I’ve converted the curriculum for the second week of this info literacy learning community covering web literacy into this newsletter. This post is divided into three sections that you can review and study at your leisure this week.


Web literacy is often the most valuable skill when recognizing fake news. Since most of fake news is easily propagated across the internet, being web savvy is the best way to identify misinformation to guard ourselves versus influence.

Since web literacy encompasses a wide range of knowledge, we’ll distill some practical strategies we can follow when diagnosing information. The tactics we’ll study come from Mike Caulfield from his Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers book. So let’s dive right into his four web literacy moves.


First, this video is a great introduction to this topic. Second, pages 2 – 30 of the Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers book cover most of the content we’re studying this week. In particular, review these parts of that excerpt:

  1. Investigate previous work by constructing search queries with duckduckgo.com using the “[search query] site:snopes.com (etc.)” syntax. Here’s the guide for this.
  2. Go upstream with articles. This involves being able to identify sponsored content, track down original viral images, and explore upcoming tools to identify clickbait like baitbuster.
  3. Read laterally to verify sites and sources before devoting the time energy to reading them. A great strategy here is constructing omitted search queries with google.com using the “baltimoregazette.com -site:baltimoregazette.com” syntax. Here’s the guide for this—it will allow you to research what other sources say about a specific website.
  4. Circle back to the original source if you ever get lost or hit a dead end

The goal of this research is to do it quickly and accurately so we can get into a habit of being critical of information we receive. As you feel compelled, here are a few more topics that make up the complexities of fake news. Explore as your interests inspire you:

Web Fact-Checking Tools

For the Classroom


Digital & Media Literacy


Lastly, you’re invited to reflect this week on questions such as:

  • From the content you studied this week, what should we be teaching our students about web literacy?
  • What’s a small change you can make in your course for the benefit of your students

If you’d like for your reflections to contribute towards a “collection of recommendations” composed of all the reflections of participants in this training, you can submit your thoughts to this form.

The featured image is provided CC0 by Nicolas Picard via Unsplash.

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