EdTech & Innovation

Teaching Students about Fake News in the Real World


In today’s digital era, the spread of fake news and misinformation has become a rampant issue. As educators, it is our responsibility to equip students with the right tools to identify fake news and promote media literacy. This article delves into practical methods for teaching students about fake news in the real world.

1. Define and discuss the concept of fake news

Begin by explaining what fake news is and the various forms it takes. Discuss its consequences on society and individuals, emphasizing the importance of truth in journalism and reliable sources of information. Encourage students to critically think about the accuracy of information they encounter daily on the internet.

2. Teach students different aspects of media literacy

Educate students about identifying credible sources, understanding nuances in journalism, bias, and propagandism. Encourage critical thinking by exposing them to different sides of any story and engaging them in discussions that push them to question, evaluate, and fact-check information.

3. Analyze examples of fake news

Provide real-life examples of fake news stories from various sources – websites, social media platforms, or even mainstream media. Break down these examples to help students understand how misinformation is crafted and disseminated.

4. Use fact-checking resources

Introduce students to reliable fact-checking websites like Snopes or FactCheck.org and teach them how to use these sources when they encounter dubious information or news stories.

5. Encourage extensive reading from diverse sources

Promote reading from numerous credible outlets with divergent perspectives on any given topic. This will enable students to develop a comprehensive understanding of global events while encouraging their ability to discern factual reporting from biased narrative shaping or outright falsehoods.

6. Create assignments that involve researching misinformation

Design assignments that challenge students to research both genuine and false sources online, compare these sources, document their findings, analyze the factors that contribute to each source’s credibility, and share their results with the class.

7. Use social media for learning

Educate students about the role social media plays in the spreading of fake news and how algorithms reinforce this cycle. Teach them to think critically about the news on their feeds and urge them to verify its accuracy before sharing it further.

8. Invite guest speakers

To maintain engagement and provide firsthand experience, invite media professionals or experts in the field to share their experiences with identifying and combating fake news.

9. Assess students on their critical thinking abilities

Evaluate students’ ability to distinguish between genuine and fake news through quizzes or group discussions. Refine their skills through feedback, peer evaluation, and revisiting topics as needed.


Armed with these strategies, educators can empower students to identify and challenge fake news as responsible digital citizens. By strengthening students’ media literacy skills, we can mitigate the harmful effects of misinformation in our society today while raising a generation capable of thoughtfully navigating an ever-changing digital world.

Create Digital Reading Diaries for Students: A Leap Towards Enhancing Learning Experience


In the age of technology and digital advancements, it is imperative to upgrade traditional teaching methods and materials to suit the current educational landscape. One such innovative approach is transforming the conventional paper-based reading diary into a digital one. This article explores how creating digital reading diaries can help enhance learning experiences for students.

What are Digital Reading Diaries?

Digital reading diaries are electronic platforms, stored either locally or hosted on cloud-based services, where students can track and reflect on their reading habits and comprehension progress. These diaries generally have features for logging books or articles read, recording notes, adding highlights, setting reading goals, and tracking time spent reading. With the added capabilities of multimedia and interactivity, digital reading diaries promote motivation, engagement, and collaborative learning among students.

Why Opt for Digital Reading Diaries?

1. Accessibility: Digital reading diaries can be easily accessed by both students and teachers from any device connected to the Internet. This convenience encourages students to update their diaries more frequently and reduces the barrier of having to remember carrying a physical diary.

2. Customization: Digital platforms allow students to tailor their reading experiences by adjusting font size and style, changing background colors, adding bookmarks or tags, enabling screen readers or speech-to-text tools, etc., making it suitable for diverse learner needs.

3. Real-time updates and tracking: Teachers can access a student’s digital diary at any time to monitor their progress and provide feedback through comments or direct messaging. This up-to-date information helps educators adapt instructional strategies based on individual needs.

4. Collaboration: Students can share their digital reading diaries with peers to discuss ideas, ask questions, provide recommendations or even add friends for healthy competition in achieving reading goals.

5. Analytical tools: Multiple functionalities available in digital platforms such as progress charts, word counts, or time tracking provide valuable insights. This data-driven approach empowers teachers to identify trends and plan effective instruction while enabling students with a visual representation of their reading habits.

