The Oxford Dictionary defines fact-checking as a process seeking to "investigate (an issue) to verify the facts". However, while instructive, this necessarily concise definition is limited in its understanding of the practical outworking of what constitutes fact-checking, the variation and scope of its practices, and the factors and social, political and cultural contexts in which fact-checking has become an established practice.
At present, one of the biggest challenges facing teachers as they head back to school in the 'new normal' of remote learning environments is trying to make sure that students are using research sources that helps in checking the facts, i.e. specialize in demystifying claims and provide objective and thorough analyses.
If you are a teacher and you are looking for fact-checking applications for your students, then this article is perfect for you. Give them a try!
Although it is not a fact-checking website, AllSides retains stories from the right, centre and left media so readers can easily compare how biases influence reporting on each topic.
As the name suggests, the website claims to provide a balanced perspective from 'all sides of a given political issue. Its fact-checking element is in its unique way of providing articles that shows each side — the liberal left, conservative right, and the middle — think about various issues. Its media bias comparison chart shows where the major news providers fall in terms of their political biases. By reading articles on AllSides, students can get a bigger picture of the problem and understand why every group might perceive any given issue the way they do.
Aside from these, the website offers several lesson plans and classroom activities intending to give educators' resources, tools, information, and curricular guidance to help students build skills in news literacy, bias awareness, critical thinking, and conversation across differences.
Fact Check is a nonpartisan, nonprofit project from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The Web site monitors the factual correctness of what is being said by the United States political actors - politicians, televised advertisements, debates, interviews and press releases.
This student-friendly website has a search bar to enable students to look for desired content. All the facts are divided into featured posts, fact-checked posts, SciCheck, debunking false stories, and the 2020 election. All the articles are detailed, and there is not a summarized version. Also, the fact-checked information is linked so students can verify the facts themselves.
Also, it has the Newsfeed defenders, a media literacy game complete with lesson plans teachers can use to instruct students how to recognize the article's real facts.
This is a nonpartisan website where Internet users can quickly and easily access information about fake news, eRumors, disinformation, warnings, offers, requests for help, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, and humorous or inspirational stories circulated by email.
Open secrets is an impartial, independent and nonprofit website run by the Center for Responsive Politics. It tracks how much and where candidates get their money.
Politifact is a Pulitzer Award-winning website that evaluates the accuracy of elected representatives' claims. Editors and reporters run it from the independent newspaper Tampa Bay Times; Politifact features the Truth-O-Meter, which places statements as "True," "Mostly True," "Half True," "False," and "Pants on Fire."
The articles are initially summarized with a brief statement and a picture of the Truth-O-Meter to improve the browsing experience. For a more detailed description, students need to click on the provided link.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom's website that has won several Pulitzer Prizes, including the 2016 Prize for Explanatory Reporting. It produces investigative journalism in the public interest and is ideal for students working on criminal stories or case studies.
One of the most popular websites, Snopes, is a great choice to find evidence-based news that is cited so students can do their research. Led by research scientist and professional writer David Mikkelson researches urban legends and other rumours. It is often the first to clarify the facts about false wild news claims. His stories cover various topics, and the sources are documented so that users can verify the verified information on their own.
A comprehensive search bar at the top of the website encourages users to search for specific content; the rest of the stories are not categorized. Instead, the site is organized according to recent stories, new stories, and famous stories.
The articles on Snopes comes with a brief statement of the claim, rates the claim's reliability, describe from where the claim originated origin and then provides a description of how Snopes concluded that said claim is false.
This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization uses public policy-based journalism to make policy more transparent and accountable. It aims to achieve changes in the law to require real-time, online transparency for all government information.
Although the Washington Post has a left-centre bias, its checks are excellent and sourced. The bias comes from the fact that the Conservatives check the facts more than the Liberals do.
Although the website has a section dedicated to a political category, its primary focus is to expose the scams and hoaxes running rampant on the internet. Also, Hoax-Slayer aims to educate its users on security issues and protect themselves from various scams.
The website has no inappropriate headlines or images seen while perusing the site. However, the search bar on the website makes it easy to direct students to the content they want them to see. All the articles include a short description of the claim, a brief analysis of the claim, and a more detailed analysis with pictures.
We are big fans of Common Sense Media and we recommend you do watch this video on fact-checking.
Do you know of any other fack-checking website that students must know but we missed?