Fake & Real: a webi­nar seri­es on Pro­pa­gan­da and Fake News


10. novem­ber 2021 til 1. decem­ber 2021 
Hele dagen 



In 2017, BBC laun­ched a spe­ci­al seri­es on the grand chal­len­ges we face in the 21st Cen­tury. In this seri­es, a panel of experts was asked to indi­ca­te what they belie­ved were the big­gest obsta­c­les faced or to be faced by modern socie­ties. Many of them men­tio­ned “the bre­ak­down of tru­sted sour­ces of infor­ma­tion” as one of the most urgent chal­len­ges. They argu­ed that, whi­le the need to be figu­re out which sour­ce of infor­ma­tion is reli­ab­le has been con­stant throug­hout history, what mag­ni­fies the size of this chal­len­ge today is the she­er amo­unt of avai­lab­le infor­ma­tion, as well as how peop­le access it. To this we should add the fact that, as Kevin Kel­ly (co-foun­der of Wired maga­zi­ne and tech aut­hor) said to BBC in the 2017 seri­es: “Truth is no lon­ger dicta­ted by aut­ho­ri­ties, but is net­wor­ked by peers. For eve­ry fact the­re is a coun­ter fact. All tho­se coun­ter facts and facts look iden­ti­cal onli­ne, which is con­fu­sing to most peop­le”. And even when mista­kes are spot­ted, “cor­rections do not spre­ad very well” (Paul Res­ni­ck, Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan).

This can be said for a vari­e­ty of topi­cs, inclu­ding history, cur­rent affairs, or sen­si­ti­ve and con­tro­ver­si­al issu­es. Today, it is no lon­ger only a mat­ter of who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’. It is first and fore­most a mat­ter of what is ‘fake’ and what is ‘real’.

Luck­ily, the­re are many resour­ces and met­ho­do­lo­gies out the­re that can help us deve­l­op les­son plans that foster media lite­ra­cy and cri­ti­cal thin­king. During this webi­nar seri­es, we will pre­sent some that we and the mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ty have tri­ed, discus­sing with you their posi­ti­ve aspects, as well as poten­ti­al pitfalls.

The Design of this Webi­nar Series

The webi­nar seri­es will begin with a key­no­te lec­tu­re dedi­ca­ted to defi­ning fake news, pro­pa­gan­da, the rela­tions­hip betwe­en the two. During the key­no­te, we will also discuss what is the impa­ct of fake news
on stu­dents, and how we as educa­tors can equip them with the tools neces­sary to navi­ga­te and eva­lu­a­te the infor­ma­tion they are expo­sed to.

The key­no­te will help us set the tone for the remai­ning ses­sions, and will be fol­lowed by two acti­ve wor­ks­hops. In the first wor­ks­hop, we will discuss how media con­tent can be pur­po­se­ful­ly deve­l­oped to mani­pu­la­te the rea­der, and how we can help stu­dents spot mani­pu­la­tion and beco­me resi­li­ent to it. In the second wor­ks­hop, we will focus on how to help stu­dents decon­struct (histo­ri­cal) examp­les of pro­pa­gan­da, how it wor­ks, and what is its effect on society.

The webi­nar seri­es will con­clu­de with a fourth ses­sion, during which par­ti­ci­pants will have the pos­si­bi­li­ty to discuss their own appro­a­ches to pro­pa­gan­da and fake news in the clas­s­room. The fourth ses­sion will inclu­de also an offi­ci­al, festi­ve, clo­sing in the form of an educa­tio­nal game.

What will we learn?

During the webi­nar seri­es, we will:

• Enga­ge in a dia­logue about Fake-News, Pro­pa­gan­da, and their impa­ct on (history) education.
• Obtain a histo­ri­cal per­specti­ve to the notion of Fake in Europe.
• Sha­re educa­tio­nal ini­ti­a­ti­ves and equip tea­chers with rea­dy-to-use mate­ri­al and met­ho­do­lo­gies which con­tri­bu­te in tea­ching media lite­ra­cy and pro­mo­ting stu­dents’ cri­ti­cal thinking.
• Discuss how to equip stu­dents with tools to help them navi­ga­te the stream of infor­ma­tion they are con­stant­ly expo­sed to, beco­me more resi­li­ent to the effects of pro­pa­gan­da, and grow into acti­ve citizens in the demo­cra­tic space.
• Exchan­ge innova­ti­ve tools, met­hods, and pro­fes­sio­nal know­led­ge with other educa­tors in Euro­pe and beyond.
• Intro­du­ce history and citizens­hip educa­tors to the educa­tio­nal mate­ri­al deve­l­oped by the Hou­se of Euro­pe­an History, as well as avai­lab­le on Historiana.eu

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