C2W4: THINK

When should you double check content before sharing online?

Information from Media Smarts website; Authentication 101 Tip Sheet

THINK Acronym and Spreading of Misinformation as a social construct

The THINK Before You Post site has the THINK acronym to help decide if you should say/post something or not. I actually have this poster in my classroom to remind students to THINK before they say something inappropriate to one another. I usually review it before students collaborate together (social skills).

The idea that literacy is a social and not an individual skill was really pointed out in the article  Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation). This idea re-emerged in the article The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online (Pew Research Center). I think that studying literacy; scientific, digital, media, is a social skill that educators should teach everyday, in order to prevent the spread of more misinformation and to educate people so they can identify misinformation and be able to use methods of stopping misinformation and/or raising awareness.

I think that sharing misinformation is a social behavior. Who mostly shares misinformation? It seems like 25% of adults who have received content from a friend or well known person, are more likely to believe the content and least likely to fact check it before sharing (Authentication 101; Media Smarts).

What about those that knowingly share misinformation, like the dreaded bots? I find as I read Twitter, many readers comment on a controversial post. In the comments, there are mentions that the poster is a bot, that the poster’s account is new and they have less than x followers, or they ask for sources from a poster. I think as misinformation finds more insidious outlets and ways to spread, more people are adapting and learning ways to counter it or at least bring awareness to the post. It’s difficult though, as most of these posts, where people are asking for fact checking, are about dividing issues from the political sphere. It’s similar to a predator prey relationship! The prey will always evolve a bit faster than the predator, to ensure its survival and the food chain’s.

I think people who knowingly spread misinformation have a personality disorder or are apathetic. It’s in a society’s best interest to be transparent and honest.

But.

As I have learned after watching some Media Smarts videos, the same media can be interpreted differently by many people who all have different backgrounds, cultures, styles, ages, etc.

Media creators purposely create media that divides the audience into groups based on interests.

I think being grouped together based on interests is a good way to build a community. Many websites do this like Pinterest, Reddit, etc. On the opposite side, it’s also a good way to build a community based on harmful interests like fake news or casting doubt on experts.

What do you think? Do you think the spreading of misinformation is a social construct?

I think it is important to stop misinformation and for people to learn to identify ways to assess information, if it’s trustworthy or not. I’m surprised that media and digital literacy is not being taught across the curriculum at my school.

Does your school incorporate media and digital literacy curriculum into its learning plan? How are teachers introduced to this? How are they trained?

What actions might you take to support your students in responsibly consuming and sharing information?

I could collaborate with literacy/ELA teachers/tech integrationists and create trans-subject navigation as compared to trans-media navigation.

Teach students how to find and then quickly evaluate information in a short time frame since attention is fleeting between many projects/tabs.

Meet with admin to provide division wide goals for literacy including digital and media. Convince teachers that literacy is a skill that student’s need and will continue to use beyond their school years. Reframe literacy as a social skill. We interact online with others everyday and use information found online all the time in education.

I could also read over more of the Media Smarts website and incorporate more ways to teach digital and media literacies. They have a curriculum that I would like to look at.

One comment to “C2W4: THINK”
One comment to “C2W4: THINK”
  1. Hi Melanie!
    I like the first image/poster you posted here. Another good acronym to use and think about!

    I was also highly impressed by the Media Smarts website. I am excited to scroll through and use some of the lessons and resources with my students next year. I think it is a great supplement to the Common Sense Media lessons we are already using at my school.

    In thinking about what/how students post, have you heard about Social LEADia (www.socialleadia.org) or Media by Example (www.mediabyexample.com)? Social LEADia is a great book about empowering students to act positively online and share those experiences. Media by Example is also partnering with the author of the book and are getting started!

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