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Top 3 Videos for Making Sense of Media Literacy

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Media Literacy Week is Oct. 21-25. Get a jump start with these videos!

Misinformation and propaganda are all over the Internet – and can be especially tough for students to detect.  But you don’t have to be a computer scientist to resist the YouTube rabbit hole. You don’t have to be a seasoned reporter to avoid the trap of false equivalence. And you don’t have to be a psychologist to figure out how personal bias affects the way we respond to the news.

Help students make sense of these critical topics with these featured videos created by KQED and PBS Digital Studios.

Demystify Tough Topics in Just a Few Minutes


host Myles Bess with image of a brain and a tub of bias ice cream

Start with Confirmation Bias and Your Brain to help students recognize how personal bias makes it easier to fall for misinformation. Confirmation bias wants us to stay in our comfort zone and dismiss any idea that conflicts with our beliefs. But once students know what’s happening, they’ll be more aware of filter bubbles, look again at the media they consume and examine what they really know about their most strongly held views. 


A balance holds an apple labeled False and an apple labeled Equivalence

Next, move on to False Equivalence: Are There Some Issues That Don’t Merit a “Both Sides” Approach? Not all information is created equal, and this episode breaks down the reasons why without partisan finger-pointing. Myles interviews award-winning journalist Marisa Lagos. A great complement to the confirmation bias episode, Lagos reminds students to check their sources–and check their own biases–when searching for reliable information. 

Female silhouette thinks about diagram of YouTube video recommendations

Finally, tackle YouTube, the 800-pound social media gorilla and many students’ main source of information. How Much Can We Trust YouTube for Reliable Information? explores how the YouTube algorithm serves us videos it thinks we want, not a balanced diet of information. It also helps students spot tricky online data voids, which fill with junk news when reliable information about a topic doesn’t exist. 

Once your students unpack these concepts, get them talking to other students from around the country on KQED Learn, a student-only space for online discussion and media making. For each episode, you’ll also find vocabulary support, transcripts in English and Spanish, a lesson plan, student viewing guide and other resources related to each topic. 

Keep the Learning Going — for Yourself

KQED Teach offers free online courses year round that help you learn how to make, analyze, and share media with your students. You can take courses at your own pace or join a facilitated course to learn with peers. Sign up today and learn a media skill in just one week!

Ready for more? We’ve teamed up with PBS to offer free Media Literacy Educator Certification. Find out more about how you can take bite-sized steps to certification.

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