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Resources and research for teaching Media and Information Literacy

Who are we?

Inquiring Online helps children to navigate the online world, with classroom resources and research into children’s media and information literacy.

We are UK-based teacher-researchers, aware that e-safety is excellently taught in primary schools, while the essential critical thinking skills necessary for the digital age are barely touched on.

If you’re a teacher, we offer resources to help your pupils use critical thinking skills to efficently find reliable and useful online sources of information. We’ve designed the resources to fit into your computing/IT or subject sessions, with up-to-date guidance on addressing what pupils access on their mobile devices in their spare time or “facts” they’ve found on the internet.

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Why is media and literacy information important? 

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Today’s children are known as digital natives: they have grown up using digital technologies and spending time online. In fact, over half of children now own a smartphone by age 7 and, of course, learning online has taken a central role in children’s lives over the last few months.

Although we know that children use digital technology, there are concerns about how well they can navigate online information and the accuracy of what they find online. There are also lots of questions about children’s digital media use: how well can they identify fake news? How much do they share unreliable information? What are their main sources of information?


The problem of fake news

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Fake news has been identified as an issue in many areas of our lives, and the fake news that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic is just one example of this. During the first wave of the pandemic the BBC published a news piece indicating the deaths and damage that had been caused as a result of the public believing fake news. The BBC also runs ‘Reality Check’ pieces, debunking rumours about different issues. Recently, one of these pieces focused on rumours about the COVID-19 vaccine that were found to be untrue. Our resources help children, teachers and parents to understand and identify the issues around fake news.