Fake news. It’s real. Political views aside, these days just about anyone can use the Internet and social media to publish false information, and many do. Teaching students to recognize propaganda is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our democratic society.
Snopes.com and other sites, such as those listed on Pressbooks.com’s Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, are good places to determine the truth of specific stories. But even better is learning how to spot a false story right off the bat.
Here are some games that will get students thinking about what (or not) to believe the next time they get online.
- The News Hero by NATO. Free Web-based game. Play an editor who must decide which articles are reputable enough to publish. Encourages students to use fact-checker websites and view visual clues like all-caps headlines.
- Bad News by DROG. Free Web-based game. Play a false-news mogel and earn badges for confusing readers through impersonation, emotion, polarization, trolling, conspiracy theories, and discrediting critics.
- Factitious by AU Game Lab. Free Web-based game. Read articles that have actually been published and test your skills at spotting the false ones.
- FakeItToMakeItGame.com. Free Web-based game. The game has you earn money on social media by planting provocative articles in social groups who would tend to believe them. Success depends on being alert to the political group associated with an article, profile, and group. This game is a bit complex to learn so it might be good for a group activity.
Board and card games
- Fake News by Breaking Games ($20), also available at Walmart and Target. Ages 13+ Score points for the most hilariously believable headlines using image and topic cards for the chosen audience.
- Fake News/Real News by Licensed 2 Play.(Under $10) Card set. Players must identify real quotes from fake ones.
See also the webinar, Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. EST on edWeb.net.