of images is particularly valuable, and the discussion of how and why fake news publishers benefit from viral stories is empowering. when looking at fake news, it is not enough to explore the content of a message; instead, news consumption habits and the role of social media platforms are equally important to explore. The skills students acquire while studying the topic of fake news empower them to critically assess media. Students build a personal toolkit for media literacy that includes an emotional process check. For a culminating project, students could create digital toolkits, listing the steps for spotting fake news.
Disagree With a Student’s Opinion? Edutopia This opinion piece from a writing teacher discusses how to deal with students with differing opinions, with some valid pointers for teaching children to back up their work with facts, to recognize bias, to acknowledge differing opinions, and how teachers can avoid pitfalls by evaluating students on how they express themselves—not what they express.
How fake news becomes a popular, trending topic - CBS News 60 Minutes looks at truly fake news created by con-artists to insert truly fake news into the national conversation with fraudulent software that scams your social media account. The stories are fake, but the consequences are real. The article and news video examines several instances of fake news that had very real consequences for actual humans: Pizzagate, RFID chips, and others. Includes a clear explanation of bots and how/why they work.
How To Develop Strong Source Literacy: Practice! FSHA Blog Nora Murphy, a librarian at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, blogs about why it is important for her students to develop source literacy. She exposes her student to many source types and gives them practice in determining what sources will work for their particular need. Students learn to find sources based on need. Her blog is totally non-political and offers this final premise: These simple things will help [students] become source literate sooner, and that competency will work to make [them] more curious, more confident and more successful in [their] scholarly pursuits.
News Literacy - AISL 2016 - Google Slides The Association of Independent School Librarians has created a Google Slide presentation on decoding media reports.
Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Fake News Edition - On The Media - WNYC Podcast and transcript on how to sort the truthful from the troublesome. WNYC public radio's investigates how the media shapes our world view. Hosts, Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, interview Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College. Zimdars has made a list of more than a hundred problematic news sites, and discusses how to be a savvy news consumer in a misinformation-filled world.
Following news - AISL 2016 - Google Slides The Association of Independent School Librarians creates this Google Slide presentation that guides students (and librarians) on how to design a newsfeed that eliminates the algorithm bubble.
Reading News across the Political Spectrum Independent Ideas A librarian working with her class on recognizing and verifying reliable sources confronts a gaping hole in her professional knowledge: using and proving good quality sources. She had fallen into a rut in finding her own news and decided to create a media guide for creating news feeds.
Online Photo Evaluation - Google Docs lesson Phil Goerner, librarian at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO, created this Google Doc unit on reverse image searches and an exercise on native advertising, using Slate magazine as an example,
Fake News: ALA's Library Resource Round-Up Programming Librarian Programming Librarian, a website by the American Library Association's Public Programs Office, compiled a best-of round-up of resources to help libraries deliver programming about fake news. It includes webinars, libguides, resources, news, links and websites.
Fake News Workshop University of Illinois presentations from Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Dr. Stephanie Craft, Dr. Barbara M. Jones, and Dr. Rachel M. Magee focused on defining fake news and how it relates to literacy and information behavior.
Evaluating Information - LibGuides at ALA ALA's libguides for information evaluation includes PEW research, ALA policy statements, toolkits and programming, toolkits and guides, library responses, fact checking sites.
Beware online filter bubbles: Eli Pariser - YouTube Eli Pariser, Board President of MoveOn’s board and a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, delivers a Ted Talk on how the online Filter Bubble diminishes our world view. Web companies tailor their services, ads, news and search results to meet our personal tastes, with dangerous unintended consequence.
What Is Fake News? - Library Colby-Sawyer College Colby-Sawyer College offers categories of fake news, an excellent infographic, a glossary of term, and EXAMPLES! If a teacher is searching for good examples of fake news, misleading news, biased news, and satire, this is a good resource.
Harvard University's Reseach Guide - Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda Harvard University offers browser plugins (possibly of use in a school library), an infographic, library resources, fact checking sites, a journalist's toolkit (useful for librarians involved in a school's news program), reports, and tips for analyzing news sources.
Is This Story Share-Worthy? Flowchart - NewseumED NewseumEd created a visually appealing flowchart for student to gauge the value of a news story and whether it should be passed along or just passed. Useful for middle and high schoolers who may spend time on social media. Newseum has numerous lesson plans, activities, acronyms, and graphics that can help teachers plan a unit on media literacy.
How I Designed My Fake News Lessons Plans Educator and blogger, Gil Teach, created a week-long 6-12 grade unit designed to teach students about digital literacy in the age of fake news.  While teachers and librarians can link to her paid for unit at Teachers Pay Teachers, this editorial perspective on creating the unit and what she was trying to achieve is useful as a guide.
Fake News Expert On How False Stories Spread And Why People Believe Them : NPR NPR's Fresh Air features an interview with Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News to discuss media inaccuracy. Silverman explains how false stories during the presidential campaign were spread on Facebook and monetized by Google AdSense.
Fake News Antidote: Teaching Kids To Discern Fact From Fiction : NPR Ed : NPR NPR interviews a teacher who uses the News Literacy Project learning unit, Checkology, in her classroom. May be useful for teachers considering the Checkology free or paid platforms:
Can Your Students Spot Fake News? 71 Links. The Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet offers 71 resources for teachers to apply in the classroom. Some are more legitimate than others, but its infographics can be chosen to suit several age groups, and there are some good tools to add to a lesson or website.
School Library Journal Webcast - Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News This March 2017 webcast by School Library Journal in partnership with ISTE presents information on helping students manage information overload, choosing and vetting sources, and more.
The Problem with Fake News (and how our students can solve it) Former middle school teacher and current college professor, John Spencer, created a three minute video on digital literacy.
How to choose your news - Damon Brown TED-Ed Damon Brown is an entrepreneur, speaker, and journalist focused on how technology. His Ted-Ed Original focuses on how to be a smart news consumer. He includes a brief explanation on the change in news and our relationship with it, how to recognize credible sources, and how to break out of our bubble.
Center for News Literacy A curriculum developed at Stony Brook University in New York, News Literacy is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to judge the reliability and credibility of information in print, television or online.
Making Sense of the News (MOOC) A MOOC, Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens is offered by The University of Hong Kong and The State University of New York. The course teaches educators how to evaluate the quality of news and journalism in order to judge the reliability of information and make informed judgment. It is an online version of the News Literacy curriculum developed at Stony Brook University in New York and the University of Hong Kong.
Is it true? The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has a quick and dirty guide to deciding if something is fake news. This bare bones page includes the CRAAP test, fact checking sites, and links to why fake news is a bad thing.


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