Implementing Digital Reading Diaries in the Classroom:

To incorporate digital reading diaries in the classroom, follow these steps:

1. Research and choose an appropriate digital platform that meets your classroom’s needs.

2. Provide training and resources for both students and teachers to familiarize themselves with the selected platform.

3. Design clear expectations and guidelines for students to follow when maintaining their digital reading diary.

4. Set up a consistent schedule for students to update their diaries regularly.

5. Encourage collaboration between students by incorporating book clubs or reading circles using the digital platform.

6. Regularly monitor and review student progress, offering individualized feedback for continuous improvement.


Embracing technology with digital reading diaries not only enhances the learning experience of students but also fosters an appreciation for reading in today’s fast-paced world. By transforming paper-based reading diaries into dynamic, interactive platforms, educators can effectively promote critical thinking, self-assessment, and communication skills among their learners – preparing them for a lifetime of success.

5 Fun Ways to Teach Emoji, Social Media, and Information Literacy

In today’s digital age, emojis and social media platforms have become increasingly important in communication. As educators, it is essential to teach students how to navigate these platforms responsibly while improving their information literacy skills. Here are five fun ways to make learning about emojis, social media, and information literacy engaging for students:

1. Emoji Storytelling

Encourage students to create stories or summaries of specific topics using only emojis. This activity will help build creativity, critical thinking, and an ability to decipher the meaning behind various symbols. Additionally, students can then present their emoji stories to the class and have others guess their topic or storyline.

2. Social Media Scavenger Hunt

Create a social media scavenger hunt where students need to find correct information on different social media platforms about a particular subject. This encourages them to verify the sources of shared content and differentiate between credible information and fake news. You can establish specific criteria for evaluating the credibility of sources and provide a helpful checklist to guide your students through this process.

3. Emoji Charades

Hold a game of emoji charades where one student uses a sequence of emojis to represent a book title, movie, or famous person. The rest of the class then guesses the correct answer. This activity reinforces understanding and correct interpretation of emoji meanings while also promoting effective communication.

4. Social Media Etiquette Lessons

Organize discussions on social media etiquette with your students by incorporating real-life scenarios and role-plays. Topics can include cyberbullying prevention strategies, privacy concerns, maintaining a positive digital footprint, addressing misinformation, and recognizing biases or discrimination in online communications.

5. Create Your Own Emoji Challenge

Invite your students to design their own emojis that represent unique emotions or concepts not yet covered by existing options. This fosters creativity and broadens perspectives on how visual language is constantly evolving in response to societal needs. Students can present their new emoji creations to the class, explain their meanings, and discuss potential applications in different contexts.

By incorporating these fun activities into your classroom, you can help students develop their emoji usage and social media skills, train them to be responsible digital citizens, and enhance their information literacy competencies. As they navigate an increasingly digital world, these essential skills will empower them to communicate efficiently and responsibly.

Unlock Your Creativity with the Free Adobe Spark Video Planning Template


As a content creator, planning and organizing your ideas can be challenging. The free Adobe Spark Video planning template is designed to help you transform your thoughts into engaging stories with a structured approach, making it easier for you to create impressive videos in no time.

Overcoming Hurdles in Video Creation

For many, video creation can be an intimidating task due to the various elements that need consideration, such as ideation, scripting, visuals, and audio. Without proper planning, your final piece may not accurately convey the message you intended to deliver. This is where the Adobe Spark Video planning template comes into play.

Key Features of Free Adobe Spark Video Planning Template

1. Structured Approach: The template guides you through all essential steps in creating a compelling video – from outlining your creative concept to final touches and sharing the finished product.

2. Storyboarding: Visualize your story before diving into the actual video creation process. With sections for each scene or segment, the template enables efficient brainstorming and visualization.

3. Time Management: The rough time estimates in the planning template allow you to allocate time for each section of your video creation process and ensure that your project runs smoothly without any last-minute hiccups.

4. Collaboration: When working in a team, it’s crucial to have everyone on the same page. This comprehensive template makes it easy for multiple team members to work together and contribute their ideas freely.

5. Customization: Although Adobe Spark Video works seamlessly with their planning templates, you can also customize the template according to your preferences or use it for other video editing software.

Unlock Your Creative Potential

Whether you’re a professional content creator or just someone who enjoys making videos as a hobby, using the free Adobe Spark Video planning template can drastically improve your workflow. It not only simplifies your creative process but also helps you bring your ideas to life through visually captivating and well-thought-out videos.

In Conclusion

Preparing a solid video plan is the key to a successful production. The free Adobe Spark Video planning template can be your effective ally in reducing your stress and saving you valuable time in the creative process. So, if you haven’t already, give it a try and unlock endless possibilities for your video projects.

Say Hello to Our Free Narrative Writing Checklists


Narrative writing is a genre that allows individuals to share stories with vivid details and engaging elements that capture readers’ attention. For many writers, however, crafting the perfect narrative piece can be a daunting task. That’s where our free narrative writing checklists come in! These valuable resources are designed to assist writers and guarantee their stories have all the essential components needed for a compelling narrative piece.

