Middle School Education Campaign

What We Did

The Education Team has created five lesson plans through a module system to address the topics of Misinformation, Social Media, Civic Engagement, Trusting Journalism, and Hate Speech. The middle school digital literacy curriculum portion of our project was designed as an educational campaign addressing misinformation, aimed at eighth-grade students, or end of middle school/junior high. We've coined the slogan "Building an Informed Public", or BIP, to refer to our team's goal and purpose. Our pre-planned lesson modules are appropriate for eighth-graders and available online through our website, the Utah Education Network (UEN) site, and Granite School District's resources page.

 

We will also be creating a Canvas Commons course. Check out our News tab for updates!

 

These modules discuss sub-topics of misinformation and ways to spot, combat, and react when they appear in our everyday lives.

The topic of misinformation and deception on social media is currently not in the digital literacy curriculum for eighth-grade students about to enter high school. Our education campaign endeavors to raise awareness about misinformation on social media, false evidence from factual evidence and also how to distinguish news from opinion articles.

We used several resources to design this course. First, we reviewed Utah Education Network's Standards for Digital Literacy and noted what was missing. We didn't want to be repetitive, but create new and relevant lessons that address all the changes we've seen in the last 4-5 years of living in a digital world. Second, we got input from teachers in Granite School District on what they felt was missing from current curriculum, and what they want their students to know. We also talked to librarians at the University of Utah. Third, we used additional resources (found below!) like Google's "Be Internet Awesome" campaign as a reference. 

 

BIP respects the power and the wisdom of the teacher in how our lessons will best be presented in schools. Therefore, the lesson plans and presentations are in an editable format so you are able to add, subtract, and modify to best suit your classroom.

 

In order to perfect our online modules and lesson plans, we will be presenting our curriculum to local Utah teachers at the annual 2020 Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) conference in March. This conference consists of educators interested in promoting technology-enhanced learning and teaching for all.

 

Finally, BIP will also be presenting our lesson plans to eight grade children through various workshops and outreach programs on the University of Utah campus with the partnership of Defining Your Path. Through this, we hope to give middle school students a better understanding of what misinformation is and how to recognize false information in the real world. 

 

Download our course materials here: 

What is Misinformation?

Students learn how to define misinformation, the effects of misinformation, where misinformation is found, and tools to fact-check information. 

Truth on Social Media

Social media contains a large quantity of misinformation. This lesson covers the various social media platforms and forms misinformation can take (ads, fake news, and deep fakes)

Civic Engagement

As students are taught to be civically engaged, it is also important to recognize the spread of false information within political campaigns, news, and current events. This lesson will inform students to identify misinformation in news articles, political speeches, and more.

Trusting Journalism

Journalists hold an important role in sharing information to society. This lesson covers how journalism works and the best way to consume articles, as well as how to spot fake news.

"Hate Speech", Inclusivity, and Kindess

To conclude the curriculum, this module is used as a tool for students to relate topics of misinformation to practical, personal, and social contexts.

Additional Educational Resources

Google Classroom

Use our Class Code: aeftvml to join our Google Classroom as a student to see what the modules could look like in your own classroom!

UCET Conference

Part of our project included a focus on sustainability. We wanted to create an educational tool that would continue being taught and built upon even after our Praxis Lab concluded.

The Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference is an annual conference that brings together educators from all across Utah. This conference provides many hands-on breakout sessions on ways to utilize technology in teaching and learning. We were invited to present our educational campaign at this year's conference in March. 

In a science-fair style presentation, we shared our modules with educators with a hope to provide new curriculum to supplement already-taught digital literacy and citizenship. 

Students Zach Mallender and Victoria Hills attended the conference with Professor Randy Dryer. Zach and Victoria spoke to upwards of 50 educators to give an in-depth description of our course and encourage them to share it with their fellow educators. It was a very fulfilling experience. Thank you to all the encouraging comments on our project!

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 Truth, Deception, and Information Disorder 

praxistruth@gmail.com

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Salt Lake City, UT, USA

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