As bad information spreads, Florida schools seek to teach digital literacy
At Countryside High School in Clearwater, Fla., 16-year-old Sage Waite is already taking a class in cybersecurity, and she’d welcome one that’s in the works on cyber disinformation.
“For the longest time, I didn’t actually know what disinformation was,” said Waite, who’s in the 11th grade. “There was always the idea that things could be wrong in what you’re hearing and what you’re being told. But the idea of misinformation and disinformation wasn’t in my day-to-day.”
This past year, she says, has been an eye-opener. Particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The whole, ‘Don’t get your kids vaccinated because it could cause all sorts of things,’ stuff like that. It’s like, well, where did that come from?” she said. “My friends and I definitely started looking into stuff more and doing more research after that.”
A new program on “digital literacy,” with a focus on topics like disinformation, is in the pipeline, thanks in part to Mike McConnell. His long career in national security included one stint as the director of national intelligence (2007-’09) and another as head of the National Security Agency (1992-’96).
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