Nov 06, 2017
Free Online Resources Provide Timely Guidance on Identifying and Avoiding Junk News
WASHINGTON — Today, the Newseum, in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) announced it will launch a new set of online resources later this month to address critical educational needs in media literacy.
The Media Literacy Booster Pack, which will be available for free on NewseumED, helps students navigate today’s complex media landscape. The resources, which include infographics, videos, historical sources and activities, offer students and teachers the tools to understand how news is made and how they can take a more active role in the information cycle.
“We are pleased to partner with the Newseum, and the release of this Booster Pack is well-timed as we celebrate Media Literacy Week,” said Kim Churches, AAUW chief executive officer. “AAUW has been producing in-depth research and actionable resources for the public for more than 100 years. It is more critical than ever that readers and voters know when a source can be respected and trusted. We hope educators and the public avail themselves of these valuable materials.”
The eight overarching topics of the Booster Pack are evaluating information, filtering out fake news, separating facts and opinions, recognizing bias, detecting propaganda, uncovering how news is made, spotting errors in the news and taking charge of your role as a media consumer and contributor. As junk news continues to infiltrate the newsfeeds of millions of social media users, education and awareness have become the best line of defense against the spread of misinformation and disinformation.
Many tools in the Booster Pack are designed to help students form sound opinions about social issues and politics and share those opinions effectively. For example, the activity “Slanted Facts and Slippery Numbers” uses the case of the gender pay gap to build strategies for analyzing contradictory claims and forming a fact-based opinion, and “Confronting Confirmation Bias” helps make students aware of their own biases on issues they care about.
The Booster Pack supplements a suite of free standards-aligned resources for students and teachers that are already available on newseumED.org. The existing resources include two poster-sized infographics, developed in partnership with Facebook, that explain how to analyze content and leverage social media platforms for sharing ideas and information.
NewseumED.org was recently endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The association is dedicated to supporting social studies educators in teaching students the content knowledge, intellectual skills and civic values necessary for citizenship in a participatory democracy.
The AAUW previously partnered with NewseumED on “Women, Their Rights, and Nothing Less,” an online learning module that explores how suffragists embraced the First Amendment as a tool to help achieve passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920; as well as “Election 2016: Stumped!?”, which presents important historical context to help students understand and participate in the American electoral process. In August, AAUW supported Women’s Equality Day at the Newseum, during which visitors learned about woman suffrage through educational activities and Newseum artifacts.
The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.