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Disinformation Is Rampant. Here’s How Teachers Are Combatting It

Education Week: “As students search for news online, it’s increasingly likely that they’ll come across the steady stream of disinformation on the web: conspiracy theories like QAnon, manipulated images and videos, false claims that the coronavirus is a hoax. These stories and statements are regularly debunked by fact-checkers and news outlets. But some students believe them—and bring them into social studies classrooms. These past few months, the election has been at the center of this: President Donald Trump consistently said, with no evidence, that the election had been stolen from him through massive voter fraud. Viral videos that wrongly claimed to show election officials sneaking in extra votes or burning ballots circulated on social media. Online spread of disinformation and rumor like this has posed new challenges for civics teachers. Confronting it requires a different kind of news literacy education in the social studies classroom, experts say—one that goes beyond the common practices of encouraging students to see both sides of an issue and provide evidence to back up their claims.”You need young people to be critical thinkers and question,” said Darcy Richie, the senior director of program and impact at Generation Citizen, an action civics education organization. “But there are also certain things that are true and not true.”…

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