Recently, there has been a push in education circles to help students spot fake news sources -- which have become incredibly common in today's new media ecology.
While spotting fake news sources IS an essential skill for students to master, it is even MORE important for students to learn that controversial issues are complex and perceived differently by different people. Recognizing that content on the web is likely to be biased or slanted in favor of a particular position is far more important than being able to pick out content that is obviously fake simply because consumers of information in today's world are far more likely to encounter biased or slanted content in their day to day lives.
This lesson is designed to help students learn more about bias and slant by asking them to build a balanced collection of web based articles, videos and/or images about a controversial issue. Students are provided with information about how to spot bias in web based content and a checklist to evaluate the overall quality of their final collection.
By working your students through this task, you will help them to realize that understanding a challenging topic depends on reading content that is neutral AND content that is slanted in favor of and against their core beliefs. Those are essential skills for developing citizens in today's divisive world.
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