This innovative and timely new media literacy programme, aimed at equipping teachers with the necessary skills to support their students in identifying truthful, reliable, and trustworthy information online, has now launched.
Created by media literacy charity, The Student View, and funded by the European Media and Information Fund (EMIF), and developed in partnership with award-winning investigative journalism group Bellingcat, education
experts the PSHE Association, and the cross-party think tank Demos, the free programme is now available to secondary school teachers across the country. Teachers who register will also gain unrestricted access to lesson plans and guidance from the PSHE Association
and a teacher handbook developed by Bellingcat and The Student View, alongside support from a journalist to help them set up a pop-up newsroom in their school.
Aiming to fill the gaps of support available to schools, the free ‘Media Literacy Champions Programme’ which was developed by investigative journalism group, Bellingcat, will provide education professionals with the most up-to-date resources, tools and techniques
to help students find trusted information online to inform their personal, employment and democratic decisions; challenge mis and disinformation; and understand context and influence.
Despite the majority (68%) of teenagers saying they use social media for news, research by Ofcom in 2022 found that only one in ten (11%) were able to tell what’s real or fake online. Further research by the communications regulator found that
more than a third (36%) of children aged 8-17 said they had seen something ‘worrying or nasty’ online in the past 12 months.
Additionally, a survey commissioned by The Student View, discovered that nine in ten (90%) UK teachers want media literacy to be included specifically in their curriculum, and according to The National Literacy Trust over half (53.5%) believe that the curriculum
does not equip children with the literacy skills they need to identify fake news.
Designed to change this narrative and improve students’ knowledge on deep-fakes and AI, unregulated influencers, and misinformation,
the free training programme is delivered in three modules by expert trainers. Teachers must complete all three modules to become a verified ‘Media Literacy Champion’, and to fit around teachers busy schedules the interactive modules - delivered LIVE
via Zoom - can be taken over a couple of months and do not require any pre or post ‘homework’.
The course modules will cover a range of topics on media literacy including;
navigating mis-disinformation, fact checking, deep fake images/AI, targeted advertising,
and being a critical consumer of news.
As part of the programme, secondary school teachers will be offered fully-funded training to deliver workshops to students and coach them as ‘junior news reporters’ to improve their critical thinking and media literacy skills. Researchers and investigators
from Bellingcat will share their innovative approaches to open-source data, including social media, to enable students and teachers to spot misinformation and generate original investigations about their local community.
The opportunity is currently open to secondary school teachers across the country, with training sessions running up until January 2024. Professionals who are interested in taking part can sign up to the free media literacy training programme here: