In today’s world where many people rely on social media just as much, if not more, for their daily dose of news it is becoming essential that we know how to tell the difference between ‘real’ news stories and ‘fake’ ones. With the hand-held technologies we have today news stories of every kind can easily be posted and shared, spreading like digital wildfire. As a result, it is our responsibility to educate our students as they grow up in this environment on how to find the truth among all of the opinions, biases, and all out fake information that’s out there. But, where do we begin?
Check out this article from Common Sense Media on How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to Be Media-Savvy). In this article, author Sierra Filucci discusses how to look at news stories critically and ask questions to help determine their validity. These questions can also be applied to research skills when using online sources. Too often, when my 5th grade students research something online for me and I ask them, “What’s your source?” they often answer with: “Google.” I feel like they’re not taking the time to verify who is giving them the answer. So that is why we are taking the time to really focus on taking those old “W” questions (Who?, When?, Where?, etc.) and applying them to our online research, as well as developing a list of trusted primary sources who we can go to first with our questions.