Whether you are doing a little research, following a news story, or sharing interesting things on social media, the Internet is a never-ending source of information. But how do you know if that information is true, unbiased and relevant? This section helps you sharpen your critical thinking skills in finding, recognizing and sharing quality info online.
MediaSmarts is partnering with Facebook Canada to help Canadians become better informed readers in the digital age. False online content isn’t a new problem, and it’s not unique to Facebook, but it is up to all of us to fight it. Many of us lack the search, authentication and critical thinking skills we need to find accurate information online and to recognize false or misleading content. That’s why MediaSmarts has partnered with Facebook to help build the authentication skills of all Canadians.
How to recognize false content online - the new 5 Ws
Did you know that almost a quarter of adults have shared a false news story, and that we’re least likely to fact-check news and other things that come to us through people we know and trust on social networks (even though for many people these are their most common sources of news)?
For more than a decade, MediaSmarts has been a leader in defining digital literacy in Canada. This is reflected in the elementary digital literacy framework we launched in 2015. The Use, Understand & Create framework is based on a holistic approach which recognizes that the different skills that make up digital literacy cannot be fully separated.
In this lesson, students discuss “viral” photos, videos and news stories that spread via social media. They are shown how challenging it is to authenticate these using only their content and are introduced to tools and techniques for gauging their accuracy based on context, with an eye towards making wise and responsible decisions about whether or not to forward them to their friends and family.
Students often feel detached from the political arena, and this lesson plan we have designed is to help inspire curiosity and action with your secondary students due to the very real connection between early civic engagement and citizens that are active and engaged with politics for their lifetime.
Students are introduced to civic education through a series of activities which will ask them to work together to engage with their larger communities through curiosity, conversation and creation. Current events happening at the neighbourhood, municipal or federal level will act as starting points for each activity.