Nationally acclaimed media literacy expert and public educator Jennifer LaGarde (aka Library Girl) stopped by the HFM BOCES campus recently to provide a day of learning for local educators aimed at helping students become “Digital Detectives”.
According to LaGarde, a digital detective exhibits the ability to dissect news stories in order to determine fact versus fiction by looking for clues, questioning motives, uncovering patterns, developing theories, and ultimately delivering a verdict.
The workshop included interactive engagement using multiple digital tools. LaGarde also spoke to the group, which consisted of nearly two dozen librarians, teachers, and technology experts from HFM component schools, about her newest book, ‘Developing Digital Detectives’, which offers simple lessons to help educators engage students so they can become media literacy digital detectives.
HFM BOCES School Library System Administrator Kristi Beedon said that today’s complex information landscape requires all learners to be Digital Detectives.
“We live in an infodemic which typically refers to a rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information about something. As facts, rumors, and fears mix and disperse, it becomes difficult to learn essential information about an issue,” Beedon said.
Additionally, participants engaged in an educational game of ‘Kujenga’ which utilizes the common game of Jenga with the Digital Detective’s Evidence Locker. LaGarde’s Evidence Locker was created as a supplemental resource and repository for her book, which was co-authored by Darren Hudgins.
LaGarde is also the co-author of the book “Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking in the Age of Fake News”. She is currently making her way around upstate New York offering presentations to educators in the Capital Region, Questar III, and WSWHE regions.
The HFM BOCES School Library System, which hosted the event, facilitates equitable access to information for all students, engages in collaborative partnerships to create quality solutions to educational challenges, and is an instructional leader in preparing life-long learners.