Talk to your doctor to find out what this means for you.Spurred by the rise of so-called “fake news” and its impact on elections, a Santa Barbara state senator has introduced a bill that would encourage California’s K-12 schools to teach students to be skeptical, informed news consumers. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), SB 203, known as the digital citizenship and media literacy bill, would require the state superintendent of public instruction to convene a committee of educators, librarians, parents, students and media experts to draw up guidelines on how best to recognize fake news.Popularized in the 2016 presidential election, the term “fake news” refers to Internet hoaxeses presented as news and intended to sway public opinion.Cyber bullying, privacy, copyright infringement, digital footprints, sexting and general Internet safety would also be included in the guidelines.
One social studies teacher, they said, starts every day showing students news clips on the same topic as covered by Fox News, Democracy Now and other diverse media outlets, and has the students discuss the differences.
“Instead of trusting everything you read, we learn how to be a little more skeptical.” SB 203 passed the Senate Education Committee in April by a vote of 5-2, with the two Republican members voting no. Andy Vidak (R-Fresno) said the bill was unnecessary and teachers should not waste their time on new curriculum when California’s public schools are barely keeping up with the standards they already have.
“Now we’re going to ask teachers to start monitoring political speech on social media? Teachers, he said, should not serve as “thought police.” The bill is not partisan or political, advocates said.
“In the past, content was scarce – you had to get information from libraries, teachers, books.
Now, it’s the opposite: content is infinite but the filters are scarce. All students could benefit from learning about that. “Critical thinking, being a good reader and writer – these are really 21-century skills that are useful in any profession.