Discussing Impacts of Digital Learning – The Fake News



Together with my colleagues David and Cheryl, we tackled the subject of Fake News or Misinformation in relation to Digital Learning, with a specific focus on how those in the digital landscape are combating the news we receive and digest about the COVID-19 pandemic.


3 thoughts on “Discussing Impacts of Digital Learning – The Fake News

  1. Hey Ash,

    Thanks for the infographic. As someone who attempts to teach students about pseudo-news and how to identify it, I can tell you that it is not an easy feat. The problem with saying, “here is a tool to check” – is people do not develop the skills themself, instead, taking the path of least resistance.

    We can teach students to look for “red flags” or critical points, but this is superficial. I hate when people say, “leave it to education – they will figure it out.” It removes the responsibility that should be placed on the original offender. Yes, education has a role, but so does law enforcement and society. To stop this type of misinformation, an expectation needs to be set. The ironic part is that by teaching people how to identify fake news, we are also teaching them how to create compelling fake news, and as much as we do not want to believe it, some people are opportunistic.

    • Hi Michael

      Thank you for the comment. I believe you wholeheartedly when you say teaching students to decipher “fake news” to be a challenging task. The time a teacher can fully connect with the student to explain to them the rights and wrongs, they have likely already been pre-programmed by their culture, their family and friends and media. They come to you with their minds set on what they believe to be right. Not all, but I am sure some come with these preconceived notions of how the world operates and who to trust when receiving information. The tool we described was just another suggestion on what educators can use to make the battle a little less of an uphill one.
      I agree that this shouldn’t solely fall on the shoulders of educators, but where do we start? One of the topics we briefly described as the notion of Digital Literacy, but that itself is a double aged sword. There were many papers and articles we looked at suggesting Digital Literacy lead to people understanding concepts and being able to decipher truth from fiction and then there were those studies that showed the complete opposite. I hope to return to the subject of Digital Literacy in the future, as the more I read, the more I found the idea fascinating. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Hi Michael,
    While I agree that institutions have a role to play in limiting the spread of untruthful information, at the end of the day, it is a responsibility of an individual to develop critical thinking. Fake news is easy to spot, when it’s 100% fake or even 50% untruthful. Ideological bias (liberal or conservative), dishonest or manipulative presentation of truthful information are not easy to identify and in many cases we don’t want to (confirmation bias). And it’s always been there, pretty much every source of mass media was guilty of it. That’s how fake news came to be. It started with a bias, added little lies later and then someone realized that people don’t want to hear the truth, they want to hear what they want to hear. When it comes to managing information, no institution or law enforcement is able to stay 100% neutral anyway, because individuals within them have their own beliefs and most of those beliefs are not neutral. I’m not saying they shouldn’t try, my point is that we can’t expect them to do that job for us. We have to do out part too.

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