Lateral Reading on the Open Internet

57 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2021 Last revised: 9 May 2022

See all articles by Sam Wineburg

Sam Wineburg

Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Joel Breakstone

STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP

Sarah McGrew

Stanford Graduate School of Education

Mark Smith

Stanford University

Teresa Ortega

Stanford University

Date Written: November 15, 2021

Abstract

Young people turn to the Internet to become informed about the issues that concern them and their communities. How can they learn to distinguish credible information from sham? In a study conducted in an urban school district, we tested a classroom-based intervention in which students were taught evaluation strategies derived from research with professional fact checkers. We provided professional development to high school teachers who then implemented six 1-hour lessons across three months in a district-mandated government course. Using a matched/control design, students in treatment classrooms (n = 271) were compared to peers (n = 228) in regular classrooms. A cluster-randomized, repeated-measures analysis showed that students in experimental classrooms grew significantly in their ability to judge the credibility of digital content compared to students in control classrooms. We conclude by addressing how the study’s findings inform efforts to prepare students to make sense of the information that streams across their digital devices.

Keywords: Media literacy, digital literacy, civic education

Suggested Citation

Wineburg, Sam and breakstone, joel and mcgrew, sarah and Smith, Mark and Ortega, Teresa, Lateral Reading on the Open Internet (November 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3936112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3936112

Sam Wineburg (Contact Author)

Stanford University Graduate School of Education ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-3096
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sheg.stanford.edu

Joel Breakstone

STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
6507254411 (Phone)
94305-3096 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://cor.stanford.edu

Sarah Mcgrew

Stanford Graduate School of Education ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sheg.stanford.edu

Mark Smith

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Teresa Ortega

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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