News. To be honest, this is one thing that can completely overwhelm me. Media, in my mind, has allowed the access to and the spread of news, true and fake to become so widespread. In today’s society information and news is always visible and present and that to me has become overwhelming. Because the access and amount of news overwhelm me so much, I have found that for the most part, I try and put myself in a bubble of staying local with my news intake. By doing so I feel that I am able to stay informed about what is happening in my immediate community and up to date with the news that directly impacts myself and my community. Amy shares the same feelings I do about news in todays society, she shares,
I can’t make sense of my world. What I learn about in the news constantly tells me that there is so much going on that I can’t understand and have no way of even beginning to understand. I feel overwhelmed by the complexities of the moment we’re in, politically, socially, humanitarian-ly, and environmentally.
With acknowledging these overwhelming feelings I feel about my news intake, I do acknowledge that it ultimately is a privilege that I have in that I am able to choose which news I concern myself.
Currently, the strategy that I use in order to stay informed and away from the fake news is that I try to primarily ready and watch local news, listen to local radio and also browsing online local news sites in order to stay informed with my communities news stories. I try and make sure that I cross-check facts between different local news stations as I find even between local news stations the stories that each station shares can present different facts and different information. I feel that in today’s world no matter what the source of news that you are reading it is important to always cross-check the information to truly guarantee that you are getting truthful facts of the news stories. If we do not cross-check the facts we then risk becoming part of the problem in spreading of ‘fake news’.
There was a time in my life when I relied on my social media platforms to keep myself informed with news. Many people use their social media accounts to share stories of news that is happening around the world. It is hard not to click on the catchy headings and read stories of what is happening around the world. The problem with relying on social media platforms is that there are many fake news stories floating around on these sites. This is why it is concerning that in today’s society many people are using social media as their primary news platform but in reality, this is where the majority of ‘fake news’ stories begin to circulate.
It is just in the last few years that I have learned to become skeptical of reading news stories circulating on social media and have become aware of the idea of fake news and how to begin to decipher if a story is real or fake. In Jocelyn and Jamie’s video this week, they share a study done by Ofcom that polled 12-15-year-olds and half of the students shared that social media is where they get their news stories from.The following is a video that Jocelyn and Jaimie’s shared about the importance of fact-checking news stories found on our social media feeds.
As an educator, we have a great responsibility in helping our students understand fake news and helping them build the skills that they need in order to understand and think critically about what they are reading. I can see after reflection this week that this is something I need to work on myself to become more comfortable with reading news and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to become more informed with what is going on around the world. I need to work towards becoming more comfortable with reading online and being able to confidently identify what is true and what is fake news. Jocelyn and Jaimie shared the following picture which I think is a great starting point for myself as well as my students when looking at classifying news.
Although I think this is a great start to helping students identify ‘fake news’ we need to remember what Alec shared last week in class. Nicole shared on Twitter how Alec quoted that”no checklist is going to make your student’s media literate.” Sharing tips that students can work through is great but even beyond this, we need to ensure that we continue to have conversations with them and provide them with real experiences to help them truly understand and be confident in the skills they need in order to become media literate citizens.
So my question to you is how are you committed to helping your students become digital literate citizens in this fake news world? For me, I acknowledge that my first step needs to begin with continuing educating myself and becoming more confident in my media literacy skills.
Thanks for stopping in!