At MICDS, almost every 10th grade student takes Contemporary Global Issues (CGI) as their history course during the third trimester. The purpose of CGI is to further develop students’ ability to conduct intensive research through the examination of a global issue. This spring, students began the class by participating in a two-week course, “The Truth About Fake News,” offered by Global Online Academy (GOA).
The mission of GOA is to offer a breadth of courses that enable students to interact with and learn from educators and peers in truly diverse online classroom settings. MICDS is the only GOA member school in St. Louis.
“Fake news has been around for as long as news itself, and it is a global issue because of its extensive reach and the speed with which it spreads,” said Scott Herrmann-Keeling, MICDS College Counselor and GOA Site Director. MICDS History Teacher, Dr. Tanya Roth, added, “Teaching our students how to navigate the contemporary news landscape and develop the ability to recognize authentic information sources helps them become better researchers. At the same time, these skills also support our mission to educate responsible world citizens.”
The online course paired with discussions focused on such topics as why certain news goes viral, understanding the difference between fake news and an opinion piece, and distinguishing between misinformation (when incorrect information is presented unintentionally) and disinformation (when false information is shared intentionally).
Following completion of the course, students shared examples of fake images used with news stories, and then applied what they learned to locate and use credible sources for their extensive research projects. While students consulted with their teacher to identify and select a current global issue to study, many projects focused on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.