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Education in the age of fake news and disputed facts


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Lee Rainie, director of Internet, Science and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, described the Center’s research about public views related to facts and trust after the 2016 election at UPCEA's “Summit on Online Leadership.” He explored how education is affected as students face challenges finding and using knowledge. In addition, he covered the Center’s latest research about how ubiquitous technology shapes the new information landscape for students.

Published in: Internet
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Education in the age of fake news and disputed facts

  1. 1. Education in the age of fake news and disputed facts Lee Rainie – Pew Research Center
  2. 2. • Facts are the atomic unit of truth • Facts drive outcomes for individuals and societies • Facts underlie justice • Facts are democratic • Facts are tied to trust • Trust is what binds people together to: • overcome uncertainty • overcome vulnerability • cement interdependence • achieve collective action
  3. 3. Information revolutions are like avalanches
  4. 4. Elizabeth Eisenstein Folklore Witchcraft Alchemy
  5. 5. Today Trolls Fake news Weaponized information
  6. 6. A new tension in American life Losing trust in traditional sourcesWant to learn and grow
  7. 7. June 15, 2017 Learning needs start in labor markets
  8. 8. June 15, 2017
  9. 9. June 15, 2017
  10. 10. Americans believe knowledge of computers, social dexterity, communications skills, and access to ongoing training are keys to success for workers 40 35 37 33 22 23 10 10 45 49 48 49 47 41 27 25 12 12 13 16 26 26 40 43 Extremely important Having a detailed understanding of how to use computer technology Being able to work with people from many different backgrounds Training in writing and communicating Access to training to keep skills up to date Mastering social media Knowing a foreign language Very important Somewhat important Training in math and science Knowing a computer or programming language NET 85% 85% 85% 82% 69% 64% 37% 36%
  11. 11. Learning as identity (% of those ages 18+) 57 61 73 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 I often find myself looking for new opportunities to grow as a person I like to gather as much information as I can when I come across something that I am not familiar with I think of myself as a lifelong learner Describes me very well
  12. 12. The motives of personal learners % of those ages 18+ 33 36 60 64 80 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Learn something to help with my children's or other kids school work Wanted to turn a hobby into extra income Extra time on my hands Learn something that would allow me to help others Learn something make my life more interesting
  13. 13. And… 93% say they agree with this statement: “I appreciate when I get feedback about how I do things.” 92% say this statement describes them well: “I like gathering as much information as I can when I come across something that I’m not familiar with.” 91% say they agree with the statement: “I make an effort to gather information on a regular basis on the topics that matter to me.” 89% say this statement describes them well: “I often find myself looking for new opportunities to grow as a person.” 83% say they agree with the statement: “I usually take into consideration evidence that goes against my views.” 76% say this statement describes their views very well: “The harder you work at something, the better you will be at it.”
  14. 14. But, there are new challenges to facts and trust
  15. 15. 16 The abundance of information has confused people as much as it’s enlightened them 22 38 16 23 0 20 40 60 80 100 Very well Somewhat well Not too well Not well at all I find it difficult to know whether the information I find online is trustworthy % who say this statement describes them…
  16. 16. People’s trust in various sources of information 3 14 17 18 18 24 39 40 31 54 48 54 43 58 44 38 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Info on social media Info from financial institutions Info from national news organizations Info from local news organizations Info from government sources Info from family and friends Info from health care providers Information from local public library a lot some
  17. 17. Fake news is seen as a problem
  18. 18. Most say Clinton, Trump supporters cannot agree even on ‘basic facts’ On important issues facing the country, most Trump and Clinton supporters … (%)
  19. 19. Trusting the President’s words?
  20. 20. Few have a lot of trust in information from professional news outlets or friends and family Social media garners the least amount of trust
  21. 21. Public Trust in Government: 1958-2015 Trust the federal government to do what is right just about always/most of the time
  22. 22. A year before election, most felt like ‘their side’ was losing more often than winning in politics On issues that matter to you in politics today, has your side been winning or losing more often? (%)
  23. 23. And it has even affected people at the personal level
  24. 24. Both Parties Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Public’s Potential Wisdom % very great/good deal of trust and confidence in political wisdom of American people
  25. 25. 26% of Americans have had false information posted about them
  26. 26. This is the result of the double- edged impact of technology on learning and culture
  27. 27. Online survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement and Writing Teachers 77% of teachers surveyed say the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work 87% agree these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans”
  28. 28. 76% of the teachers in this study strongly agree “the internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available” 76% strongly agree that internet “search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily”
  29. 29. 65% agree to some extent that “the internet makes today’s students more self-sufficient researchers” 83% agree that the “amount of information available online today is overwhelming to most students”
  30. 30. 90% agree that “the internet encourages learning by connecting students to resources about topics of interest to them” 71% agree that today’s digital technologies “discourage students from using a wide range of sources when conducting research”
  31. 31. Grading students’ research skills 1% 1% 3% 3% 5% 6% 7% 6% 11% 12% 19% 20% 20% 15% 26% 26% 29% 36% 38% 35% 37% 39% 26% 29% 33% 43% 24% 20% 21% 9% 0% 50% 100% Ability to recognize bias in online content Patience and determination in looking for information that is hard to find Ability to assess the quality and accuracy of information they find online Ability to use multiple sources to effectively support an argument Understanding how online search results are generated Ability to use appropriate and effective search terms and queries Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor
  32. 32. What people say they want/need Smart allies (diversity really helps) Improved curators Proof of authenticity Transparency More confidence they can find material to help them learn Just-in-time help in decision making More training on tech use and information literacy Organizations that will help and protect them
  33. 33. In the next 10 years, do you think we will see the emergence of new educational and training programs that can successfully train large numbers of workers in the skills they will need to perform the jobs of the future? 70% - “yes” 30% - “no”
  34. 34. Theme 1 The training ecosystem will evolve, with a mix of innovation in all education formats • More learning systems will migrate online. Some will be self- directed and some offered or required by employers; others will be hybrid online/real-world classes. Workers will be expected to learn continuously • Online courses will get a big boost from advances in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) • Universities still have special roles to play in preparing people for life, but some are likely to diversify and differentiate
  35. 35. Theme 2 Learners must cultivate 21st-century skills, capabilities and attributes • Tough-to-teach intangibles such as emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, adaptability, resilience and critical thinking will be most highly valued • Practical, experiential learning via apprenticeships and mentoring will advance
  36. 36. Theme 3 New credentialing systems will arise as self-directed learning expands • While the traditional college degree will still hold sway in 2026, more employers may accept alternate credentialing systems as self-directed learning options and their measures evolve • The proof of competency may be in the real-world work portfolios
  37. 37. Thank you Email: Twitter: @lrainie @pewinternet @pewresearch