It was a very exciting day. CNN reporters were coming to school to interview students and teachers. They were interested in the media and information literacy project which the school has piloted since 2016 in close cooperation with Finnish fact-checking organization, Faktabaari. The objective of the project has been to provide tools for teachers to counter information disorder to implement the new Finnish curriculum in practice - as well as to encourage students to critical thinking and provide them skills to analyse their media environment and inspire them to participate to societal debate.
Faktabaari (FactBar) EDU published the first edition of the “Elections approach – are you ready? Fact-checking for educators and future voters” in November 2018 as open source material. The voter literacy toolkit is compatible to the “European approach to tackle online disinfomation” where European Commission communication “encourages independent factcheckers and civil society organisations to provide educational material to schools and educators” (p.13, communication).
Teachers did not have difficulty to find voluntary pupils for the interview sessions. On the contrary, there were e.g. so many primary 5thyear volunteers, that teachers had to organize a lottery to choose the interview team.
The CNN reporters met with primary, secondary and upper secondary students and teachers who were involved with the parliamentary election follow-up in April 2019. They had long discussions about the use of social media (Facebook is for the old people), disinformation and the forthcoming EU elections. The interaction with the students and teachers was so intense that the reporters stayed in the school much longer than foreseen.
After the visit we received a warm message from the producer: “We were incredibly impressed by the Helsinki French-Finnish School and all that you are doing there to prepare the next generation for an evolving information landscape.” CNN interviewed also Faktabaari on digital literacy efforts carried out on EU Elections at Oodi Central library during EU media literacy week event.
You can read the full report “Sorting fact from fiction” here
-Faktabaari (FactBar) EDU project in English (under construction)
-Encouraging Democratic Culture and Human Rights - Schools in Action, blog on Council of Europe Conference of the Finnish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, Helsinki, 16-17 April 2019 by Director of French Finnish school Kari Kivinen
-#EUelection2019 related materials with climate change fact-check on Greta Thunberg
Example from FactBar EDU toolkit: FactBar EDU traffic signs and categories for information disorders