Gooseberry Planet is an online resource to support the teaching of E-Safety. In lessons, children play through a game to consolidate their learning. Your child has been given their username and password so they can access their account at home too.
Gooseberry Planet also offers hints and tips to parents which can be found in the handouts below. In addition to the handouts, there are regular 'Gooseberry Updates' posted to the Gooseberry Planet website and will be shared below.
Gooseberry Update 16th July: Fake News
The term “fake news” can be used in many ways, but we use it here to describe
stories that are deliberately untrue or only partially true and intended to mislead.
This is sometimes called “disinformation”. It is not new – disinformation in the
form of “propaganda” has been used over the centuries, particularly in war time.
Social media, however, has enabled fake news to spread quickly and widely, making
it a much bigger issue than previously.
Adults tend to have a more cynical view of the world than children and are likely
to be more alert to the possibility of fake news but we all need to exercise the
same skills that we teach our children – a critical approach to what we see or hear
online. Shock tactics are often used to get our attention and encourage us to
forward stories. To avoid being part of the fake news problem, we should “think
before we share” – Where did the story come from? What are the facts? Is the
source reputable? Has it been reported anywhere else? Is it believable? What is
it trying to make me think? Why? Should I share it further?
Ongoing technological developments using artificial intelligence to analyse and mimic voices, faces and lip synch speech mean that fake news stories can be backed up with convincing visual images, creating a powerful, almost incontrovertible “truth”. This is a real challenge for us and our children.
Parents are uniquely well placed to help their children develop a critical approach
to what they see and hear online. Over breakfast or walking to school, your child
may tell you about a shock story that they have heard online or been sent by a
friend. Take the opportunity to explain that not everything they see online is true
and that some people try to deliberately mislead us. They may do so to make
money out of advertising which follows the number of hits on their site or the
motivation may be more political, possibly from foreign powers – encouraging
extremist views or attempting to divide society. Alongside a sceptical approach to such stories, it is also important to canvas the different sides of an argument with your child, encourage a questioning approach which considers the facts and respects the views of others.
(adapted from Gooseberry Planet Limited)