SIC+ webinar focuses on disinformation and fake news

The SIC+ (Safer Internet Centre plus) programme is a collaboration between the network of European Safer Internet Centres and like-minded organisations around the world focused on keeping children and young people safe online. At the end of March 2023, the fourth and final webinar of the current round of the SIC+ programme took place, focusing on disinformation and fake news. 

Date 2023-05-09 Author BIK Team Section awareness, industry, policy Topic media literacy/education, potentially harmful content Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers
Four dices, each with a letter of the alphabet on it, spelling f-a-k-e and f-a-c-t. The first two dices are the same, the last two are in-between the letters k-c, e-t.

The webinar saw the participation of one in-house consultant from Insafe (Gareth Cort) and three organisations from European Safer Internet Centres (SICs): Tralalere (France), KAVI (Finland) and JSNS (Czech Republic). Here we provide a summary of discussions during the online seminar and share links, resources and best practices given by presenters on how to tackle disinformation and fake news online through education. 

Gareth Cort presented a new tool available on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) website, the BIK Teacher corner, which was launched on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2023 (7 February). The tool was created in direct response to the new BIK+ strategy, published by the European Commission in May 2022, which clearly identifies the need to improve teacher training by better addressing the risks and possibilities of the online environment for students across Europe. The tool is not a course as such, but more of a “one-stop shop” for teachers, educators and adults working in the field of children’s rights to better understand and gather knowledge on digital citizenship and media literacy. It includes four introductory modules as follows: 

  • Children’s rights in the digital world. 
  • Key online safety risks. 
  • Teaching online safety, media literacy and digital citizenship. 
  • Towards a whole school approach. 

Additionally, a series of deep-dive articles address key topics related to digital citizenship and media literacy, including sexting, cyberbullying, and cybersecurity and cybercrime. The deep dive section will be supplemented with new topics monthly. 

The first organisation to present was Tralalere, represented by Émilie Peinchaud. Tralalere is part of the French Safer Internet Centre. It has been deeply involved in the issue of misinformation and fake news as a survey conducted in France shows that 25 per cent of teenagers admit to believing conspiracy theories. Tralalere presented a tool called Infohunter, a pedagogical interactive course aimed to be used by teachers at both primary and high schools. The tool gives an in-depth analysis of misinformation and it aims to guide children and young people into decrypting information through a series of videos and exercises. Any teacher or educator can create a video based on a topic of their choosing by using a tutorial video present on the platform. Using this, they can create a new video and a pedagogical guide on how to deconstruct the news, with educational objectives based on the schools' curricula. 

The second organisation to present was KAVI, the National Audiovisual Institute, represented by Leena Pylkkö. KAVI is part of the consortium of the Finnish Safer Internet Centre, along with two other organisations: the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and Save the Children Finland. KAVI has been particularly active in the field of media literacy and critical reading among children and adolescents, and regularly organises events and campaigns on the topic, such as the annual Media Literacy Week which also encompasses the Safer Internet Day celebrations in Finland. Media literacy is a civic skill and consists of three main areas, according to the Guidelines for media education in Finland

  • Interpretation and evaluation of media: how to understand the influence of media and critical thinking and reading. 
  • Media production: communication and information. 
  • Operating in media environments: responsible and safe use of media, but also digital well-being.

KAVI has also created different educational activities to use in schools with different groups of children and young people, among which is the MEDIA EDUCATION SCHOOL, Populism bingo and Reliable Information. Among the other resources presented by the organisation, one relates to how to identify misinformation based on a poster created by the International Library Association

The last organisation to present was JSNS, represented by Veronika Sodomková. JSNS is part of the Safer Internet Centre consortium in the Czech Republic. JSNS itself is part of a bigger organisation called People in Need which exists to help children and parents all around the world that find themselves in critical or vulnerable situations. According to a JSNS survey, half of all students at Czech high schools do not trust media and they think that media, in general, keeps something back from citizens. For most high school students, the main source of information is social networks and friends. JSNS, therefore, has a goal to educate children and young people using movie-based formats. For this reason, they host a portal with different kinds of movies among which are movies on media literacy and misinformation. Other than proposing movies, JSNS also offers a set of different activities pre- and post-movie based on the film that has been watched. 

This webinar benefited from active participation from the SIC+ programme members, especially as the resources shared by within the session are adaptable to various situations, contexts and target audiences. 

Discover more about the SIC+ programme and its participants on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) website. 

Discover more about the range of resources created by the Safer Internet Centre network in the BIK resource gallery

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