News and Social Media Literacy for Students

This discussion- and activity-based news and social media literacy workshop is aimed to help tweens and teens learn to analyze and discern the purpose and truthfulness of what they see and hear on the news or on social media. These are not the skills or tools your school librarians are teaching.

The workshop is non-partisan and be can be tailored by students’ ages and time constraints.

Students will learn:

  • To define misinformation and disinformation, the forms it can take, the motivation for it, the history of it and why it is so prevalent now in our society.
  • To understand the development of Deepfake and Cheapfake video, to think critically about AI apps such as Zao and TikTok and to examine privacy issues.
  • To identify reliable sources for news and sources within the stories.
  • The hallmarks of real news.
  • To use Lateral Reading and SIFT to determine if social posts are accurate.
  • How to search more efficiently online and have a basic understanding of search engine algorithms.
  • How to fact check like a news researcher.
  • How to identify media bias within news sites and in stories.
  • How to reverse search for memes and images that may have been altered or misrepresented.
  • Geolocation skills

The students will examine headlines, news stories, photos, memes, social posts and decide if they are real or fake. They will develop their digital skills to track down sources, evaluate websites and corroborate information with other sources. 

Students will learn how social media affected the 2016 election and what social media companies and the government are planning for the 2020 election.

By the end of the workshop, students will be much more cognizant of the news and social media messages in their lives and will have critical thinking and digital skills to properly evaluate them.

Learn more about Giarrusso’s News and Social Media Literacy program in The Montclair Local: