Don't Read This: Central Ohio Schools Design Classes Around Identifying Fake News | WOSU Radio

Don't Read This: Central Ohio Schools Design Classes Around Identifying Fake News

Mar 24, 2017

You’ve probably read some of the stories. Maybe it was the one about thousands of fake ballots being stored in a Columbus warehouse for the 2016 election.  Or one about President Obama signing an executive order to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. They're all fake.

Now, more Central Ohio schools are teaching students how to cast a critical eye on the information they find online and avoid intentionally misleading “news stories."

Teachers in Licking Valley, Bexley, Columbus Academy, and The Wellington School are among those putting an increased emphasis on how students can distinguish fake news from the genuine article.

"All school districts are looking at how to help our students to be thoughtful and considerate, and to be able to sort and know the difference between a person's individual blog and research-based information,” says Kim Miller, Dublin's Chief Academic Officer.

Beginning in the fall, Dublin City Schools will actually offer a newly-designed media literacy class for 6th graders for this very purpose.

Called "Modern Literacy," the class will help students interact critically with information found on social media like Facebook and Twitter. But it will also focus on distinguishing the authenticity of digital resources, especially those used in academics.

“They really need to be able to think about what they’re receiving and understand that everything that you read is not necessarily accurate," Miller says.

Miller says that in an "information-rich society" like this one, a central issue is simply sorting through all that's available.