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Wednesday, March 28 • 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Checklists are not enough: New instructional approaches to digital media literacy

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Information floods our phones, tablets, and laptops. After the 2016 election, Americans looked for help in navigating this deluge. “Here’s how to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed,” blared a CNN headline. The Washington Post gave readers “The fact checker’s guide for detecting fake news.” The response didn’t end at how-to guides. From the campuses of Silicon Valley tech giants to the halls of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., initiatives emerged to understand how digital misinformation influenced the election and to limit the spread of online propaganda.

Despite the attention and resources devoted to this digital issue, a distinctly analog tool dominates the field of digital literacy curriculum: the checklist. Lists include questions like: Is a contact person provided? Are the sources of information identified? Is the website a .com (supposedly bad) or a .org (supposedly good)? On the one hand, it is easy to understand the appeal of such checklists. They are easy-to-use tools intended to support students in an area where we know they need help. On the other hand, as far as we can tell, none of the checklists are based on what skilled people actually do when facing a computer screen. In fact, checklists may actually lead students astray.

Based on research examining how fact checkers evaluate online content, the Stanford History Education Group has developed a different approach to teaching digital media literacy with new curriculum and assessments. During this session, participants will review lesson plans, watch classroom videos, examine sample student work, and collaborate to figure out how these materials can be integrated into their own classrooms.

avatar for Joel Breakstone

Joel Breakstone

Director, Stanford History Education Group
Joel Breakstone directs the Stanford History Education Group. He received his Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Along with Mark Smith and Sam Wineburg, he led the development of SHEG's assessment website, Beyond the Bubble. He received the Larry Metcalf Exemplary... Read More →

Wednesday March 28, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm PDT
HTE 115