The Source Code: Knowing How To Evaluate Information

  • #UKEdChat session 593
  • Wars of information have been common throughout history.
  • Mis- and disinformation is seen many times a day by the average web user.
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.

At the time of writing, we are about to move into the 3rd week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As well as the horrendous death and destruction of the war, there has also been a war happening online and on the airwaves. The narrative of the media in Russia is very different to that of the media in UK and in most other countries. An interview by the BBC’s Today program shows this divide.

Disinformation has always been used as a weapon of war, but the flow of information and the proliferation of channels through which we consume, together with the degradation of trusted gatekeepers of news has made the problem to checking sources much more difficult. Organisations like NewsGuard check information, but individuals need to be aware of bias, agendas and bold-faced lying whenever they check their news feed.

BBC Digital Planet discuss the current problem at length, but even after peace finally comes to Ukraine, there will remain disinformation on a host of topics from myriad different actors, each with their own goals and aims. How can we arm our young people, and ourselves? A healthy scepticism is good, but just not trusting anything isn’t the answer either as this may lead to a spiral of social anarchy and community disintegration, which is what some of the sources of disinformation want. Instead, stronger communities and better social ties are some of the best defenses was have as a population. But on the individual level, there are things we can do to make as savvy consumers of information.

We have been told that there are no civilian casualties, it doesn’t cause climate change, it was a ‘work do’, and many other lies. Lies at an ever increasing rate. There is such a thing as objective truth and it is worth fighting for.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 10th March 2022 at 8pm(UK), we discussed how to teach learners about sources of information, how to be a savvy sharer of information and what to do if they encounter things that they find disturbing.


  1. What kind of disinformation are our learners likely to encounter?
  2. Do you think that our learners have the skills to assess the trustworthiness of online information?
  3. Should schools filter untrustworthy information, or allow learners to explore such content in a safe environment?
  4. How can teachers improve the skills of learners to assess the trustworthiness of news content?
  5. What further training do you think you need to ensure you can help your learners handle information online?
  6. How can we teach learners about trusted sources of information?
  7. Have you dealt with the fallout of learners encountering mis- or disinformation?
  8. What are your favourite resources or activities for teaching about the reliability of information sources?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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