April Fool's day jokes are usually fun, and I've indulged myself once or twice
. But amidst all the springtime pranks and laughter, a serious point was also made on social media. It was that April 1st appears to be the only date in the entire calendar when people make a real effort to carefully check news stories, to avoid being fooled.
Wouldn't it be great if everyone learnt to do this every day, with every piece of news encountered? As most of our news is conveyed to us via digital media, we need to be literate in the use of these media if we are to learn not to be fooled by fake news. This is why digital literacies are such an important set of skills for all to learn. Schools should hold digital literacy as a centrally important part of the curriculum, given the importance digital technology plays in children's lives. Young adults, especially those studying in higher education, should also be given an education in what it means to discern the truth and detect lies on social media and the internet. Older people also need to be made aware that not all content online is true, and that some content is downright dangerous, if they believe it.
Without these skills, it is easy to hoodwink people, get them to believe in conspiracies and false 'facts', subscribe to fake organisations, and even rob them of their savings. If we all made a concerted effort to raise awareness around digital literacies, the world would be a better, safer place. If we don't, we'll all get fooled, again and again.
We won't get fooled again by Steve Wheeler
was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's