“Don’t believe everything you read online”

I think a common advice I’ve heard while online is don’t trust everything you read online. While that is a very universally good piece of advice knowing what your readings is true is not always as easy as we think. Overlooking a small wrong detail or simply taking what’s said at face value is something that every person will struggle with but being on the internet we have the resources and ability to fact check everything we read and look at. Especially today when spreading false information, video and photo editing are harder and harder to detect. I think in my classroom media literacy will be a large focus in general, but this topic is especially relevant as students today don’t know a world without the internet and so will have a natural trust with it.

Mike Caulfield’s article on the “Always check approach” is a great example on how to teach students on how to verify if information is true. Simply put his approach is reasonable in the sense that its quick and easy for a skeptical reader to figure out if what their reading has any validity. His argument is that readers are much more likely to actually look or check their sources if you could boil down the process to a quick and easy check. His examples on how exactly you could do this is quick and efficient and are definitely worth a look at if you haven’t already.

The educator Australia’s article too explains how to get students to avoid misinformation when online. The article does have some very good points on topics like clickbait and reading sources of articles. Maybe because I had been interested in this topic of rooting up misinformation, I decided to look up The educator Australia online just to check to see if there a trustworthy source. I found there an educational news / magazine company who’s main goal is to keep up educational news and decision in Australia but also around the world. While this information is not truly important to the argument of finding misinformation online, I realized just how easy it is to find out. It took maybe a 45 second google search to validate whether this information is reliable or not. Online its so easy to get mislead and believe something that’s not true on the other hand validating this information and finding out what is true and trustworthy is also just as easy we just need to learn how.

2 comments on ““Don’t believe everything you read online”

  1. I think having a quick way to check sources is a really great thing for the classroom. If it’s easy enough, you can make a poster to hang in your classroom so students can see it all the time. Students who can check sources for papers will hopefully grow into doing it naturally, leading to a generation of people who check sources when absorbing news, information, or anything else they come across.

  2. In the classroom, being able to check sources for credibility is super important for both students and educators, so having a technique like the Always check approach that makes it quick and easy is invaluable. The Internet is a large place, and with things like targeted advertising becoming increasingly common, the media that students are exposed to could be completely different from one student to another. Teaching students how to check the credibility of their sources is also a skill that will follow them into their adulthood, making them less susceptible to other types of misinformation.

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