In this unit, students will understand where “fake news” comes from, why it exists and how they can think like fact checkers to become fluent consumers, evaluators, and creators of information. They will apply this knowledge by selecting a controversial topic to evaluate, synthesize, and analyze all aspects before sharing with a local audience.
Public education is the single largest expenditure for state and local governments across the nation. Yet it is arguably the most criticized. Many people charge that public schools are faltering and that American academic achievements are far behind those in other countries. In recent years, many states and localities have experimented with improving public schools.
Presidents Washington ($1), Lincoln ($5), Jackson ($20), and Grant ($50) all appear on currency. But what about this guy Alexander Hamilton on the ten-spot? How did he get there? A sawbuck says you'll know the answer after reading this piece.
Students will learn about agricultural business operation and management. Topics will include accounting, finance, economics, business organization, marketing, and sales. Students will learn about agricultural business operation and management. Topics will include accounting, finance, economics, business organization, marketing, and sales.
Before reading any online source, students need to ask a fundamental question: Who is the author? In this task, students examine the headline of an article about personal finance that is sponsored by a bank. The task assesses students’ ability to recognize the source of the article and explain why a sponsored post by a bank executive might not be a trustworthy source on this topic.
The internet provides access to information whose quality runs the full spectrum from bogus conspiracy theories to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting. In order to judge where on this spectrum a given website falls, students must investigate who's behind it. To do this, they must not rely on what people behind a website have to say about the site, but what other trusted sources say about it. This open web search assesses whether students confronted with an article from an unknown site can determine who's behind it and, thus, whether it is trustworthy.
Social media sites, like Twitter, are filled with individuals and groups seeking to further their agendas. In order to navigate this sea of information, students need to be able to weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of tweets as sources of information. This task assesses students’ ability to consider the source of a tweet and the information contained in it en route to describing what makes it both a useful and less useful source of information.
Social media is rife with specious claims, and students often struggle to decide whether such claims are sound. This task asks students to evaluate the merits of a tweet that makes a claim about gun ownership and provides a link to an article as evidence.
Videos are a powerful, popular, and increasingly easy way to make and spread arguments about policy topics. Compelling footage and authoritative narration may make students tempted to trust such videos. In this task, students watch a short video and explain why they might not trust a video that makes a contentious claim.
As news websites have proliferated, their comments sections have emerged as forums for civic discourse. This task presents students with an online comment from "Joe Smith" and taps their ability to reason about the factors that make a comment more or less trustworthy.
As native advertisements proliferate, students need to look beyond surface features like vivid graphics and learn to carefully evaluate sources of information. In this task, students are presented with links to two articles from the same online news outlet and asked which is a more reliable source. Students must identify who is behind the articles and consider potential conflicts of interest in order to successfully evaluate the articles.
Infographics and charts can be useful tools in helping us understand complex information and data, but they can also be used to deceive. Students need to move beyond surface-level evaluations and think critically about what is presented and who is presenting it. In this assessment, students are asked to examine two digital graphics and determine which provides better evidence. In order to answer successfully, students must evaluate the source of each graphic.
Given the vast amount of information available online, students need to be able to distinguish between legitimate and dubious evidence. This assessment measures whether students can evaluate evidence when it takes the form of a vivid photograph.
Social media has become a forum for discussions about politics and public policy. These conversations often include links to news articles, videos, and other sources, but the quality of this evidence varies tremendously. In this task, students are presented with two posts from a Facebook conversation and asked to explain which contains better evidence.
Many news organizations have turned to native advertising as a source of revenue. By definition, native advertising tries to sell or promote a product in the guise of a news story. This makes it difficult for unsuspecting readers to know if and when there is an ulterior motive behind the information they encounter. This task assesses students’ ability to distinguish between an article and an advertisement.
In order for students to effectively navigate the news, they need to understand the differences between news stories and opinion columns. This task assesses a student’s ability to recognize and differentiate news and opinion articles in an online format.
Social media outlets have become go-to places for news organizations to disseminate their stories. However, for every journalist posting on Twitter or Facebook, there are imposters uploading bogus messages in that person’s name. Identifying fake accounts is a critical skill for successfully navigating social media.
This task assesses students’ knowledge of an important symbol on Twitter and Facebook—the blue checkmark, which indicates a verified account. Students are asked which of two Facebook posts is a more trustworthy source about Donald Trump’s decision to run for president. Although both posts claim to represent Fox News, only one is verified.
Twitter has become a powerful source of information about breaking news. Surveys show that young people increasingly rely on it for news about events as they unfold in real time. But it’s not always easy to distinguish a tweet that’s based on a legitimate source from one that relies on hearsay. This assessment taps a student’s ability to assess the trustworthiness of different kinds of tweets.
When young people want to find out more about a topic or question, they often turn to Google. But open Internet searches routinely turn up contradictory results that mix fact with falsehood. Making sense of search results is even more challenging with politically loaded topics. This task asks students to perform an open search about a controversial figure in order to assess their ability to wade through information to find sources, evidence, and arguments that they trust.