Essential question: What is the value of teaching media literacy in K-12, and how can media literacy be used to help students understand the nature and effects of fake news?
Erika posted about hearing the phrase “I read it on Google so it must be true.” This is a very common occurrence, and I hear it quite often as well. Sometimes people joke about this but many times they truly believe what they are reading without fact checking. It is crazy how often this happens. It's like they have never considered that what they are reading might not be true. Because the internet has exploded so fast teachers haven't caught up to what essential skills will need to be taught. Even then I wonder where this fits in the curriculum? Sometimes I run across it when I have a project that students are researching and they bring me over to ask about the information they are finding. I will then explain to them that they need to get information from trusted sources, not just any source, and I do a little explaining about what makes a source trusted.
I had a connection to my teaching this week when Sarah posted about manipulation of graphs. I am currently teaching algebra and we just finished a section on misleading data. Student had to identify axes that were off or they had to look at the data itself and see the sample size or how the population sampled could be biased and non-random. They all caught on right away but without being exposed to it they could have easily glimpsed the graphs and made conclusions. It was fun the see the student reactions to misleading data as they all thought it was totally ridiculous that anyone would believe it once the mistakes were pointed out.
For me this week, it really hit home about how fast fake news can spread. Just looking at the gaming website Razer and how people wanted to participate in drinking a substance called v2 that would put nano bugs in their system and would make them better games. I asked myself who would want robot bugs in their body in the first place? It just goes to show how our emotions will get us every time. We want it to be true so badly that we believe anything. I also think about how parents won't vaccinate their children after so many studies have refuted Wakefields study, that has been proven to be falsified on the grounds that his study has yet to be done with similar results. His results were published in 1998, so 20 years later we still cannot produce these results. After all of this parents still believe that the MMR vaccine can cause autism. It is so crazy how when we want this to be the reason for autism we choose to not believe anything else.
As far as doing this in the classroom, I liked Sarah's idea of showing a video and having students write down all of the things that they are questioning. Then they analyze it as a class. I also like Jule's idea of having students create something fake and posting it on social media to see how fast it is spread. This is such a great idea to really hit home with students the power that the internet possesses when we leverage things in the way we want them to be seen. I think I would also like to hang up the infographic in my room to give students ways to evaluate their sources.