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Test, Evaluate, And Validate Teaching Guidelines To Spot Fake News

Absent from the latest new media literacy toolkit designed for schools ranging from the primary to junior college level (TODAY, Nov. 2) and its teaching guidelines to spot falsehoods – and in fact, from the forthcoming, broader national framework to build information and media literacy too – appears to be robust research attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of these endeavours. Immediate questions which follow include: The extent to which teachers are familiar with and have the capacity to teach the toolkit; how students benefit from the teaching resource; and ultimately whether teachers and students, beyond the context of the classroom, actually put their skills and knowledge into practice. Continue reading

On (Online) Falsehoods: Everyone Wants “Media Literacy”. But How Should We Actually Teach Or Inculcate It?

Yet this assumption that media literacy is the long-term panacea for falsehoods in general remains unchallenged. And problematically too it also avoids the harder and more meaningful questions of how exactly to teach or to inculcate media literacy, and how the effectiveness of these programmes can be determined. After all, promoting such discourse can be unsettling, especially when notions of what constitutes “truth” are confronted. In the Singaporean context, however, the much-needed discourse on media literacy and public education can be guided by three related questions: First, the extent to which existing media literacy programmes been effective (or not); second, whether we are willing to re-examine traditional approaches to media literacy as we know it, while acknowledging instances of failure; and third, how we might involve teachers and their schools – who were hardly represented in this consultative process – more constructively in the future. Continue reading

Drumming Up Youth Interest In #Budget2018? Try These Five Short-Term Strategies

The Ministry of Finance has been criticised for its engagement of “online micro-influencers” to publicise the upcoming Budget. Long-term solutions to the problems of youth lethargy or apathy lie in civic engagement, but with the “micro-influencers” already engaged and with the finance minister due to deliver his Budget speech in a few weeks, five short-term strategies can be considered (potentially for the future too):

1. Reach out to the same “micro-influencers” again, but encourage them to do more beyond the Instagram posts;
2. Don’t overwhelm: Frame the discussion by highlighting key issues;
3. Let young Singaporeans set the agenda, on their economic or financial concerns;
4. Take the first steps towards (the exploration of) participatory budgeting; and
5. Document these exchanges in an interactive fashion. Continue reading

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