Countering misinformation: Resources to help students sift through questionable content

In talking with educators around the country about issues they’re grappling with in the classroom, teaching students how to spot and deal with misinformation comes up regularly. From the COVID-19 pandemic to national and local elections, the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation online is a crisis that demands more investment in media literacy. 

Given the demand and interest, (and in honor of last month’s National News Literacy Week), we thought it would be a good idea to focus one of our virtual potlucks for educators on engaging ways to incorporate curriculum on misinformation.

If you’ve never attended, our monthly potlucks bring together a community of journalism educators to share ideas and resources on a particular issue, with a particular pedagogical grounding in design. Each month we highlight a “main dish,” as well as other “side dishes” to share: a resource, a reading, a question, an activity – anything that speaks to that month’s topic.

For our first potluck of 2022, we were joined by Carrie Ray-Hill, the Senior Director of Digital Learning at iCivics, Inc. Ray-Hill gave a tour through Newsfeed Defenders, a game designed to build students’ news literacy skills. Newsfeed Defenders sets players up as managers of a fictitious social media site, challenging them to verify information, navigate bias, and contend with how their actions impact the site’s metrics.

Ray-Hill also shared some pre-game and post-game activity ideas to help reinforce the learnings in the game – all of which can be downloaded by setting up a free educator account on iCivics. 

As side dishes during the potluck, Cole Goins, J+D’s engagement lead, shared a module on misinformation that we created for our “Community Journalism for Civic Power” workshop series with the Community College of Philadelphia, which adapts activities developed by First Draft. Participants from the Canadian Association of Journalists also shared a new training program on disinformation and misinformation they’ve launched for post-secondary students in every province and territory in Canada. 

Here’s a roundup of all the resources and links shared during our January potluck:

Have other resoures, lessons plans or links to share? Tweet us: @JournoDesign

Save the date: our next potluck for educators will happen on Thursday, March 3, at noon EST. We’ll focus on building self-assessment and peer assessment into the classroom and newsroom. RSVP here.