Innovative educators have the opportunity to promote, participate in, and model intelligent discourse in face-to-face and digital interactions. This means knowing the importance of making meaning of what we read and hear by gaging credibility, verifying sources, and looking at evidence and facts. It means we know that getting angry and calling others “stupid,” “ignorant,” or stereotyping them is not responsible. Instead, we share evidence with verified sources and present information that provides a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. This enables us to engage in responsible and intellectual, rather than baseless and emotional, conversations.
Intelligent conversation is an effective weapon in the fight against the spread of fake news and misinformation. It also helps us make informed decisions and consider what intentional next steps are necessary to achieve desired outcomes.
So, how do we begin?
#1 Share information showing perspectives along the continuum
Don’t just share information from the news source that you always see eye-to-eye with. When you share information, look across the continuum to get several perspectives. Pew's study of Americans' media habits provides a lens for this. It takes the average viewer/consumer of all of these media outlets and plotted them on a continuum, trying to ascertain which outlets are favored by which side of the political spectrum.