Why Use a Writing Checklist?

A writing checklist serves as a helpful roadmap for writers during their creative process. They provide structure and guidance to ensure that each narrative component is included, resulting in a well-rounded final piece. By using a checklist, writers can:

1. Streamline their workflow

2. Stay focused on their objectives

3. Ensure every crucial aspect is covered

4. Self-edit their work more effectively

5. Gain confidence in their writing abilities

What’s Included in Our Free Narrative Writing Checklists?

Our comprehensive checklists cover the essential components of narrative writing, providing step-by-step guidance from brainstorming ideas to polishing the final draft. Here are some key elements included in our checklists:

1. Choosing a theme

2. Developing compelling characters

3. Establishing setting and context

4. Crafting an engaging plot with conflict and resolution

5. Incorporating dialogue and descriptions

6. Identifying point of view and narrative voice

7. Maintaining pacing and structure

8. Proofreading and editing tips

Using Our Narrative Writing Checklists for Success:

To make the most of our free narrative writing checklists, follow these simple steps:

1. Download or print the checklist of your choice.

2. Take time to review each step before starting your writing project.

3. Check off items as they are completed throughout your creative journey.

4. Revisit unchecked items as you work through revisions.

5. Consult additional resources provided alongside the checklist for further guidance.

Your Path to Narrative Writing Mastery:

By utilizing our free narrative writing checklists, writers of all skill levels and experience can confidently craft engaging, well-structured stories. These easy-to-follow guides serve as a constant reminder of the elements necessary for a successful narrative and ensure nothing is overlooked. With diligent use of these checklists, writers can refine their craft and master the art of narrative writing. So, go ahead and say hello to our free narrative writing checklists and take your storytelling prowess to new heights!

10 Myths Dispelled About Online High Schools

Are you wondering if online schooling is good enough? Do colleges admit students who attend high school online? You can read on to clear all your doubts about doing your high school studies online.

Myth 1 – Online Schools Are Only for Teenagers

Distance learning is a convenient option for adult learners. Several online schools provide high school classes to adults. They give them a chance to get a diploma and continue working on their jobs.

Myth 2 – Students Who Study Online Cannot Take Part in Extracurricular Activities

Some distance learning schools organize excursions for their students. Moreover, you can get permission to participate in some activities in your local traditional school. You also have a chance to get involved in community classes, clubs, and volunteerism.

Myth 3 – Students Who Study Online Do Not Get Sufficient Physical Activity

In many online schools, the students have to fulfill a physical education requirement to graduate. Many students taking online classes take part in community sports and athletic activities. Moreover, some traditional schools permit local students studying online to join their school’s sports programs.

Myth 4 – Credits Earned Through Online Classes Will Not Transfer to Public Schools

If you study in an accredited online school, your credits get transferred to regular schools. But some traditional schools have different requirements for graduation compared to online high school. Only, in that case, the credits are not transferred.

Myth 5 – Students Do Less Work In Online School Than Regular School Students

Students who study online probably do their work more quickly because they don’t have time schedules, transition periods, breaks, and classroom disturbances.

Myth 6 – Students Who Study Online Do Not Get Enough Opportunities To Socialize

Many online students interact with other students who live nearby. They connect with others through community activities and outings. They also have an opportunity to contact their classmates through live chat, email, and message boards.

Myth 7 – Online Schools Charge High Fees

The fees for some online schools may be high. However, there are quality high schools that charge less. There are a few state-sponsored schools. They allow the students to learn free of charge. The best part is that few charter schools provide free tutoring, internet access, computer, and specialized materials to students.

Myth 8 – Online Classes Do Not Have the Same Quality and Rigor As Regular Classes

Some students are under the impression that online classes are not as challenging as regular schools. But this is not true. Some public school classes are also not sufficiently challenging. Both online and regular schools can have different difficulty levels in various subjects and courses.

Myth 9 – Online Schools Are For Students Who Have Behavioral Problem

Some online classes suit students who are not able to adjust to the social environment of regular schools. But several schools fulfill the needs of gifted students, pupils who want to study a particular topic, students from different religious backgrounds, and adult learners.

Myth 10 – Colleges Do Not Accept Online School Diplomas

All the colleges and universities in the country accept diplomas received from online high schools. The only condition is that you should get it from an accredited online school. This sort of certification has the same value as a diploma from a traditional public school.

