The VSTE Board of Directors and Conference Committee are excited to have you join us at the 32nd Annual Technology in Education Conference. #VSTE17 promises to be the best ever.

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Tuesday, December 5 • 8:45am - 9:45am
Teaching Students to Identify, Challenge and Combat Fake News

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We assume that because students are fluent in social media they are equally perceptive and critical about what they find on the Internet. Stanford researchers, in their benchmark study, EVALUATING INFORMATION: THE CORNERSTONE OF CIVIC ONLINE REASONING, show the opposite to be true. “Our “digital natives” may be able to move between Facebook and Twitter while simultaneously uploading a selfe to Instagram and texting a friend. But when it comes to evaluating information that flows through social media channels, they are easily duped.” The Stanford researchers concluded that middle school, high school, and college students “show a dismaying inability to reason about information they see on the Internet. Students, for example, had a hard time distinguishing advertisements from news articles or identifying the source of the information.”
This presentation will define “fake news” and “facts” and provide attendees with sources such as, research studies, lesson plans, videos, and checklists appropriate for middle school and for high school students. The sources are from teacher-education programs from colleges and universities like Stanford, PBS stations like KQED in Boston, and organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Psychological Assn. One relevant lesson plan is the PBS News Hour Extra lesson plan, “The role of media literacy in teaching your students about Charlottesville.”
Attendees will learn how to perform reverse image searches to determine the authenticity of an online image. They will learn how to identify misleading websites by analyzing the webage address; for example, is, www.abcnews.com.co the official ABC News website?
Since Google is the most popular and trusted search engine with students, attendees will see two searches that prove – beyond any doubt – that Google does not return the best results.
Attendees will also receive access to a Fake News Portaportal listing online sources that will aid teachers in preparing classes that help kids learn to ask the right questions and gain the skills necessary to evaluate sources and combat fake news.


Paul Barron

Adjunct Instructor (Civil Engineering Dept.), Virginia Military Institute
Retired Director of Library Archives George C. Marshall Foundation.Teach introduction to online research in the civil engineering depart at VMI.

Tuesday December 5, 2017 8:45am - 9:45am EST
Buck Mountain