Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Teaching About Fake News

Since 1995, I've been saying the most critical thing we should be teaching students, is information literacy. Specifically, the ability to locate, evaluate, and use online information for problem solving. It has been 25 years of banging my head against a wall, while shouting into the wind, while swimming upstream, with one hand tied behind my back.  Yet, I keep trying, because it is the key to understanding how to handle Fake News.

I've written tens of thousand of words on the subject, most of them have probably been on Facebook.  While looking back on some of my work, I came across the Internet Library, a series of 7 books for middle school libraries back in 1998.

The problem with writing so much is you forget half of the things you wrote. It wasn't until I dug out the volume on Locating and Evaluating Information on the Internet, that I realized I had written about misinformation and the 1996 presidential campaign! Except for a half dozen links that have broken over the past two decades, everything I wrote then could have just as well been written yesterday!

If you are a teacher or parent struggling with how to teach your kids about the whole "Fake News" problem, I would like to introduce you to Web, my computer sidekick. Here, he's helping me tell a story that actually took place during the 1996 presidential election. If you click on the link below, you can download three chapters from the book and use it with your kids or your class.

Note: The books are out of print, but I retain the copyright and am making some content available for free. You can probably find some on Amazon or other sites, but I do not profit from those sales. Use should be for education. No modification or commercial use, please.