A Digital Future: K-12 Technology by 2018

Rapidly changing technology continues to make its mark on K-12 learning. The recently-released New Media Consortium Horizon Report details six up-and-coming technologies in the next five years for K-12 classrooms. Let’s take a closer loo

Horizon #1: In the next year, or less.

Mobile learning. Tablets and smartphones in the classroom are no longer a matter of “if,” but “when, and how quickly?” Administrators and educators can tap into the convenience of mobile technology in the classroom and the potential for student learning adaptation. Over half of school administrators say there is some form of mobile technology in their classrooms and that they plan to implement more when it is financially feasible. School districts should keep in mind that the purchase of mobile devices for K-12 use is only one piece in the learning puzzle. There must be funding for teacher training and maintenance of the devices too.

Cloud computing. When it comes to greater educational collaboration, cloud computing has unlimited potential. This is true for teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-parent and teacher-to-student applications. By using a common location, academic expectations can be better accessed, along with actual student work. Instructors can also share learning materials and experiences through the remote opportunities that cloud computing provides.

Horizon #2: Within two to three years.

Learning analytics. This evolving concept in K-12 classrooms is different from educational data mining in that it focuses on individual students, teachers and schools without direct implications to the government. Learning analytics is the education industry’s response to “big data” that is used in the business world for improvements and redirection of focus. Learning analytics essentially show students what they have achieved and how those goals match up with their peers. If implemented correctly, this technology has the potential to warn teachers early of academic issues while keeping students more accountable. Using the mobile and online technology already in place, students can better track and tailor their academic experiences.

Open content. The rise of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, in terms of college learning is having a trickle-down effect on K-12 education. The idea that all the information that exists on any given topic already exists, and does not need to be re-created or purchased, is gaining steam among K-12 educators. Within the next three years, expect more shared content available to teachers and to students. Open textbooks, resources and curricula are not the only benefit of an open content push; shared experiences and insights are also valuable teaching tools.

Horizon #3: Within four to five years.

3D printing. Also known as prototyping, this technology will allow K-12 students to create tangible models for their ideas. Many fields, like manufacturing, already make use of this technology to determine the effectiveness of ideas on a smaller, printable scale. In education, this technology will bolster creativity and innovation, along with science and math applications. The STEM Academy has already partnered with Stratasys, a leading 3D printing company, to start integration of the technology in programming classes.

Virtual laboratories. These Web applications give students the chance to perform physical science experiments over and over, from anywhere with Internet access. As in a physical lab, the performance of the student will determine the results of the experiment. While not a replacement for all in-lab exercises, the virtual version can provide extra practice and guidance. There is no pressure to “get it right” on the first run, and mistakes are allowable because the technology lends itself to no-cost repetition. It also may prove a smart solution to rekindling the American public’s interest in the scientific.

In coming posts, I will take a closer look at each of these technologies and their implications on K-12 learners. Which do you think will have the greatest impact?


 Read all of our posts about EdTech and Innovation by clicking here. 

The Impact of Educational Entrepreneurship on Traditional Public Education

What if there were total free markets in education in the United States, and traditional public education systems as we know them today did not exist? Education would be a product for sale, just like any other product on the U.S. market. The idea may be mindboggling, but many education entrepreneurs would likely see an opportunity that fits with their vision of how education systems ought to work. With such an opportunity unavailable, they must be content to effect change in education by working within the current system.

Education entrepreneurs are driven by the belief that public education organizations are agricultural- and industrialization-era bureaucratic entities, far too enmeshed in familiar operational customs and habits to lead the innovation and transformation needed for schools today. They see themselves as change agents who are able to visualize possibilities. They want to serve as catalysts for change that will deliver current public educational systems from a status quo that results in unacceptable educational outcomes for too many children. Social entrepreneurs have focused on transforming education for the underserved, to include children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and children of color – groups that have not been well served by the traditional public education system. It is important to note that education entrepreneurs do not see themselves as merely improving education – for them; improvement would be a byproduct of the larger goal of transforming the system of public education in the U.S.

The question then becomes: how do visionaries propose to influence a system that has seen no significant large-scale change for decades? The efforts of education entrepreneurs are evident in ventures such as charter schools, Teach for America teacher preparation efforts, and the preparation of principals through the New Leaders for New Schools project. On the surface, based on these projects, it may appear that traditional school systems and education entrepreneurs are engaged in the same kind of work. In fact, education entrepreneurs and traditional educators view the world of education from two radically different perspectives. Aspects of the public education system are severely resistant to change. Our schools’ dependency on other organizations for resources and other types of support has caused them to be a reflection of these organizations, rather than units able to maintain discernible levels of independence. Existing resources do not restrict thinking among education entrepreneurs, nor are they beholden to any particular organization for support. This status ostensibly frees them to consider unlimited possibilities for K-12 education.

