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Equipping Educators to Combat Disinformation: Teacher Training Outcome

DisinformACTION! – Counter climate change disinformation through youth e-participation is a 24-month project implemented by a consortium of four organizations with the overarching goal of empowering young people to identify online misinformation and disinformation related to climate change. Additionally, the project aims to encourage them to become active citizens in their local communities when it comes to climate and environmental issues. To achieve these objectives, the program provides comprehensive training to teachers, enabling them to educate their students in these critical area

Enpowering Educators: Cultivating Climate Change Champions

Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the minds and perspectives of the next generation, making them crucial partners in the fight against climate misinformation and in fostering a sustainable future. This project’s core lies in the Methodology of Climate Change Ambassadors, which teachers were equipped with through comprehensive training.

The training objectives were specifically designed to:

  • Immerse teachers in the methodology, providing a detailed understanding of all the activities involved.
  • Equip teachers with practical tips and insights gleaned from our experience conducting school workshops.
  • Engage teachers in simulated activities to enhance their grasp of implementation strategies.
  • Clearly outline the expectations and requirements for the teacher implementation stage.
  • Facilitate the exchange of best practices in non-formal education methods.

Through this comprehensive training, teachers were empowered to become Climate Change Ambassadors, effectively equipped to guide their students towards a sustainable future

Nurturing Digital Literacy Empowering Educators to Combat Misinformation

The training program has successfully enhanced the digital literacy of participating educators, empowering them to become effective guides for their students in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Teachers have gained a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms and tactics of online misinformation, enabling them to critically evaluate the information they encounter and effectively guide their students to do the same. As a result, educators are now better equipped to instill in their students the ability to discern fact from fiction in the online environment, fostering a generation of informed and discerning digital citizens.

To further enhance the training, we engaged participants in a simulated activity titled “Climate Change: What is Real?”. This hands-on activity provided an opportunity for teachers to apply their newfound knowledge and skills in a practical setting. We began by clearly defining the terms “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “factual information” to ensure a common understanding among the participants. We then emphasized the key distinctions between these concepts and provided suggestions for explaining these differences to students using the engaging “telephone game” analogy. Subsequently, we presented six news headlines and tasked the teachers with classifying them as either disinformation, misinformation, or factual information.

Working in classrooms rooms, the teachers collaborated to discuss and categorize the headlines, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives. Upon reconvening, each group presented their classifications and engaged in a lively discussion, further solidifying their understanding of the concepts.

Through this comprehensive approach, the training program has empowered educators to become digital literacy champions, effectively equipped to guide their students towards a future where they can confidently navigate the digital world with discernment and critical thinking skills

Effective Communication

The training sessions have emphasized the importance of effective online communication in countering climate misinformation. Educators have acquired skills to engage in constructive, fact-based conversations with their students, promoting accurate information and healthy dialogue on climate-related topics. This skill is vital in nurturing a generation of young climate activists and responsible digital citizens.

Digital Tools for Engagement

Educators have been introduced to a range of digital tools designed to facilitate online activism and information dissemination. Using one of these digital tools, Jamboard, we simulated the activity during which they had to brainstorm and come up with topics for an online campaign that would combat disinformation on an assigned topic. They were encouraged to think creatively and come up with as many ideas as possible, even if they seem unrealistic at first.

They then discussed and decided which idea they want to focus on for their online campaign, considering factors such as feasibility, impact, and audience reach when choosing their idea. Below there are just a few examples of their work.

Teacher Implementation

Empowered educators are not just taking away knowledge; they are taking on an active role in implementing the Climate Change Ambassadors methodology in their schools.

Teachers have committed to organizing at least one workshop with a minimum of 30 students within six weeks of their training. These workshops will apply the Climate Change Ambassadors methodology, featuring practical sessions based on non-formal teaching methods.

The implementation process includes a preliminary research phase, where students complete an online questionnaire before the workshop. This is followed by the workshop itself, applying the methodology learned during training.

After the workshop, a final research phase is conducted through a similar online questionnaire for students, allowing us to assess the impact of their efforts.

Teachers are expected to report on the outcomes of their workshops within seven days of completion, providing vital feedback on the effectiveness of the methodology.