Fact-checking the future: The News Literacy Project expands online classroom for youth

Washington, D.C., August 15, 2018– The News Literacy Project (NLP) is launching a reimagined version 2.0 of its Checkology virtual classroom— an enhanced e-learning platform educators can use to teach middle school and high school students the critical-thinking skills needed to assess news and other information. It features new lessons requested by teachers, improved interactivity and design, and game-like exercises where students can practice their news literacy skills. A key new functionality allows teachers to customize and sequence lessons based on their classroom objectives. The Facebook Journalism Project is supporting this expansion of Checkology through a $1 million grant.

“At the News Literacy Project, we believe that news literacy is an essential 21st-century life skill to navigate the flood of information we all encounter every day. Our goal is for all students to obtain the tools they need to be informed and active participants in the civic life of their communities,” says Alan C. Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project. “We’re excited that we’re able to expand our curriculum through the grant from the Facebook Journalism Project.”

Checkology lessons cover a variety of topics, such as identifying the purpose of different types of information, understanding bias and recognizing the role of algorithms in personalizing what people see online. With Checkology features, students can:

  • Click on an interactive map of the world to “travel” to a country to hear about press freedoms from a local journalist.
  • Play the role of reporter in a game-like simulation of a breaking news scene to learn the standards of quality journalism.
  • Earn digital badges as they successfully complete lessons and other activities.

“The Facebook Journalism Project is proud to support the News Literacy Project as a leader in news and information literacy education to expand Checkology,” says Campbell Brown, Facebook’s global head of News Partnerships. “It is more important than ever that students are equipped with the skills to know what information to trust, share and act on.”

With the Facebook Journalism Project grant, NLP is also creating a “global playbook” of news literacy resources and guidance for international organizations seeking to advance news literacy education in their countries. In addition, NLP will consult directly with select nonprofits in 10 countries to support their news literacy programs.

“Over the last 10 years, we’ve developed effective practices that allow students to make significant and positive changes in how they assess and act on information,” says Miller. “We know from our experience that teachers around the world recognize the challenge ahead and are hungry for accessible resources to help students meet it.”