How Can Educators Teach Students to Spot Fake News?
Fake news is a widely used term in the world today. Almost everywhere, the term continues to generate waves of heated debate especially in the world of politics. According to a report by the Pew Research Centre, Americans believe it is the 5th major problem in the US.
Fake news refers to false stories that are usually sensational, created by individuals who want them shared publicly.
In recent times, we have seen how fake news can be a destructive tool. It could be used to shape public perceptions and opinions. In some cases, it could go as bad as affecting the results of general elections.
This article considers the entirety of fake news, why you should be concerned as a teacher, and what you can do to help your students.
Why Do People Create Fake News?
People create fake news in a bit to alter the opinions of people on certain subjects. In most cases, fake news is always about politics and changing people’s minds about elections. For some other people, it’s all about making money. They spread fake news as click baits in hopes to make money from the massive traffic generated.
Why you should be concerned?
The internet is not what it used to be in the early 2000s when it started. Today, fake news is all over the place and it constitutes a major part of the information we consume online. All thanks to social media, it has become easier to share this news.
According to a report from researchers at the Stanford University, between 80 and 90% of students in Highschool find it difficult to judge the credibility of online news. That means even when your students seek custom research paper writing help they could still fall victim to wrong information if they do not use the best hands.
How can you help your students?
Now that you know how bad the situation is, how can you help as an educator?
1. Discuss social media in your classroom
A majority of your students get their share of fake news from social media. Discussing the trending events together will help you engage your students and also educate them on false information.
2. Teach your students how to use Google effectively
The internet can be a source of information, misinformation, and a fact-checking tool all at the same time. It’s up to you to decide what you want.
To help your students, help them understand how they can use keywords appropriately in their Google searches to avoid falling into the hands of fake news peddlers. You should also ensure they know how to use Google reverse image search as that will help them verify images that are real and those that have been manipulated.
3. Teach them how to evaluate their news sources
Finally, you need to help your students understand how they can spot fake news. It would even help them identify the best paper writing services for their assignments. You should teach your students to ask the following questions.
- Is this site secure?
- Is the article properly written?
- Are there similar reports elsewhere?
- Who is the author of the content and is he credible?
- Are there citations in the piece?
- Is the article trying to push an agenda?
- Are there mix-ups on the date?
Fake news can do a lot of damage to society. As an educator, it is your duty to help prevent this menace among young children. We have provided pointers on how you can help.