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News Literacy: Discerning the Real from the Alternative Reality

Yea! I read a Wired article over the weekend about how some schools are teaching young kids how to evaluate information they find on the Internet. Along with that article, there were some other suggested readings I haven't read yet such as how Macedonian teens used/mastered fake news, how fake news work and how it can be stopped, following Trump's diet. The kids are learning news literacy. But according to the leader of News Literacy Project, fake news is not new (that's a surprise) but has become more dominant now with the latest election cycle. Whatever the case may be, it is good news to hear that children are starting to learn news literacy.

Yea! I read a Wired article over the weekend about how some schools are teaching young kids how to evaluate information they find on the Internet. Along with that article, there were some other suggested readings I haven't read yet such as how Macedonian teens used/mastered fake news, how fake news work and how it can be stopped, following Trump's diet. The kids are learning news literacy. But according to the leader of News Literacy Project, fake news is not new (that's a surprise) but has become more dominant now with the latest election cycle. Whatever the case may be, it is good news to hear that children are starting to learn news literacy.

Can I have some of that?

In an effort to broaden my thinking, I have read Mindware by Richard Nesbitt and I just got a book titled Weaponized Lies - How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era. It looks like that book covers the topic of numbers and plausibility, averages, charting lies, false reporting, and probabilities. There is also a section on words and how do we identify expertize, seek out (?) alternative explanations, and counterknowledge. Then there is science, logical fallacies, Bayesian thinking and knowing what you don't know. I can't wait to start reading that book (of course, I have to finish the current book I'm reading).

I hope reading these books will help me.

But what about those adults who follow conspiracy theories and who gets fooled by the fake news? Shouldn't we also train them? They are the ones determining our fate by through elections and most of us adults did not have news literacy as courses when we were kids. Those 40 and over did not grow up with computers in the house or in schools - we did not even have cellphones back then. So a lot of us may be lacking the necessary skills to determine the fallacy of the information we are taking in.

Isn't there anyway we can make this a mandatory education for us adults so we can make better decisions?

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