Parent and educator guide to media literacy and fake news

ConnectSafely.org, a US-based non-profit internet safety organisation, and conveners of the US Safer Internet Day (SID) Committee, has published a "Parent and educator guide to media literacy and fake news', available for free online.

The guide helps parents and educators understand not just how to address the topic of "fake news," but the larger issue of media literacy. With the proliferation of media, it's become difficult to sort through the noise, to know which sources to trust and why.

The "Parent and educator guide", written by ConnectSafely CEO and tech journalist Larry Magid and ConnectSafely K-12 Education Director Kerry Gallagher, will help children and students become more conscious consumers of information, explaining among other things:

  • The difference between fact and opinion in the news.
  • The difference between mistakes and lies.
  • How to deal with conflicting reports.
  • How to teach kids what to do when they see falsehoods shared online.

The guide also includes "expert tips" from the National Association for Media Literacy Education and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

"Teaching and modelling media literacy, critical thinking and emotional intelligence gets to the root causes of why fake news is so easily believed and spread," said co-author Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely. "While we'll never rid the world of false information, we can help parents and educators immunise young people so that they can become better consumers and creators of accurate information."

"As a parent and educator, I know my friends and colleagues often talk amongst themselves about how much they are struggling to explain all the different types of media and information we encounter every day to the children in their lives." said Kerry Gallagher, Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely, "I'm proud that this guide includes truly practical tips and strategies that readers can bring to the dinner table or the classroom right away."

The guide, which joins ConnectSafely's guides to social media, student data privacy, cyberbullying, cybersecurity, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, ASKfm, and other topics, is available at connectsafely.org/fakenews.

This press release was originally published on the ConnectSafely website and is reproduced here with permission.


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