“Fake News”, social media and critical thinking

BBC_i-reporter

BBC iReporter

This is a fantastic online resource created by the BBC which puts players in the heart of the newsroom to explore sources and make journalistic decisions and attempt to discover what is real and what is fake news.

You are a new reporter for the BBC social media team, and you have to meet your bulletin deadlines through the course of a day.

I tested this out this morning and was impressed by the very slick format full of interactive technology and immediate results.  Players gain points for accuracy, impact, and speed – all of which are crucial in any real news setting.

Links to the New Zealand Curriculum:

This activity meets all elements of the key competencies – the capabilities for living and lifelong learning (which is what we’re all about in the school library business!)

  • Thinking – critically, creatively, and metacognitively thinking while making sense of information, experiences, and ideas to become active seekers, users, and creators of knowledge
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – understanding visual, oral, aural and written language cues to make swift decisions
  • Managing self – being resourceful and resilient while employing strategies to meet challenges under time constraints
  • Relating to others – interacting effectively online while coming up with new ways of thinking and becoming informed decision makers
  • Participating and contributing – in a digital, global environment while understanding the balance between rights, roles, and responsibilities to contributing to online communities

It also contributes to digital citizenship, information and digital literacy skills programmes, and is particularly relevant to Social Studies, English and Media studies teachers

BBC i-reporter

A big thank you to UK teacher and editor of UKEd Magazine, Martin Burrett for posting about this excellent, interactive tool, with potential to have high student engagement.

How does your garden grow? Watering seeds! Why every interaction matters

Cottage Garden

I had a chance encounter with an ex-student at the Southland Nethui two weeks ago.

Our paths had crossed briefly 5 years ago when he was in his final year and I was in my first year at SBHS.  He professed to “not being much of a reader” at school.  He’s a fisherman, a regular “Kiwi bloke” who wanted to talk to me about books.  He reads!  He talks to the guys on the fishing boat about what he’s reading. He even sometimes, when he’s not at sea, attends the monthly public library book club.  And he wanted to share his reading journey with me!

He asked for a couple of book recommendations, which I gladly gave him, and I also gave him my card saying he was welcome to keep in touch.  Well, I received an email from him earlier this week.  He wanted to thank me for my recommendation (Fahrenheit 451) – he loved it – and did I have any other suggestions.  I quickly replied with my next recommendation, and he, in turn, replied he’ll let me know what he thinks – this time it’s The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.  I think I have found a new kindred spirit!

Why am I sharing this story? As an encouragement for all my librarian and teaching colleagues. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to receive unexpected affirmative gifts like this, but more often than not, we never know our reach or influence.  Be very sure that these incidents are not just one-off anomalies, rather they’re just the tip of the iceberg. For every one student who seeks you out or you have a chance conversation with, there will be many others that you don’t cross paths with.

So, celebrate your awesomeness, continue to be approachable, kind and caring for ALL your students.

I shared my story with a teaching colleague, (he asked to be remembered to her cos she was his favourite teacher) and she was reminded of this whakatauki, which she felt encompasses the story’s essence.

Whakatauki #1.png
or, “even though it is not big, the important thing is the value “

I’m going to put this poster up in my library where I can see it to remind me, EVERY interaction sows seeds, and HOW we respond to that interaction will water those seeds.

Go be gardeners and waterers of seeds!

Sharing the effort to get the reward: the librarian, my students, and I

Another fantastic example of teachers and librarians working together, and playing to their strengths.

Information Literacy Spaces

When I first started teaching research skills I noticed that students, who were supposedly digital natives, did not know how to find information, and when they did find any they did not know how to tell if it was any good. It was as if they had no reference point to tell the good from the bad. So I took it upon myself to teach them; after all, I am a teacher.

UnfortuImage result for building independent learners quotesnately, for them and me, I do not come from a research background. Like them, my knowledge of where to find information started and ended with a Google search; unsurprising really considering I come from a generation that used Encyclopedia Britannica when I wanted accurate information. I would spend lessons talking to students, Googling their topics and suggesting websites where they could find information; basically I was doing their research for them. This approach got minimal results…

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