Friday, February 09, 2018

#ALISE2018 : Digital Literacy in the Era of Fake News: Key Roles for LIS Educators

Heidi Julien (ALISE president), Michael Seadle (Executive director of the iSchool Consortium), Dietmar Worfram, (moderator) Clara Chu

Digital literacy in the era of fake news: How to respond - Seadle

What is fake news?  The intent to mislead the reader in ways that serve a social or political goal.  It cannot be verified.
How we understand truth is a western concept tied to the ability to create and reproduce scientific results. 
Fake news undermines the foundations of the scientific methods.
Trust comes from the ability to produce reliable tools.  However, governments have made claims that no one could believe and that sowed distrust in our institutions.  
Fake news allows people to find excuses for what we want to believe.
Fake news mean unreliable sources.  Reliability is a scale.  
Lies can give help.
One role information professionals can play is to uphold standards for quality and reliability.
Who will be soldiers against untruth?

News Know-How: How to get news you can trust for study, work, play and community - Clara Chu presented the paper by Barbara Jones, who (at the last minute) was unable to attend

This presentation is an outgrowth of the news literacy project. 
In 2017, Jones worked on a new faked news project in Illinois. 

Themes:
  • Participants define their news landscape.  
  • Participants encounter examples for fake news.
  • Participants find out why the library is the best place to get news.
  • Engage participants to consult the library and to gain fact-checking skills.
Truth decay: erosion of clear line between fact and fiction,  widespread lack of trust in the news.

News versus editorials/opinions 

What news do you receive close to home?  Where does it come from?  Is it correct?  How do you know?
Look at the local news.  What are the sources?
Look at the state and where you are getting that news.
Where do we get national news?
Where do we get international news?

Chu showed a legitimate article, where the accompanying photo was a mashup/fake.

There are handouts already that can be used in teaching how to discern fake news.

Jones is developing slides that could be used broadly to teach how to discern fake news.

Preparing Information Professionals to Teach Digital Literacy - Heidi Julien

Information professionals have skills and content knowledge.

Where do information professionals learn to teach?  Very few actually learn how to do teaching as part of their MS programs.  

Teaching is a skill set, science and art.  
Subject knowledge is insufficient,
Teaching is not well learned on the job.
Teaching is core to the work that most information professional do.

Teaching to teach requires a host of skills and many elements that go into good teaching. Additionally, they need to understand some specifics around fake news.
There are a range of cognitive challenges that must be overcome, including that impressions once formed will endure, confirmation bias, and resistance to change.  People may selectively avoid new information.  It can be easier to identify weaknesses in the arguments of others, but not in one’s self.

Pre-service preparation is critical for our emerging information professionals.

Discussion:
  • Is there an opportunity to collaborate with journalism faculty? There could be informal and formal collaborations.  An example that has occurred was an unconference. 
  • Noted that there are other people besides journalists with whom we could collaborate.
  • Journalists are reliant on libraries.  
  • Can we help end users understand how news stories are created?  That would be helpful for our students.
  • School librarians can have a role in helpful us tech how to teach.
  • Digital natives are skilled with technology, but not necessarily with understanding the content.
  • We are asking people to be skeptical, which requires more thought.
  • Can we (academics) encourage with the public and uphold our profession?
  • Is trust declining in libraries, which are civil institutions?  We know that trust is declining in civic institutions,  but there is limited data on libraries (outside of Pew data).
  • Fake news is entertaining and is part marketing.  Can we deliver information in a way that is more eye catching?
  • Will our associations and institutions support us in the public sphere if we confront fake news, teach about fake news, etc.?  Will our associations help us make positive social impact?  Will our academic institutions support us, rather than limit our engagement?  There is a social risk to this work.
  • Can we get resources out into our community?  For example, getting students and alumni to go to town halls, etc., to answer questions from participants with verifiable information. An example of this is Radical Reference, which began during the Republican convention under George W. Bush.
  • Can we engage with peoples’ rational minds?  Engagement requires respect and openness.
  • There is a difference between access to information and impact of information.
  • Can we (librarians) be one of the voices on TV as commentators, etc., talking  about sources, etc.?  Can we do that recognizing that the work would be fraught with emotional and social peril for the individual?
  • Can we work with search engine and online social networks to help them filter out fake news?
  • These issues exist outside of the U.S., although sometimes in different ways.
Edited for types and reformatted: Feb. 11, 2018

1 comment:

Nancy Marksbury said...

Really relevant topic for sure! Thanks, Jill, for bringing voices from Alise "back". I especially appreciated the 3 factors that challenge us in evaluating info and the questions/prompts for consideration.