Heywood Prep’s Digital Leaders have worked hard last term on their digital citizenship skills in order to not only stay safe online but also make use of web-based resources and online communities in a positive way. As part of their learning, they used an information literacy tool developed by Cambridge University deliberately aimed to mislead, manipulate and anger virtual followers.
‘Bad News’ is described as a vaccine against fake news which teaches children (and adults) about the methods employed by unreputable media outlets in an effort to spread disinformation. The pupils had a lot of fun using the game-based resource and were quickly adept at using the language of disguise, impersonation and emotion in their virtual ‘tweets’. A recent study by Channel 4 found that only 4% of 1500 respondents could correctly identify fake news. In an online world where approximately 15% of social media accounts that share news stories are ‘bots’; critical thinking skills and online savvy are increasingly important.