Teaching media literacy with escape rooms and AI photos

“I’m truly not that assured,” stated Isabella. “I really feel like I’ll like fall for actually silly issues and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, how did I not know this isn’t actual?’”

Navigating exaggeration, spin and outright lies

Since its founding in 2019, MisInfo Day has grown into one of many nation’s finest recognized media literacy occasions for highschool college students.

It originated with a preferred undergraduate course on the College of Washington, “Calling Bulls***: Knowledge Reasoning in a Digital World,” co-created by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom, to offer their college students some steering in find out how to navigate the proliferation of exaggeration, spin, and outright lies that might move for info and proof on-line.

Highschool lecturers have been on the lookout for one thing comparable they might carry to their college students, and MisInfo Day was born.

Organizers arrange multiple sessions for college students to select from, together with TikTok and viral misinformation, and making sense of on-line rumors.

The escape rooms have been among the many hottest. There, the scholars broke into small groups and had 45 minutes to determine if rumors a good friend was passing alongside a few Okay-Pop group have been true.

A part of the train concerned taking a look at units of pictures of human faces to determine which have been actual and which have been AI-generated. A few of the college students debated whether or not a face’s enamel regarded proper whereas one pupil laughed that one other face was “giving catfish profile,” referring to scams the place somebody makes use of a manufactured persona, usually that includes a sexy picture of one other individual, to attract in prey.

A few of the members of the staff that gained the escape room problem at MisInfo Day, who symbolize Sedro Woolley Excessive Faculty, north of Seattle. (Kim Malcolm/KUOW)

The primary occasion in 2019 drew 200 youngsters from 4 native excessive faculties. After a few years logging on in the course of the covid-19 pandemic, greater than 500 college students from six native faculties took half in individual on the Seattle occasion this 12 months.

Tons of extra college students attend different occasions hosted in collaboration with two campuses of Washington State College. This 12 months, MisInfo Day’s organizers say 68 lecturers from ten completely different states and three nations registered for on-line coaching with the MisInfo Day library, to allow them to lead the actions in their very own school rooms.

Educators are attempting to fill an enormous hole, says Jevin West, an affiliate dean of analysis at UW’s Data Faculty who co-founded the college’s Middle for an Knowledgeable Public.

“The entire motivation for this program was to spend a complete day which could be the one day that many of those college students will commit to this, what I contemplate one of many extra vital issues that we will be educating our public.”

A rising demand for media literacy training

The advocacy non-profit group Media Literacy Now’s annual report exhibits 18 states have now handed payments pushing for media literacy education, and half of all state legislatures have held debates or votes on the subject.

A recent survey from Boston College exhibits 72% of adults say misinformation is a priority. However there’s a partisan hole in attitudes in the direction of media literacy, says BU’s Michelle Amazeen

Democrats are extra extra seemingly (81%) to agree than Republicans (66%) that media literacy abilities are vital. Relatedly, Democrats are extra seemingly than independents and Republicans to imagine that media literacy coaching teaches one find out how to suppose extra critically – and never what to suppose.

“It’s in step with the sample general, that Republicans are simply much less trusting of media, they really feel that there’s a liberal bias within the media and they also’re extra prone to agree that media is attempting to inform them what to suppose,” says Amazeen.

Jim Walsh, chair of the Washington State GOP, has criticized among the state’s work to fight election disinformation, however he helps efforts like MisInfo Day.

“Effectively, like many issues, the time period media literacy sounds nice. And it’s nice. If we preserve it clear and clear and freed from freed from agendas. The danger, the problem, is to ensure it stays free and clear, and doesn’t doesn’t find yourself getting hijacked by individuals pushing agendas of any kind,” says Walsh.

Again at Misinfo Day, a staff of scholars from Sedro Woolley Excessive Faculty, north of Seattle, have been the primary to resolve the escape room.

The winners all stated they felt higher geared up to evaluate what they see on-line after after the session. However the college students questioned why media literacy training should be limited to teenagers.

“I believe truthfully, adults may profit extra from it. As a result of they don’t normally take into consideration that form of stuff. We’re rising up in a really technological period. So we all know we have now to, however some adults are like, ‘Oh, it doesn’t have an effect on me. As a result of I didn’t develop up like that,’” says Katie, a member of the profitable staff.

MisInfo Day is increasing. In Might, it’ll supply periods to college students in California for the primary time.

Copyright 2024 KUOW. To see extra, go to KUOW.

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