Another interesting difference between education entrepreneurs and traditional educators is the manner in which accountability is perceived. Education entrepreneurs likely view accountability from a customer-provider perspective, while educators, given the fact that they exist in bureaucratic structures, likely view accountability from a superior-subordinate perspective. Education entrepreneurs may speak of having an impact on the lives of children as a result of individual actions, and that the actions of a critical mass of entrepreneurial organizations will result in systemic change. Educators may speak of accountability in terms of meeting expected outcomes handed down from another organization.

Education entrepreneurs propose that educators are too entrenched in the day-to-day business of school operations to be forward thinking about possibilities for K-12 education, and most education researchers appear disinterested in investigating practical solutions to problems within the system. In fact the education entrepreneurial opinion of traditional education seems to fall somewhere between frustration and disdain. There is a sense of urgency among education entrepreneurs for radical transformation that results in improved performance outcomes, particularly when it comes to children who have not been served well by public education systems. The lack of ongoing and prompt action by public education systems leads some entrepreneurs to conclude that public education systems either do not feel the same urgency, or, if they do, that the very nature of the system renders them incapable of putting effective changes in action.

Perhaps the larger question is whether or not two systems (i.e., public education systems and education entrepreneurship) with different approaches to accomplishing an end, a fair amount of mistrust (and perhaps a lack of mutual respect), and different visions of how organizations ought to work, can come together to work toward the improvement of the educational system. Partnerships that have been formed by public school systems and education entrepreneurs are evidence of a brand of customized education that appears to be acceptable to both. As long as public schools systems believe they won’t be totally enveloped by education entrepreneurs, a workable and innovative model for public education may evolve.

Read all of our posts about EdTech and Innovation by clicking here. 

Survey: Internet helps education, hurts morality

The Pew Research Center has released results to a poll of relatively new internet users in developing countries that found the internet is viewed pretty favorably, particularly when it comes to education.

Sixty-four percent of the respondents felt that the internet had a positive impact on education and 53 percent said the same for personal relationships. When asked the same thing about the internet’s influence on politics and morality, however, only 36% and 29% had a favorable view, respectively. When you look at the way the internet is utilized in America and other developed nations, I’d say these observations align. There are good and bad aspects — but the potential for increased access to education is great.

I’ve said before that I feel technology can be a great equalizer in P-20 classrooms and this survey adds an international element to that stance. The internet allows access to information in ways that were not even dreamed of a few decades ago. Using internet technology to improve educational access on a worldwide scale is so important to elevating the global economy and knowledge base. Imagine the collaboration that will be possible worldwide between this generation of students because of internet access?

While the internet was considered somewhat of a luxury when it first emerged, I think it is vital that all corners of the world gain access in the coming decade. The internet should not be something elite countries have access to; it should be an educational right for all people. Through this mass adoption, knowledge collaborations will continue to grow and it will benefit all of us as world citizens.

Read all of our posts about EdTech and Innovation by clicking here. 

Kentucky schools awarded broadband access award

One of the most important resources in P-12 schools today is internet connectivity, particularly broadband access. Recently, LaRue  County Schools and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics & Science in Kentucky were recognized for being successful examples of improving broadband internet access, adoption and use. The honor came during ConnectKentucky’s Tech Day where both entities were awarded the Secondary Educational Institution Technology Award.

Since 2010, LaRue County High School has provided every student with a laptop and in 2014, new laptops were purchased for the high school and the older ones were passed down to middle school students.  In addition, traditional and mobile computer labs and other devices are bringing technology into LaRue County’s elementary classes more than ever.

“LaRue County students are provided a luxury that most districts don’t have – access to high quality educational resources and lines of communication with their teachers all school day long, and in many cases outside of the school day as well,” said LaRue County School Chief Information Officer Freddie Newby in a press release on the award

Tech Day in Kentucky is put on through a partnership with Western Kentucky University’s Office of Research. It emphasizes the benefits of broadband technology in government, schools, non-profits, libraries, businesses, communities and homes.

I believe that technology in P-12 classrooms can be a great equalizer, but only if everyone has adequate access. The program like the one in the LaRue County schools accomplishes two things: in-class access to broadband internet, and individual devices for every student so no one has an advantage over another. I hope this program will serve as a model to other schools of how to best equip all students with the technology needed for academic equality and success.

Read all of our posts about EdTech and Innovation by clicking here.