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Teaching Students How to Evaluate Online Content

How educators can help students spot fake news and fact-check information online.

For students today, media literacy doesn't just pertain to an ability to navigate a variety of media formats, but also the ability to differentiate between factual information and fake news. In 2016, a Stanford study found that students struggled to tell the difference between ads and news articles and had a hard time figuring out where the information came from.

As educators, you can enable your students to apply the proper tactics in evaluating online content by discussing what fake news is and how it targets different audiences while encouraging students to not only cite resources, but cross-check their information.

Have students ask questions about the online content they interact with like:

  • Who made this?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who gets paid if you click on this?
  • What important information is left out?

By promoting research skills and critical thinking in regards to online content, students will gain a better understanding of how to spot disinformation in the media they engage with. Check out the links below for more information and resources on teaching students how to evaluate online content.

How to Spot Fake News and Teach Kids to be Media Savvy

How to Teach Your Students About Fake News

Teaching Current Events in the Age of Social Media

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