Magazine article Curriculum Review

Grades K-12: Media Literacy Can Help Students Decipher 'Fake News'

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Grades K-12: Media Literacy Can Help Students Decipher 'Fake News'

Article excerpt

While it's been around for ages, "fake news" came to the forefront and made the headlines during the 2016 presidential election because of its prevalence throughout social media. Fake news is when fabricated stories are accepted as credible news. Unfortunately, American students are having trouble judging fact from fiction, according to a recent study. As a result, media literacy in schools can help remedy the problem.

The researchers from Stanford History Education Group at Stanford University found that more than 80 percent of the 204 middle school students who participated in the study believed ads labeled "sponsored content" are a credible source for unbiased news, reported District Administration magazine.

Even though teaching media literacy in K-12 can help, only two states -- Florida and Ohio -- require it in their curricula, according to Media Literacy Now, a national advocacy organization. Currently, Ohio requires media and technology literacy. While Florida law mandates media literacy (referred to as library media), districts are not required to create standalone classes for the subject, District Administration reported.

Learning to Question, Questioning to Learn

Media literacy is more about the questions than it is about the answers, according to Tessa Jolls, President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy (CML), an educational organization. By teaching students the importance of questioning content, they will learn to better evaluate data, the organization believes. …

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