Brian Winkel: Checkology a Godsend for 21st Century Literacy Students

Brian Winkel is a high school teacher at Cedar Falls High School in Iowa who has been teaching for nearly three decades. His current teaching style of two sections of 21st Century Literacy per semester is boosted by the News Literacy Project’s Checkology virtual classroom, which Winkel refers to as a “godsend.”

The News Literacy Project (NLP)

The News Literacy Project (NLP) is a nonpartisan educational nonprofit working to enhance news literacy throughout American society. They strive to build a national movement that creates better-informed, engaged, and empowered individuals and a stronger democracy. NLP provides free resources for educators and the general public to learn how to distinguish fact from fiction and fight against misinformation. For further information, check NLP’s website at newslit.org.

The Impact of Checkology on Winkel’s Students

Winkel has seen firsthand the positive impact of the Checkology program on his students. The bundle of interactive lessons that teaches analytical skills to interpret information online has prompted his students to identify the byline of news articles, check the publication date, and the credibility of the sources cited.

Winkel has emphasized the program’s importance by urging students to take responsibility for reading news and researching before believing things they read. Winkel creates a safe space in his classroom where students can ask questions, challenge the news presented to them, and use the internet to verify or debunk information. According to Winkel, “We have to help them develop critical thinking skills so that they can become informed citizens and engage with the world around them. That’s what this is all about.”

NLP’s Founder and CEO Alan C. Miller

NLP’s founder and CEO, Alan C. Miller, established the organization in 2008. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, was motivated to create the nonprofit because of the young people’s lack of knowledge and interest in news. He believes that when young people are not familiar with factual news early in life, they will likely grow up to be uninformed adults.

Partnerships with News Organizations

NLP is building partnerships with news organizations all over America to create a well-rounded source of information through the Checkology virtual classroom. Through these partnerships, NLP can provide teachers with direct access to journalists, researchers, and other experts in their field.

Importance of Checkology Amid the Spread of Misinformation

As the spread of misinformation continues to accelerate, NLP’s Checkology program becomes increasingly essential in ensuring an informed and engaged society. The program’s innovative approach and commitment to educating people to think critically are necessary steps in creating a more transparent and democratic world.

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