A recent study from MIT found that fake news stories “are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories are.” With so much false information spreading around the internet, it’s more critical than ever to make sure that students are exposed to media bias and media literacy so that they can identify fake news articles and prevent them from spreading.
We’re celebrating PenPal Star Ramon from Louisiana who is participating in Facts, Opinions and Fake News. Ramon had a chance to practice analyzing a news source to evaluate its credibility:
An example of a credible news outlet is KSLA News 12. For example, this is true because in one of their newest stories they talk about Tropical Storm Kirk reforming. You are able to tell the story is true because they site the place they got their information from which was the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the reason I believe this source is because it is a NATIONAL hurricane center in Miami, Florida. The evidence in the source is that it explains how fast the wind speeds in the tropical storms are, and when it should get even faster. Also it tells you exactly where the tropical storm is, and where it is going. The main point of the story is proven by the evidence by telling you how fast it is going, where it is going, and where it is right now. In my opinion the only thing that is really missing is where they think the tropical storm will be in a couple days or so based on the conditions of it right now. The last reason it is credible is because I am learning what I need from the source about the hurricane everyday it is being updated with new information on the hurricane. This is why I think that KSLA News 12 is a very credible news outlet and how I checked the credibility of the outlet.
During the project, Ramon learned that it’s important to learn with other students around the world “so that you can all share experiences and or news from the place that they live in and you can know what happens where they live.” We caught up with Ramon to learn more about his experience discussing fake news articles with students around the world.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
RAMON: My favorite thing about learning with PenPals is I get to see other people's opinions on things as well as my own, and also getting feedback on it.
What was the most important lesson you learned in this project?
That you really have to make sure that your news outlet is real and not fake because you need to know what is going on in the world.
What is the most interesting thing you learned from your PenPals?
That lots of people care about more than themselves and that everyone should.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
It has changed the way I think about the world because I used to think that almost everyone only thinks about themselves, but after reading the news story I have realized that there a lot of people that care about others.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
The advice I have about being a great PenPal is making sure your source has real facts and that in your writing you make sure you have quotes to prove your writing is correct.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If I could travel anywhere in the world I would go to Spain because that is where most of my heritage starts at.
Thanks, Ramon, for being a great PenPal! Your students can learn with Ramon and explore fake news articles while discussing fake news stories with students around the world in Facts, Opinions, and Fake News.
What Kinds of Fake News do Students See?