‘Fake News’ or ‘False News’ and the need of skills to deal with it

Adults have problems deciphering truth from falsehoods as information is twisted and changed to compete with different ideologies and competing voices. How much more do our students need to be skilled in discerning truth from fabricated or twisted information. This is where information literacy skills need to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum and practice given under guidance. It is the role of the Teacher Librarian to assist in this.

Some good ideas for initial activities to make students aware of how easy it is to believe false news are given in this article in the NY Times: Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News by 

This New Yorker Cartoon by  says it all!

Four absolutely necessary skills and five vital ‘soft skills’

A A Juliani published a paper yesterday entitled ‘21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever’. He points out that these vital skills are not the focus of standardised testing yet so many educational decisions lie on the results of these tests.  He points out that : If schools are meant to prepare students for the real world. Then why doesn’t school look more like the real world?”

These are the skills we focus on at Broughton when many of our classes, both Primary and Secondary, take part in units of work using Guided Inquiry.

However, A A Juliani goes on to discuss the work of Seth Godin

Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills“, in which he describes five categories of skills that we all look for in colleagues, employees, and students–yet, don’t seem to value over other content and standardized skills.

The five skills Seth describes (from http://ajjuliani.com/are-we-waiting-too-long-to-give-students-a-choice-in-their-learning/) are:

Self Control — Once you’ve decided that something is important, are you able to persist in doing it, without letting distractions or bad habits get in the way? Doing things for the long run that you might not feel like doing in the short run.

Productivity — Are you skilled with your instrument? Are you able to use your insights and your commitment to actually move things forward? Getting non-vocational tasks done.

Wisdom — Have you learned things that are difficult to glean from a textbook or a manual? Experience is how we become adults.

Perception — Do you have the experience and the practice to see the world clearly? Seeing things before others have to point them out.

Influence — Have you developed the skills needed to persuade others to take action? Charisma is just one form of this skill.

There is plenty of food for thought here as we plan another year of activities and learning experiences for the children in our care. The content is not all we must teach!

 

The IRC place and space for Year 3 Guided Inquiry

Year 3 are all studying Minibeasts – having selected their favourite minibeast they have constructed some ‘wondering’ questions and are finding answers. The IRC space means they can work…
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Students are only using library books and all work in in workbooks with scaffolds pasted in before they began. The teachers are now experienced in Guided Inquiry and students are very focussed and excited about learning. Reading and Writing are integrated with Science for this unit of work.

Flipped Classroom explained

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have posted a graphic and two videos to explain what in entailed in ‘flipping’ your classroom. It is one of the best explanations I have seen. As personal technology use expands in our school with the implementation of BYOD, Flipped Classroom is now a possibility.

“Flipped classroom or flipped learning is a methodology, an approach to learning in which technology is employed to reverse the traditional role of classroom time. If in the past, classroom time is spent at lecturing to students , now in a flipped model, this time is utilized to encourage individualized learning and provide one-on-one help to students.”
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Google search – finding the best hits

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This linked infographic from Who Is Hosting This displays best search practice in order to get exactly you are looking for. A lot of students seem to fully rely on Google Search – learning how to search effectively would be very beneficial.

Teach for the whole brain

Half-Brain Teaching Isn’t Enough Infographic

“In today’s societies there is a lot of focus on the logical and analytical brain functions. Many schools are cutting the ‘extras’ like art and music. However, students need to be well rounded and really need subjects like those to be considered more than ‘extra’, and while there are many people fighting to keep these programs in schools, the international economy and jobs outlook is demanding more focus on STEM.”

Why Half-Brain Teaching Isn't Enough Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Evaluating the quality of online information

In her post on the Edutopia Blog, Julie Coiro, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island, suggests ways to develop skills in adolescents dealing with online information.

“An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to read and evaluate its level of accuracy, reliability and bias.”

Four strategies are outlined to assist in developing these skills of discernment.
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Learning technology skills

21 Things 4 Students “was created as an educational and online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century. This project was specifically developed to provide districts and classroom teachers with resources to help students meet or exceed the 8th grade technology proficiency requirements in Michigan.”

Students all over the world need these skills and this site allows progressive attainment through video explanations and ‘quests’ in 21 areas.

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