Chapter 4 ~ How Search and
Digital Knowledge Works
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During the 2016 USA election cycle, 'bad actors' tied to the Russian government contributed to millions of pages of fake news being presented to people within Facebook feeds. This dissemination of disinformation may have affected the outcome of the election. Many other countries' elections were also affected by this problem. Subsequent studies have determined many citizens do not know the difference between factual, opinion, and dis-informational writing.
To combat this problem, use the following research and learning activities to ensure that you are prepared to view the most factual news to foster life-long learning.
Start a new word processing document or Keep note and write about the reading and research below. Write in complete sentences. Hyperlink the titles of articles in your writing so your groupmates can quickly jump to them. Check spelling and grammar. After posting your finished writing, reply to another student's thread.
4.1 Research fake news.
- Start by viewing How Fake News Works (captioned).
- In the first paragraph of your discussion notes, write about what you learned from the movie.
4.2 Explore the Media Bias Chart.
- To ensure that you understand how to find quality sources of news and information for
your upcoming projects (in this class and others), explore the following Media Bias Chart
to help you differentiate factual news sources from opinion and sensational sources.
Sources at the top, in the middle, marked in green, are deemed 'reliable' due to their adherence to journalism ethics and factual reporting standards. Read more about the future of the Media Bias Chart and Vanessa Otero's research methods.
View the chart in full-screen mode; it will be too small to view on the phone or tablets.
One interpretation of 'left' and 'right' is provided by David McCandless and Stepfanie Posevec in their 2010 Left vs Right World (2010) Infographic.
- In the second paragraph of your discussion notes,
write about these experiences using the Media Bias Chart:
- Do you typically read sources which are listed at the top center of the chart or from the edges and further down the chart?
- What did you learn from looking at headlines and ads found at Associated Press and Reuters? Compare them to headlines and ads found on Fox News.
- Check your social media feeds (or your favorite online news sources) to determine if you find less reputable sources listed there. Are they paid subscriptions, from sites and groups you've liked, or ads that look like news?
4.3 Set up the SmartNews app.
Using the SmartNews app on your phone, tablet, or Chromebook, you'll add trustworthy news sources to a news feed, which you can use to keep track of what's happening in the world of technology, as well as find relevant articles that support the writing for this and future projects.
- On your computer, tablet, or phone, search for the Smart News app using the Apple or Google Play store. Install the app.
- Scroll right through the tabs at the top to get to the gray navicon menu. Or, for iPhones, locate the (gear ⚙) menu and Edit Channels.
- Remove all news categories from the list except for Technology. The red Top and blue Discover tabs will remain. Click the X or ← to get back to the tabs.
- Click on the Discover tab and search for and add AP, Reuters, and PolitiFact. to the list of sources. Deselect all other news sources.
- Scroll to the Technology section. You may need to click the Show all link.
- Add one or more of these magazines to your feed to help with future research: Fast Company, Wired, CNET, Engadget, Tech Insider, ZDNet, The Register, MIT Technology Review, PCMagazine.
- Scroll through the new tabs and compare the headline writing style of the red Top area with those of AP and Reuters. Do you notice their differences? Are some headlines more factual or less sensational than others? How many technology-related articles are provided on the AP and Reuters news feed? Nearly every day there is some important news about companies we rely on!
- Take a look at FastCompany's feed. You'll usually notice they are focused on ethical issues as well as new technologies.
In the third paragraph of your discussion notes:
- Add notes about a single Computer Science-related article you discovered in the AP or Reuters feed.
- Also note whether the headline attempted to grab your attention with facts or with sensational wording?
- Did the information change your thinking about the topic?
4.4 Post your finished writing.
- Click on the Chapter 4 ~ Media Bias & News group discussion from the Home screen in Canvas.
- Click the more_vert 3-dot More menu to see the Rubric.
- Compare your work to the Rubric to ensure you've written about the three required topics.
- Copy your writing from your discussion document and paste it into a new Reply thread and save.
- Reply to another student's thread with more detail about the same topic as their computer science article found via the SmartNews App. This is your fourth paragraph. Cite the articles you refer to by hyperlinking their title. Adhere to the Writing Requirements.