FINDING TRUTH: Beyond Fake News and Media Bias
NO. OF CREDITS:
5 QUARTER CREDITS
[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]
|WA CLOCK HRS:
It’s harder than ever to know where the truth can be found today in public media. Since the 2016 presidential election in the United States, both the political as well as social polarization in America has sunk to new lows. While this reflects historic social, political and ideational differences, the widening gulf in media reporting, including fake news, is a main contributor to the breakdown in finding the “truth” as bias pushes narratives on different sides further apart, each side claiming fact-based truth. Common ground and bipartisanship is all but lost. In this course for secondary teachers we will explore fake news and bias in all media platforms and its effects on public attitudes and actions. Participants will develop the tools, skills, and strategies to help students be able to break through the barriers of disinformation to find the truth within the agendas being pushed by governmental, and outside powers of influence. Our text, Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News, is $24 on amazon.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:
Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.
Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.
UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION
REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.
CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.
AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.
ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION
ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR HOURS OR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION
Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
Assignment #1: COURSE FORUM: Introduction
Read the Introduction of Fact Vs. Fiction, and Chapter 1. Answer the questions at the end of the sections in the book. As you work through Fact Vs. Fiction, complete all interactions throughout the book, and at the end of each chapter. In 200+ words, discuss why you have decided to take this course. What are you hoping to obtain by the end of the course?
Assignment #2: Education and Role of Media Literacy
Read the article below, and respond to the following: How important is media to education in the 21st Century? What did John Dewey feel about media’s role in education? What are the problems with using media in the classroom? Could social media be a valid source of information and, if so, how? Respond to at least one post in the forum. (450-500 words).
Assignment #3: Thinking Exponentially
Read Chapters 2&3, and in 500+ words respond to the following:
Assignment #4: The Propaganda Model
Read the article below, and respond to the following: What are the five news “filters” that make up the Propaganda Model? Which of these “filters” do you find most relevant, or important, and why? With the government and large corporations controlling what media is presented to citizens, how are we able to become informed when what is being shown can lead to citizens being misinformed? How applicable is the Propaganda Model in the 21st Century, and does it hold true? How does the Propaganda Model expand on the information you’ve covered in Fact Vs. Fiction? (500+ word response). Respond to at least one post in the forum.
Assignment #5: How Do We Evaluate Information?
Read Chapter 4, as well as the article below. Answer the following in 450-500 words. What is the importance of researching the information obtained from media outlets? In what ways can we educate students in deciphering information as fact vs. opinion using social media? What tools can be used in the classroom to help students evaluate information from multiple sources?
Assignment #6: How Real is Fake News?
Read, and complete the self-assessment in CH 5, and watch the video below, and use the following questions to guide you through your response in 500+ words.
Assignment #7: News Reflection
Read Chapter 6. Watch the multiple major news stations (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.) for a couple of days. Keep a log of what stories are being presented, whether they appear across all stations or not, and if there is an agenda of some sort involved. In 500+ words provide several examples of what you feel is accurate, factual reporting and others that are biased in one way or another. What features and signals indicate the use of an agenda? Did you find your own biases determining what information you felt was more factual than others? Respond to at least one post in the forum.
Assignment #8: Movie Review
Read Chapters 7 & 8, then pick a film from the bibliography. In 500+ words write a review of the film using the reading and the following questions to guide you.
Assignment #9: Cold War 2.0
Watch the episode of VICE on the current climate of the Cold War. In a 200-500 words respond to the following questions:
Assignment #10: Wag the Dog
Read the article below, and in 450-500 words answer the following.
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
B. LEARNING APPLICATION
In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
Assignment #11: Lesson Development (400 & 500 levels)
Complete two (2) of the following assignments:
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Option B) Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Create an annotated bibliography focused on the topics learned in this class.
Assignment #12: (500 Level ONLY)
In addition to the 400 level assignment, choose two (2) of the following:
Choose another book from the bibliography, and complete a 500+ word summary.
Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff, based on this course that focuses on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial to your school. Save this as a PDF.
Another assignment of your own design, with the instructor’s prior approval.
C. INTEGRATION PAPER
Assignment #13: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)
SELF REFLECTION & INTEGRATION PAPER
(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)
Write a 350-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:
INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:
Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:
COREY DAVIS, M.A.T, received his AA from Mt. Hood Community College, his BA from Wright State University, and his MAT from Concordia University. Corey has experience teaching Social Studies, specifically U.S. History and AP Human Geography at the high school level. He has served as an assistant baseball coach at his high school for the past 5 years, served on the AVID site team, and Equal Opportunity Schools site team as well. He has taken many of his continuing education courses through the Heritage Institute and is eager to help pay it forward.
FINDING TRUTH: Beyond Fake News and Media Bias
“Cold War 2.0.” YouTube, VICE HBO, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkW4eW7TMvM
de-Wit, Lee, et al. “Are Social Media Driving Political Polarization?” Greater Good, greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_social_media_driving_political_polarization.
“Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.” SHEG Evaluating Information Online, stacks.stanford.edu/file/druid:fv751yt5934/SHEG%20Evaluating%20Information%20Online.pdf.
Herman, Edward, and Noam Chomsky. “A Propaganda Model.” 1988.
Keating, Joshua. “Watching Wag the Dog in 2020 Is Almost Comforting.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 14 Jan. 2020, slate.com/culture/2020/01/wag-the-dog-revisited-iran-trump-movie.html.
LaGarde, Jennifer, and Darren Hudgins. Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News. International Society for Technology in Education, 2018.
Lederer, William J. A Nation of Sheep. Fawcett Publications, 1969.
“Making Sense in a Fake News World.” Performance by Dan Balleck, YouTube, 15 Nov. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIa2SFcGoZM&&feature=youtu.be.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four: a Novel. Signet, 2003.
Preeti. “Education and Role of Media in Education System .” International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Research, Mar. 2014.
Sean. “What Is Media Literacy and Why Does It Matter?” What Is Media Literacy and Why Does It Matter?, Library.org, 21 Nov. 2019, thelibrary.org/blogs/article.cfm?aid=5455&lid=61.
Shaw, Tony. Cinematic Cold War: the American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds. Univ Pr Of Kansas, 2014.
Clooney, George, et al. Good Night, and Good Luck. Warner Bros., 2005.
Donaldson, Roger, director. No Way Out. Orion Pictures, 1987.
Levinson, Barry, director. Wag the Dog. Entertainment in Video, 1999.
Lumet, Sidney, director. Network. United Artists, 1976.