Fake news, unreliable websites, viral posts—you would think students who have grown up with the internet would easily navigate it all, but according to a study done by Stanford researchers, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Researchers describe the results of the study done on middle school, high school and college students across the country as “bleak.” Students were asked to judge advertisements, social media, video and photographic evidence, news reports and websites. Though researchers thought they were giving students simple tasks, they say that “in every case and at every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, researchers go on to say, “At present, we worry that democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish.”
So what can educators do about the spread of fake news and our students’ inability to recognize when they have been fooled? Lesson plans that explicitly address the new media literacy and task students to be responsible consumers and disseminators of news are a good place to start.
Here are eight things that students need to know about fake news and the new media literacy:
Via John Evans