Truth Matters

After the Fulbright Forum in Helsinki (see previous post), I attended the seminar Truth Matters: Strategies for Combating Manipulated Realities. Also organized by Fulbright Finland, the seminar brought together a diverse group of speakers at the new Helsinki Oodi Library and kicked off with keynote speaker Farida Vis from the U.K.

Terhi Mölsä , CEO of Fulbright Finland

From the seminar description:

Written and visual content is used to communicate, inform and influence, and to shape collective ideas about people, politics and public policy. Misinformation, manipulated videos and images spread on multiple platforms. How can we distinguish between true and false information, and how does the manipulation of videos and images exponentially increase this challenge? What are the implications to our societies and to our democratic institutions?”

As an educator, I took several lessons from the day. First, media literacy is a necessary skill for everyone. With cyber security issues and society’s digitalization, we must all collaborate to tackle the challenges ahead rather than succumbing to fear and a sense of doom. We can teach children of all ages to ask questions about media, and this includes images which may or may not be accurately interpreted. Ask questions to be an informed consumer. These start with reporter questions:

  • Who made this image?
  • How was the information sources?
  • Why was this made?
  • When was this made? What is this missing?
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Also always check the url address to see hidden information.

I learned the basic vocabulary for being media literate, such as misinformation and disinformation and deep fake. How will I share this with elementary students? That is the question I am committed to answering.

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