Personally I have become very suspicious of news lately. The skeptic in me is showing. On social media, I hesitate to click through to a website for fear of ad invasion or some pop-up wanting me to sign up, and then there’s the creepy fact that everything you search becomes part of your history and everyone knows. I placed an order on Jet.com and for a week, every website I went to popped up a Jet.com ad. Really? Modern day commercials geared to who some cyberspace robot thinks I am.
How do we protect our children in these times of everything is news, real or fake? When the topic came up, I originally thought I didn’t need to worry about it. Our school district has safety blocks in place; however, lots of fake news sites have ways of circumventing these blocks. And in the name of good research, my students were finding them. Time for a talk.
Armed with chart paper, I wanted to find out what my students already knew about the difference between fake and real news stories. Here’s what we came up with.
Then I asked my students to pick a story on the internet that they are interested in investigating and write about their findings. One student made an interesting discovery when she wanted to find out if Donald Trump supports LGBT rights. She was confused by the reports and the images of Trump holding an LGBT flag. Which is true? In this case, both. So now we are on to another issue, what do we believe by the actions and the words of a person in politics? My response was yes, it’s confusing, so write about that!
Kevin Hodgson tweeted a Google slide show that he created for his students. I plan to show this next week to keep the conversation open.
I don’t have all the answers. This world of news at our fingertips, real or fake or just plain confusing, can be daunting. I want my students to be discerning citizens. So I keep the doors open. We wonder. We question. We look for answers.
Please add your link to the conversation below.