Giving Compass’ Take:
• On a podcast at EdSurge, Peter Adams and Jonathan Haber discuss strategies for teaching information literacy to help consumers dispel misinformation about coronavirus.
• How can pervasive coronavirus misinformation have under-the-radar health consequences? What can we do to promote information literacy for more logical, protected news-consumers?
Information literacy has long been hard to teach, especially with the landscape of online platforms changing so fast these days. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, it can seem harder than ever to sort out reliable information from falsehood, rumor and conspiracy.
So on this week’s EdSurge Podcast, we’re talking to two experts working to help educators and others sharpen their info literacy and critical-thinking skills.
- Peter Adams, senior vice president for education at the News Literacy Project. The nonprofit group provides professional development and online materials to help teachers understand and teach news literacy.
- Jonathan Haber, an educational consultant, researcher and author working at the intersection of K-12, higher education and educational technology. His latest book, “Critical Thinking Essentials,” was recently published by MIT Press.
Adams notes that the pandemic has highlighted that misinformation can have consequences to health, such as when false cures and false preventions circulate online and lead people to get sick. He says everyone should make sure to spend a few seconds checking any claim before sharing it with friends or on social media.
Haber, meanwhile, created a free tool called Logic Check, which helps users apply critical-thinking skills to information they find online. He feels that fact-checking websites like FactCheck.org have limited value when it comes to halting the spread of misinformation.
Imagine, he said, someone arguing that since we’ve been locked down for months and COVID-19 deaths are continuing, that must mean that social distancing isn’t working. “If you look at the premises of that argument, they’re both true,” he says. “We have been locked down for several months and COVID deaths have been going up. And so if you just fact checked it, the facts would check out.”
Listen to the full podcast about information literacy with Jonathan Haber and Peter Adams at EdSurge.
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