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Jan 10, 2017 10:22 AM EST

Fake News Now Identified With The Help Of Our Teachers

There's A Way Teachers Can Help Students Identify Fake News
With fake news proliferating, teachers can arm their students to spot fake news and question any information through critical thinking
(Photo : Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Fake news is the new danger of modern world. The circulation of fake news have governments either established or torn down. If we are not careful, fake news can shape how the next generation will think and behave. However, it is not a hopeless situation as there are simple yet effective ways teachers can help their students identify what fake news is.

One of the biggest challenge when it comes to spotting fake news is the fact that technology has helped them look reliable and true, even world leaders fell for it. According to an article on Bloomberg, we are now in an era where we are not just consumers but producers and circulators as well. Anybody can report whatever they want an make it look legitimate.

On the other side of the spectrum are kids who are very impressionistic and will just read everything they read on Facebook or any other social media site without questioning their legitimacy. In short, critical thinking skills are missing among the younger, even older, generation nowadays.

These are the skills educators and parents need to nurture among the young. These impressionable kids should be taught not to readily accept but to

For example, the Chicago-based News Literacy Program (NLP) offers lessons that focus on different kinds of news content. One of their lessons about branded content, a type of content which provides information about a certain topic. During an exercise, students are asked which among these contents border on "full-blown advertising" instead of just providing information.

Another critical thinking strategy on discerning news was suggested by media specialist Frank Baker. He recommended that teachers, even librarians and other media literacy educators, should not only teach but they should also post questions on walls to remind students what to do when reading any news or article.

He also suggested to ask these five point questions: who is the author of the message?; Who is the audience?; what techniques are used to make the news believable?; who benefits from the message?; and who or what is omitted and why?.

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