I am currently observing at Beachwood High School, and one of the classes that I am observing is a junior and senior level journalism class. As I was watching my mentor teacher working this week, I noticed that a lot of the students, while in the process of writing news stories, were using less than desirable sources to source their story, including Buzzfeed News and Huffington Post.
My mentor teacher was trying to explain to them why these weren’t credible, but they just weren’t getting it. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make them a mobile learning website to help them get the hang of it while also doing this project.
My website is made specifically for those who are having troubles with identifying credible sources. However, I do not want them to come to this website and simply find a list of sources. This does not encourage higher-level thinking. So, I decided to scaffold using my menus list.
I began with a list of credible and non-credible sources so that students can identify the similarities that the sources have and see what kinds of sources they should be looking for. After that, the next menu was all about how to identify a credible source. By doing this, I am asking my students to apply their knowledge of credible and non-credible sources in order to verify credibility by themselves. This way, they are not reliant on the website and it is instead just a tool for them to utilize at their will.
The next menu was tools and tricks that they could use, and finally there is an assessment so that I can measure how much they have learned.
I would integrate this into my lesson by presenting this as a resource to my students; it would not be a full lesson, but I would rather show my students how to utilize the website and then let them take charge of their own learning and use it whenever they wished or needed to. This way, the website does not stick to one particular lesson; it spans across the whole year.
Hopefully, my students will find this helpful. I know that I also struggled with credible sources when I was first learning how to write journalistically, so this would have helped me!
You can find the website here.