Truth, Science and Fake News
Here’s what we did today in the wake of this:
And also, let’s be honest, because trying to get across the importance of using reliable sources and evidence is one of the hardest concepts and skills to teach. Something that might help keep democracy working.
Here’s what worked so well today that we were stunned when the bell went. So interesting to hear their thoughts about all this.
1. What is ‘truth’? Are there different kinds of truth? Why does truth matter? How is science related to truth? Similies? Opposites? Is it good or bad? When? Examples of useful truths and destructive lies. Write on your whiteboard. Share out in a ‘Socrates Seminar’
2. Write about truth for 5 minutes in your journal.
3. Look up ‘truth’ on Wikipedia. Translate to simple English. How does it compare to what you wrote?
4. Read about fake news. Pick any of these:
- Snopes.com list of fake sites and definition of ‘click-bait‘.
- SF Chronicle Students and Fake News article.
- Why Fake News is written – NY Times article about the election.
- Here is a fact-checking site – Snopes.com or FactCheck.org Find something that surprised you.
- And a NYTimes article about the effect of social media and our grip on the fact-checked truth.
- Fake news compared to real news in the run up to the election. Vox article and graph.
- The effect of fake news on international elections NYTimes article
- Ways to spot fake news from USAToday
5. Answer at least a couple of these questions in your journal:
- What is ‘fake news’? Why is it created?
- What was the most surprising ‘fake news’ you found? What was so surprising?
- Why do people write, believe and spread fake news?
- How can you tell if news or information is fake or reliable?
- Why is fake news such an important issue in society right now? What are hallmarks of reliable, evidence-based information?
- What can you and your friends do to improve the amount of real news shared on social media?
6. Discuss what you learned about the importance of evidence-based information in science and in society. (And therefore why it’s important to use and cite reliable sources!)