As children and young people increasingly turn to digital media for their information, they are more likely to encounter misleading narratives, bias and exaggeration. For better chances in life – and well-being – they need the skills to effectively evaluate what they see online.
of 9-16 year olds have the critical literacy skills they need to tell if a news story is real or fake.
of children age 8-15 believe everything they read on the internet is true.
More than half
of 12-15s rely on Google, YouTube or social media for ‘true and accurate’ information about things going on in the world.
of 12-15s completely trust or don’t consider the reliability of information listed by search engines.
of middle-schoolers can’t distinguish between an advert labeled 'sponsored content' and a real news story online.
More young people
than ever are using digital media as their main source of information.
“It is no longer sufficient to teach digital skills in specialist computer science classes to only some pupils… We recommend that digital literacy sit alongside reading, writing and mathematics as the fourth pillar of a child’s education.”
“Distinguishing what is true from what is not true is a critical skill today… being aware that there is something that is written that is not necessarily true that you have to question is very important. This is something that we believe schools can do something about.”
Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills , OECD (2017)
“Many pupils lack the skills they need to identify fake news, meaning that they may experience increased anxiety, they may mistake false news for fact, and they may be negatively influenced by hateful agendas promoted online.”
Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy in Schools, Report (2018)
Essential digital thinking skills for years 4 to 9
Using effective search techniques your students learn to locate relevant and useful information – whether they are researching a project, comparing colleges, or learning a new skill.
Through questioning and curiosity students develop skills to evaluate the materials they see online – webpages, videos, text, images, memes or posts.
With a good understanding of how and why digital media is created and distributed your students will be better protected against online misinformation.
The latest figures from OFCOM's 'Children's Media Use & Attitudes' survey are due to be published in February. They're expected to show that an increasing number of young people get their news online, but that fewer of them can tell fact from fiction. It's becoming harder for children - and adults - to recognise misinformation and fake news in [...]
Should democracies embrace or fear social media and new online platforms? That's the question the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies has been considering. Led by Lord Puttnam it called for evidence on the impact on political campaigning, the electoral process, our understanding of the truth and public's wider engagement with politics and political debate. On the question [...]