This “fake news” guide from Techboomers.com discusses what fake news is (and isn’t), gives tips for how to recognize and avoid it, explains the Facebook controversy surrounding fake news, and identifies 27 websites that are spreading false news.
Type of Material:
The instructor uses the website to define and describe fake news. S/he shares the website's tips for evaluating fake news. Then students can be assigned to use the tips to critique one of the news websites that are known for publishing fake news. Students share their critiques in class or online via a discussion board.
None. Accessed via Chrome on a Mac computer, and via Foxfire on a PC.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
• Students will learn to define fake news.
• Students will learn to evaluate whether a news website is trustworthy.
• Students will learn how Facebook factors into the fake news issue and what companies like Facebook and Google are doing to address the problem.
• Students will be able to identify the most common fake news sites.
Target Student Population:
Communications studies majors
Library and information professional majors
General education students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some introduction to or knowledge of the fake news controversy in the United States, and basic ICT literacy skills
The website provides clear and accurate information about fake news. It also includes annotated, working links to useful website that explain fake news and ways to recognize such fake news. One section focuses on Facebook's struggles with fake news, including very current actions. The materials reinforce each other, and provide more than sufficient amount of information to act upon. The creators are experts on digital literacy and social media.
• More descriptive, in-depth information in the text of the guide would be beneficial to students without much prior knowledge on the topic.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The website mentions the learning outcomes, which are central ICT literacy standards. The website introduces the concepts, provides relevant strategies, and gives examples to examine as well as links to other websites for deeper understanding. With the basic strategies and website examples, instructors can easily create assignments, and the additional linked resources offer personalized or differentiated learning. As the website states, "We’ve thrown a lot of information at you, but the most important takeaway is to choose what you post and share on your social media pages carefully and responsibly... Though it’s important to keep properly informed on the news of the day, you also need to think about preserving your reputation and credibility, not to mention your social responsibility for posting truthful content.
• Does not identify what preexisting knowledge a student needs to fully understand the resource.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Directions are clear, and usually include examples. The website has a clear layout and easy to navigate independently. The resources are topical and engaging. It is possible to get help online, and to contribute to the website.
• Not particularly engaging unless the student is already interested in the topic.
• No interactive features.
. It is not apparent that the website is ADA-compliant.
Other Issues and Comments:
This website is geared to older adults and others who are not tech-savvy. The umbrella website includes other topics such as Internet 101 courses.
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