In an age where “information” is available at dizzying speeds and in seemingly endless quantities, it is essential to teach consumers the skills they need to discern what is fair, accurate and reliable.
Thankfully, local educators are joining their colleagues across the country in providing students of all ages the tools they need to help discern between fact and opinion, rumor and substantiated details.
In March, 35 educators from the region participated in the first of a series of webinars exploring critical inquiry in the internet era sponsored by the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. The agency also is developing a workshop for educators examining critical literacy and news consumption.
“I think it’s been a critical thing for a long time,” though it has become more urgent with the proliferation of social media, says William Diehl, the collaborative’s executive director. “Social media doesn’t have the kind of intermediate review process that most newspapers use, or journals use, or textbooks use.”