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Fact from fiction online – aliens, time travel and pasta

Posted by LibeRaCe on January 17, 2011

But I saw it on the [insert media channel here] so it must be true!

How to engage with students when sneakily trying to teach them a bit more about information literacy and challenging perceptions? No easy task, but we thought we’d take a different slant so they didn’t just switch off when shown examples of webpages – it’s hard when you’re 16 to not think you know if all and that the oldie (even when they’re not that old!) at the top of the classroom hasn’t a clue.

So – if the Web is their mass media of today, what about before all that technology was developed? Re-discovering old hoaxes and looking at new ones can be a great way to start students thinking about trust, perception and how the technology of the time can affect the masses. It helps to increase their sceptical superpowers and to highlight things to help them decide if a source is reliable, current and relevant.

So we’ve used Three wise monkeys exercise, aliens, pasta and even time travel to get the message across! Any other ideas for hoaxes to use?

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