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USING CRITICAL THINKING TO SPOT FAKE NEWS A story told by TEODORA BARBU and PAULA CRĂCIUN, two youth workers participating in the Skill IT for Youth International Training (Poland, 2019)

The 31 young people who joined our Skill IT for Youth workshop were very interested in the topic of fake news, they enjoyed the atmosphere and all the new things they learned.

Our aim was to support young people from our organization to become more aware of the fake news phenomenon and to be able to identify the fake news they are exposed to on social media, news platforms and other websites.

How did we work with the young people?

First, we introduced them to some relevant and basic theory on what fake news and disinformation are, providing them concrete examples especially from social media.

Then, we presented them concrete strategies they could use to identify the real news, mistakes in news or fake news, and also some online tools that could help them in the process of spotting the fake news. We emphasized the importance of critical thinking in the process.

From the Skill IT for Youth Training Toolkit we used:

- Digital Reporters - Real or Fake News? workshop, which aims to support young people to develop their critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate sources of news and information. The young people really enjoyed the role playing activity from the workshop - “Dog bites man”, and they were really curious, at the end of the game, if they were good reporters, if they managed to find the real story behind the news from the “Lying Times".

What did we learn from the young people?

We learned that they liked the most the activity game - “Dog bites man”, but also the online tools, such as fakenewsai.com and newscracker Google Chrome extension, which can be used to detect the fake news.

“I found the topic of the workshop very interesting, up to date and useful as we are exposed to fake news every day. The role playing activity was a new experience for me, making the learning process more dynamic and fun.” (feedback from one of the participants in the workshop)
Teodora Barbu and Paula Crăciun are youth workers and members of the RATIO Accounting Students Association, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. They work daily with university students (19-24 years old). They participated in the Skill IT for Youth Training Course (Poland, 2019) sent by Fundatia Danis, Romanian partner of the Skill IT for Youth project.

Read more about Skill IT for Youth Training Course organized in Poland in the spring of 2019, or check the website of the Skill IT for Youth Project for educational resources in the field of digital youth work.