Well my title says it all. I read, quite by accident, a crazy MoMo post by someone named Wanda —a scary, urgent, bang-on-the-drum essay. Then there was the video… I am pleased to say that my hoax antenna is pretty well-tuned, and my reaction was, “Here we go again.” In truth I also realized that something similar had been around the digital world a few times before. But since then I’ve watched it travel, once again all over the world.
Both the New York Times and the Atlantic have published articles about the MoMo hoax. They are worth reading and sharing, so check them out.
I am stunned that guidance counselors, police departments, sheriffs, and all sorts of other community leaders, even a few national leaders (ummm, not to mention parents) did not do their media literacy evaluation homework before they responded, no freaked out. Continue reading “Oh No! It’s MOMO! … Psssst — It’s a Hoax”→
Learning to comment well, avoid chatter, and identify made-up news and comments — before sharing or forwarding them — is a critical 21st Century literacy skill.
Each week I receive a terrific email on fact checking, sent from the Poynter Institute, an independent group that promotes excellent and innovative journalism in our 21st Century democracy. Poynter’s weekly email message contains all sorts of interesting tidbits, quotes, and information that can help people learn more about information accuracy.
I am having great fun with Factitious, a quiz that tests my ability to identify real news (as well as the fake stuff). It’s a resource that can help middle and high school kids fine-tune media their literacy skills, guiding them to figure out the truthfulness (or lack of truthfulness) of a news story. Oh, and maybe it can help adults, too.
Developed collaboratively by JoLT and the AU Game Lab, two organizations at the American University in Washington, DC, the quiz highlights news stories that have appeared in print and asks players to read evaluate them. At the bottom of each story is a button to click to identify the source of the story. With these two bits of information, players decide whether the news story is true or false. The game indicates whether an answer is correct or incorrect, and then provides a description of the news source, explaining whether it’s known for false or reliable information. Continue reading “Distinguish True vs. Fake News With Factitious Quiz”→
Teachers all over the country are sharing ideas about how to help their students identify news that is made-up, unsubstantiated, or just plain false. Now Google has added a feature that identifies false information that comes up on user searches. An April 7, 2017 article at the Pointer Journalism site describes Google’s new fact check in detail and explains how the company went about developing its new feature. You can also read the CNET article about Google.
How to scrutinize, classify, organize, and evaluate today’s media — as much as possible, online and off? That’s the question.
As we search for ideas that can help young people explore news sources, evaluate their preferences, examine how the media outlets identify and share facts, we mustn’t forget incorporating the the opportunity to talk with one another about the perspective that each source brings to its news-sharing. Recently I found Vanessa Otero’sinteresting diagram that demonstrates how we can focus on media sources as well as consider their viewpoints and biases.
Evaluating 21st Century news is more complex than it’s ever was in the 20th Century. Reading the news is de-emphasized and watching the news is more prevalent, so we don’t interact much with information sources. The Internet and cable television channels allow opinions or made-up stories to masquerade as news sources — even when those opinions have no credible or factual source. Social media amplifies everything. Truth and expertise are incidental. Continue reading “Classifying News Sources With a Venn-Diagram Mapping Strategy”→
Fake is a generic term. It means one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. Anyone can say that something is fake or made up.
More descriptive words make it more difficult to label information that is untrue, and easier to challenge. We — kids, adults, parents, and teachers — need all the help we can get in this 21st Century connected world when it comes to evaluating credibility
Verified or validated news
Teaching our children and all citizens to check for credibility, evaluate, and celebrate substantiated news has become more urgent In today’s hyper-connected world. Read my more detailed post on this topic.
If you have not discovered The News User Manual as a media and news literacy resource for 21st Century digital kids and yes, even for their parents, do check out the website.
Started by two seasoned broadcast journalists, Jim Kane and Rich Nagle, The News User Manual features ongoing podcast conversations (sometimes we call them casts) that encourage individuals to ask questions, think about, evaluate, gain an understanding of, and develop personal news curating skills. The News User Manual’s mission encourages listeners to ask lots of questions about the news. In one cast they comment:
The thing to remember is to neither believe nor disbelieve what you’re reading, hearing or watching online. Rather, ask yourself how, when, why and where it was reaching you.
How, when, why, and where — media literacy at it’s best!