Mar 01, 2019 2019-03-01
Founded in 2008, the News Literacy Project (NLP) helps students and teachers discern fact from fiction in the digital age. In May 2016, the project launched Checkology, an online interactive course that helps students understand and appreciate the role of the press, introduces them to different types of news—from entertainment to opinion to branded content—and teaches them the critical thinking skills they’ll need to spot misinformation. Because students often get their news from social media—where misleading articles, made-up stories, and conspiracy theories are presented the same way as any other piece of news—Checkology has addressed these issues head-on. The course is taught and led by real journalists, who, through short video clips, walk students through the lessons. It weaves in current events, such as the NFL controversy over players kneeling during the national anthem, and gives students frequent opportunities to test what they have learned. Despite the divisive nature of many of the issues the course touches on, NLP’s curriculum is nonpartisan.
Plus: The News Literacy Project offers a program for educators, called NewsLitCamps. The “camps” typically bring 50 to 75 teachers and librarians into a newsroom for a day of professional development. Educators learn how to spot and address bias, how to discern whether a news source is credible, and what the role of social media is. Since the NewsLitCamps started in 2017, NLP has hosted 11 events, including ones held with staff at the Washington Post, NPR, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times.