Educators attend workshop to support learning in the era of misinformation

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May 20, 2021 by HCDE-Texas

On Tuesday, Kelly Tumy from Harris County Department of Education’s Teaching and Learning Center led educators in a workshop focusing on the media and misinformation.

The timely workshop, hosted in partnership with CASE for Kids and The News Literacy Project, titled “A Future Founded on Facts,” was designed to help educators develop strategies to help students recognize misinformation online and on social media and provide reliable resources for fact-based decision making.

“Teachers don’t always have time to curate new materials,” said Tumy, who is a News Literacy Project Ambassador and HCDE’s curriculum director for English language arts and social studies. “As a county curriculum director, I feel like it’s my job to put vetted resources in front of teachers and say, ‘Use this resource, and this is how you use it.’ By putting on this workshop, I feel like I have said, ‘this is why this resource is valuable.’”

During the workshop, participants were given an overview of Checkology, a news and media literacy learning platform created by the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the ability to determine the credibility of news and other content.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the educational landscape has changed, and districts must now consider if and how to expand virtual learning while teachers contend with misinformation spread online.

“[The News Literacy Project] reaches a new digital component that classrooms need. Four area school districts will have a virtual school next year (New Caney, Cy-Fair, Houston, and Conroe ISD), and so this is a new digital option for teachers to put into a virtual school.”

Participants also heard from Houston Chronicle Education Reporter Jacob Carpenter, who spoke about journalistic objectivity and how he discerns what is reliable news.

Attendees included librarians, teachers, and volunteers for the CASE Debates program, which sparks and nurtures critical thinking in students.

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