SOME 65 teachers and lecturers have signed up to become Malaysia’s first-ever registered society to tackle misinformation and disinformation through education.
Launched in conjunction with UNESCO’s World Media and Information Literacy Week, the initiative is facilitated by the award-winning Media Education For All (ME4A) movement.
It aims to provide a stronger force to develop critical thinkers and smarter consumers of media through a systematic and sustainable strategy: empowering educators to empower their students.
“We invite teachers and speakers who are truly passionate about educating our younger generation with media literacy skills to register soon,” said David Chak, Arus Academy Co-Founder and ME4A Project Leader, in a press release dated November 10.
Welcoming the move, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s media and information literacy expert, Assoc Prof Dr Sabariah Mohamed Salleh, said there was no better time than now to have a formal body to advance the media and information literacy agenda in the country.
“Our collective voice and power as educators will pave the way for greater awareness and action to elevate critical thinkers among the younger generation,” said Sabariah, who has worked with Unesco on media and information literacy initiatives in the region.
ME4A was named Best Information Literacy Project at the 2021 Asian Digital Media Awards, with strategic plans that have seen over 4,000 local educators trained in media and information literacy skills this alone. year – using a free online course that is contextualized to the Malaysian landscape and developed by local educators and media professionals.
Its recently concluded Media Literacy Academy Challenge saw 11 educators win RM10,000 in cash prizes for innovation in education by developing lessons that integrate media and information literacy into their subjects.
Among the winners was Mah Zhi Jian, teacher at SJK(C) Yeang Cheng, Kedah. He crafted a lesson using the news of National Paralympic Athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli’s disqualification from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Students were asked to observe the tweets and comments posted to the story, and to discuss the ethical issues surrounding these online conversations.
Mah said he was inspired by his and other people’s reaction to the incident.
“It was so convenient for us readers to overreact, be blindsided by biased information, and then publicly criticize others before checking the truth.
“We really need to be critical of the information we receive and have the wisdom to determine its validity, so that we don’t become someone who abuses social media to spread fake news,” he said.
SM Sains Kepala Batas, Penang, teacher Nur Wanira Mohd Basri shared that her students, being avid media users, inspired her to develop a fun and creative lesson incorporating media and information literacy.
At the end of the lesson, students created mnemonic devices to help others judge between real and fake news online.
“It’s crucial that students are well equipped in media literacy, develop critical thinking skills to judge news, and develop the habit of relying on credible sources of information,” she said.
Educators can now access the newly launched Resource Bank containing the best collection of candidate-submitted lesson plans and materials, which ME4A organizers hope will inspire educators to see that critical thinking skills can be taught. creatively and easily.
All ME4A resources are publicly available for free at https://arus.cc/MEA.
To join the society, educators can go to https://arus.cc/persatuanlmm.