Albert Einstein High School Students Take on Fake News

Photo courtesy of Kerri Mauer

A recent study published by researchers at Stanford University regarding young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet was summed up in one word: “bleak.”

In other words, middle school, high school and college students were unable to identify reliable information sources and Stanford researchers stated, “at present, we worry that democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish.”

And that study is one reason why some ninth grade students at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington are making a point to identify and debunk fake news.

With the help of their English teacher, Kerri Mauer and the school’s media specialist, Dorothy D’ascanio, students created original artwork to teach their community about media literacy.

“It all started with the general political climate in 2016,” Mauer said. “Conversations would come up and students didn’t know what news sources were good or not. Their news was coming from Twitter and Instagram.”

Part of the ninth grade curriculum involves persuasive writing strategies and information text, according to Mauer.  For the last four weeks, students collaborated with D’ascanio to learn and practice online reasoning skills.

More than 100 ninth graders participated in the media literacy curriculum and the final piece of their project was to place on exhibit what they learned to share with their peers on and off campus.

“The term ‘fake news’ was being thrown around and students were getting mixed messages,” D’ascanio said. “We felt it was time for them to understand that just seeing it on social media doesn’t make it real.”

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


One Response to “Albert Einstein High School Students Take on Fake News”

  1. Avatar
    On February 22, 2018 at 7:06 am responded with... #

    That’s it, get them indoctrinated early.

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