Fake News Alerts: Teaching News Literacy Skills in a Meme World

Taylor, Diana

ID – Media Literacy

Ireland, S. (2018). Fake news alerts: Teaching news literacy skills in a meme world. The Reference Librarian, 59(3), 122-128.

Summary: In this article, Ireland addresses the need for students to have the skills to be able to decipher whether information is true or not. In today’s fast paced world of technology, most information is sent in less than 100 words, and readers view it as true. Ireland suggests that librarians can make their own memes and infographics to provide visual information to combat it. This article covers memes, what is fake news, identifying fake news, identifying reliable news sources, accessing sources, addressing bias and logical fallacies, and how to stop being part of the problem.

Evaluation: This was an excellent article on how librarians can help address the issue of fake news with students. Ireland provides us with all the necessarily terminology to discuss fake news and provides resources to post in the library for students to view.

Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism

Moreno, Mary


Guder, C. G. (2010). Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism. Public Services Quarterly, 6(1), 36-42.



In this article the author discusses the theory of connectivism as related to education theory already used in libraries. First the author describes the basic principles of connectivism, including “currency, relevancy [sic], critical thinking, and networked information.” In connectivism, the user controls the learning network. The author argues that libraries have already been providing a user controlled experience through collections and computer access. Libraries can build on this tradition by embracing and adding new technologies. In addition, librarians can play a role by teaching students about new technologies. Librarians can also teach students how and where to access information in new networks. In his conclusion, the author states that “Technology can be viewed as a tool for learning or it can be viewed as the place where learning takes place. Libraries do not have to come down on either side…“. This quote sums up what we can do and promote in the library.


The article is from 2010, and therefore is a little dated. However, I feel like just as we hope the skills students learn today transfer to the technologies of tomorrow, this theory can encompass all that has happened in the past 8 years. For instance, social media is no longer new, but librarians are still working to ensure students know the best ways to use it. I also liked the author’s discussion of helping students know where to look for information. This is a traditional library skill, but with more options for learning and more to learn, knowing how to find relevant information becomes a key skill for success. I agree with the author; connectivism is a theory that has a lot to offer for libraries.

Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media.

Norma Olsen

ET- blended learning
IL- 21st-century learning

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittanti, M., Cody, R., Stephenson, B. H., Horst, H. A., … & Perkel, D. (2009). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. MIT press. Retrieved from https://dmlcentral.net/wp-content/uploads/files/Hanging_Out.pdf

In this book, the cowriters report on a three-year ethnographic study that explores how the social and recreational use of digital technology and social media provides a way to develop many of the 21st century skills of collaboration, creation culture, and self-directed learning. Reading this can provide ways which teachers and teacher librarians can harness the natural draw of technology and socializing towards instructional purposes. We must understand what motivates 21-century youths if we are to create learning environments that can direct their energy towards the fields and problems that face our world. 

Very helpful starter kit for becoming a "connected educator"

Ramos, Tara


Powerful Learning Practice.  (2015).  Connected educator starter kit.  Retrieved from https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38904447/connected-educator-month-starter-kit-2015.pdf

Summary: This tool kit was designed to accompany the activities surrounding Connected Educators Month in 2015.  It provides an introduction to what a connected educator is and gives about thirty tools and ideas (one for each day os the month) that teachers can engage with to become more connected.  Examples include tips on using Twitter, building your Personal Learning Network, collaborating online, blogging, Wikis and more!  A favorite quote: “To become a connected educator, you must first become a connected learner.”

Evaluation:  I found this kit to be extremely useful as a budding teacher librarian.  It is exactly the introduction I needed to many tools and ideas that I have heard about surrounding 21st century learning and Web 2.0, but that have yet to become instrumental to my practice as an educator.  Just reading through the suggested activities and engaging with several of them, I am seeing a whole new world open to me before my eyes.  I highly recommend this kit to anyone who considers themselves to be at the beginning stages of becoming a 21st century educator.