Tackling Fake News in Your School or District

  • Concerned about fake news? Three actions you can take today.
  • Promote media literacy with all school personnel.
Students use their devices every day to find and read information

Librarians are on the front lines in combating fake news and across the nation many great ideas/resources and online tools are being developed to support these efforts. In the August/September issue of School Library Connection, Maria Cahill analyzes results of the One-Question Survey on News You Can Use…Or Maybe Not (Log-in or subscribe to SLC today to see the full article). Hundreds of librarians were asked how they were taking measures to counter the spread of fake news and the number one area was in promoting media literacy. With increased technology, students need more training in media literacy competency to enhance and inform their learning.

Here are 3 actions you can take now:

1. Check out the following resources to get started.

Center for Media Literacy

This site is dedicated to creating resources that promote media literacy

Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook
WNYC has created a handbook to help consumers identify fake sites and discuss current events through the fake news lens.

Media Literacy Now
Provides resources and media skill training for students to navigate the world of media literacy and grow competency at the same time.


Practice identifying fake news with this IFLA infographic as a guide

2. Infographics

Infographics are a great way to inform both students and educators on a topic. There are many freely available and some great free tools to create your own. You can share these digitally with your staff, post around campus, and share in a newsletter with parents.


Easel.ly allows you to create infographics for free. It does include fees for extra templates and charts. It also allows you to upload media from YouTube directly to the infographic.


IFLA has a great, free infographic on spotting fake news, available in many different languages.


A guide for parents and educators on media literacy and fake news

3. Parent Community Outreach

Many librarians are hosting events to reach out to the parent community in order to give them tips and ideas for addressing fake news in the home. Consider putting together an event at your library, using advice from this free resource:

Connect Safely: Parent & Educator Guide, Media Literacy & Fake News

Key Points: 

Share questions: Help families determine the difference between fact and opinion

Facts: this information can be verified by multiple sources. Events, names, dates are all indisputable. Details support the information.

Opinion: a claim that interprets the meaning. It is not wrong for one to make a claim or state an opinion as long as they clearly say so

False Information: Talk about false information in the following ways: Purposeful lies, omission of information, and mistakes.


Resources for SLC Subscribers

About the Author

Jennifer Gibson, VP Digital Publishing
With over 20 years of education experience, Jennifer fuels her vision, innovation and leadership by blending educational experience with professional development, educational policy, eLearning, and standards-based design to support educators in professional learning. She was the producer for over 50 ecourses and co-hosted a weekly edtech show. She holds a teaching credential and a MA in Technology from Chapman University where she was an adjunct faculty member for over 7 years.

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