Reading Critically in the Age of Facebook

In today’s connected world, information on any subject is never much more than a few clicks away. Gone are the days when researching anything required a lengthy visit to the library for trusted primary sources. Today, any and all information is available and served up by an instant Google search – whether it’s true or not.

A central plank of the twelve reading strategies taught in CARS & STARS Online is the development of the ability in students to not just be more fluent readers, but more discerning ones as well. The program is concerned not just with producing students who can read without mistakes, but with creating readers who can read a text and evaluate it for reliability and point of view.

Students who undertake CARS & STARS Online will grow to become readers who can critically engage with a text, regardless of genre, and work to determine whether it is a reliable source of information, whether they think it is telling the truth and, crucially, why they think the author wrote it. Most importantly, they will think about these elements as second nature, having become readers who understand that texts are constructs that are created for specific purposes by people with their own agendas.

In this era of rampant disinformation, and Facebook and internet “fake news” promulgated not for its veracity but for its sensationalised ability to garner interest, these skills are more important than ever. With CARS & STARS Online, students will become informed and literate consumers of media – better able to see through the hokum and distinguish the truth for themselves.