I have to admit…most days I find the amount of information that is coming my way SO overwhelming. Between the insane amount of emails I get, the constant change over on my social media, the depressing and often “dooms day” esq. news stories rolling through the television media outlets – it’s too much. In fact, on the Rotchester University Medical Centre site, it says, “It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.” it suggests that a teenagers brain is not fully developed until 25 or so years old.” With that being said, it’s pretty scary to think about how all of this information will affect our kids when I am only a few years past my own brain being fully developed. Back in the good ol’ days it was, in my opinion, MUCH easier to spot fake news….because let’s be real, it was REALLY fake news delivered to us from sources that we knew were fake. Now, it is much harder to distinguish truths from lies because they are everywhere and delivered in many very convincing formats.
In Jaimie and Jocelyn’s video presentation they quote a Harvard study that states that 80% of students could not identify fake news…I would venture a guess, without some kind of training, a similar percent of adults, couldn’t spot it either. I have been guilty of reading a story and believing it without checking its validity, in particular if it backs and supports my viewpoints. Want to give it a shot? Try this quiz from BBC News! Another interesting piece of this puzzle is, where is our news actually coming from? There used to only be a few options with TV news or news printed in your local post however now, there is “news” is everywhere! Another bad practice I have in my day to day is perusing news stories that come at me from Facebook and my other social media accounts rather than visiting sites that are devoted to news and only news. So, how SHOULD I be spotting fake or questionable news?
I really loved this graphic found from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions as a quick reminder of the things I should be doing more regularly. Currently, I read, analyze and then check the bigger things I have been trained to look for such as the IP address, double checking dates to ensure it’s current news, remembering the source, and ensuring that I am not just reading stories that would support my personal views by seeking difference of opinion. This just isn’t enough anymore and I know I am doing myself an injustice by not ensuring that the news I’m drinking in is legit. On top of all that, I don’t share new stories very often for fear of perpetuating fake news…it’s a vicious cycle.
I agree whole heatedly with Logan in his vlog for this week when he says that even the term “fake news” has become kind of “fake news in itself” on account of the large blanket is has started to throw over not only news outlets, but unreliable articles, unchecked stories, etc. He also states based on his research, that fake news travels 6 times faster than real news. Meaning…that a large portion of the news and information I am receiving is potentially fake, or at least exaggerated. I suppose in light of all of these discoveries, I need to really become more diligent with vetting the news I’m reading. Another point that really stood out for me in Logan’s vlog was the portion on how cognitive ease affects our ability to spot fake news. Cognitive ease is what occurs when we get comfortable with certain information either because it’s true, or because it’s fake but we have been fed it over and over so it becomes easy to accept as fact. For myself as well as my students, I think we are living in a time where, as mentioned we are bombarded 24/7 with news and information, so we get complacent with what is presented and sometimes it’s just easier to find things that align with our current beliefs and don’t challenge them.
If we can’t laugh, what do we have? Thanks Giphy.
I am looking towards the future and vowing to be better using the tools that I have learned this week from our presenters as well as all the information Alec has given us to make better, more substantiated choices online with the news. I want my kiddos to have the skills to determine
the difference so they can make educated choices, base their beliefs on fact and be able to sift through the crazy amount of information online. I loved this video from the readings this week as a spring board for the process of spotting fake news – it’s short and to the point!
Thanks for reading,
“Educating the mind without educating the heart,
is no education at all.”