Olivia Mules' Portfolio Page
Hello! I am a tech librarian at a public library. I have my Master's degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited University. I have a background in childhood (Grades 1-6) special education as well as general education with a focus on ELA. I have experience teaching mathematics and science to grades 3-6. My bachelor's degree is in dual Childhood Special Education/General Education. My personal/professional interests overlap as I enjoy reading and reviewing diverse books- children's, middle-grade, and young adult books.
My Topic and Purpose
“We were guaranteed a free press, We were not guaranteed a neutral or a true press. We can celebrate the journalistic freedom to publish without interference from the state. We can also celebrate our freedom to share multiple stories through multiple lenses. But it has always been up to the reader or viewer to make the reliability and credibility decisions. It is up to the reader or viewer to negotiate truth.” (Joyce Valenza)
News literacy is an important skill that needs to be developed in today’s world that is inundated by the 24-hour news cycle. Our students are also affected. They are immersed in technology through their phones, their laptops, their tablets, and other devices. Anything that connects them to the internet will also plug them into the news cycle. The news comes across the television that they watch. The news also comes in print sources. Clearly, students need generalized news literacy skills.
The Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy’s glossary defines news literacy as “the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television or the internet”
The purpose of this minicourse is to teach participants news literacy skills that can be generalized across all age groups and across all media types (online, TV, or print).
Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content
I plan to convey a short news literacy glossary, a list of resources to build a news literacy toolkit, and to introduce the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) questions to ask when analyzing media messages.
Questions to be answered:
- What is news literacy?
- What are the skills involved?
- How can I teach the skills in conjunction with my everyday teaching?
Please consider the following:
- 96% of U.S. high school students surveyed failed to challenge the credibility of an unreliable source. (Stanford History Education Group, 2019).
- 68% couldn’t tell the difference between news and “sponsored content” (advertising) on a news site’s homepage. (Stanford History Education Group, 2019).
- 59% of Americans say it is hard to identify false information — intentionally misleading and inaccurate stories portrayed as truth — on social media. (NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, January, 2020)
With the advent of smartphones and other new technology, the news is always at our fingertips. Knowing how to understand and interpret the information you receive from such devices is a valuable skill. And being able to identify misinformation, or conversely, a reliable source is a 21st-century skill that is becoming increasingly in demand.
What is to be Learned?
Participants will learn the fundamentals of what news literacy is as well as some of the core principles of teaching media literacy skills. Participants will learn how to take this knowledge back to their classrooms and teach news literacy skills to their students within the context of their everyday lessons.
Participants in this mini-course will primarily be secondary education teachers (6th-12th grade). The participants of this course are looking to gain insights into news literacy teaching strategies and why they are important to include in their lessons.
The instructional content of this course will require the internet and the ability to play videos, open documents, utilize Google Forms, and navigate to different websites. At the end of the course, you will be asked to navigate a Google Jamboard. Participants will also be asked to self-reflect throughout the course on their learning.
Exploring the Problem and Solution
Participants will explore what news literacy is and why it is important for them to include it in their teaching practices and curriculum development.
While there is an emphasis placed on learning teaching strategies for news literacy skills, the overall goal of this mini course is for participants to walk away with an understanding of why news literacy skills are important to include in curriculum development.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The participants of this mini-course are looking to gain insights into news literacy teaching strategies and how to integrate them into their current daily teaching practices. Participants should have at least an awareness of the term “fake news” and how it has seemingly changed the culture of the news and media industry. Participants should understand the importance of having students read unbiased sources of information and having them recognize when a source is biased.
Participants will come to this mini-course with various backgrounds in teaching as this mini-course does not target one specific subject area or grade level. Some learners may already be including some media literacy content into their lessons but want to know more about news literacy specifically, while others may just be starting out. It is okay on any part of the continuum as this course gives an overview of some media literacy content before diving into news literacy content specifically.
Context for Instruction
Participants will be asked to read texts, watch videos, utilize G Suite applications, and assess their own learning throughout this course.
This course aims to teach participants the importance of including news literacy skills in their lessons and curriculum development practices.
- Participants will demonstrate knowledge of news literacy terminology
- Participants will become aware of the benefits of integrating news literacy skills into lessons
- Participants will be able to lead students through analyzing news and media via critical thinking/questioning skills
- Participants will be able to adapt a content-specific news literacy teaching strategy into their everyday teaching style
KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes)
Goals: Participants will develop an understanding of news literacy skills and will be able to integrate those skills into their classroom curriculums.
- Some familiarity with different ways students receive and access the news
- Knowledge of the different needs and abilities of students within your classroom
- Ability to frame questions that promote critical thinking
- Ability to think creatively and adapt strategies to fit your classroom
- Identify teachable moments and use them to reinforce skills
- Ability to navigate the internet
- Ability to write reflectively
- The belief that news literacy is an important skill for students to have
- The belief that in order to do well at something you must practice it regularly
- The willingness to dedicate small increments of instructional time toward news literacy skill development and practice
- The belief that all students can become fluent in news literacy skills
Prerequisites: Participants must have access to a computer with an internet connection. This computer must also have a way to playback audio, as the course contains video materials.
References and Resources
News Literacy Project https://newslit.org/
Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy’s glossary: https://digitalresource.center/glossary-language-news-literacy
Stanford History Education Group Study (2019): https://news.stanford.edu/2019/11/18/high-school-students-unequipped-spot-fake-news/
The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE): Core Principles and Key Questions:
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll (January, 2020): https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/social-media-disinformation-leads-election-security-concerns-poll-finds?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=newshour
Valenza, Joyce (2016). Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world. https://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2016/11/26/truth-truthiness-triangulation-and-the-librarian-way-a-news-literacy-toolkit-for-a-post-truth-world/