Fighting Misinformation within the Age of COVID-19

Information literacy has lengthy been laborious to show, particularly with the panorama of on-line platforms altering so quick nowadays. And throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, it may possibly appear tougher than ever to type out dependable info from falsehood, rumor and conspiracy.

So on this week’s EdSurge Podcast, we’re speaking to 2 consultants working to assist educators and others sharpen their data literacy and critical-thinking expertise.

  • Peter Adams, senior vp for schooling on the News Literacy Project. The nonprofit group supplies skilled growth and on-line supplies to assist lecturers perceive and educate information literacy.
  • Jonathan Haber, an academic advisor, researcher and creator working on the intersection of Okay-12, increased schooling and academic expertise. His newest guide, “Critical Thinking Essentials,” was not too long ago printed by MIT Press.

Adams notes that the pandemic has highlighted that misinformation can have penalties to well being, reminiscent of when false cures and false preventions flow into on-line and lead individuals to get sick. He says everybody ought to be certain that to spend a couple of seconds checking any declare earlier than sharing it with mates or on social media. (Check out our previous podcast with Adams for a deeper dive into how lecturers can higher educate information literacy.)

Haber, in the meantime, created a free software known as Logic Check, which helps customers apply critical-thinking expertise to info they discover on-line. He feels that fact-checking web sites like TruthCheck.org have restricted worth relating to halting the unfold of misinformation.

Imagine, he stated, somebody arguing that since we’ve been locked down for months and COVID-19 deaths are persevering with, that should imply that social distancing isn’t working. “If you look at the premises of that argument, they’re both true,” he says. “We have been locked down for several months and COVID deaths have been going up. And so if you just fact checked it, the facts would check out.”

The drawback is the logic of the argument—it’s an issue with the inference made utilizing the information. “One of the reasons fact-checking—powerful and important as it is—hasn’t really made a difference in rational understanding of the news, is that fact checking only tells part of the story,” he provides. “We don’t know easy methods to logic test the information, or most individuals don’t. And that is actually what the mission of Logic Check.

Listen to this week’s episode on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, or wherever you take heed to podcasts, or use the participant beneath.

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