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(Dis)information Competency Series

flyer for Disinformation Series

According to a 2018 study, 82% of US college students think that news is important for a democracy, yet 36% of them don’t trust any news no matter what source it comes from (Project for Information Literacy 2018). If you find this alarming, you aren't alone! 

Join us for two Disinformation Competency Series events this spring focused on news literacy. Both events are presented by the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit that advances the practice of news literacy throughout American society, creating better informed, more engaged and more empowered individuals — and ultimately a stronger democracy.  

We will address how to engage students with news in a chaotic information landscape in order develop students’ critical information competency and critical thinking skills. See below for specific session details.

  These are professional development events designed for faculty (not students); the emphasis is on how to teach these skills. Staff and administrators are also welcome. The Disinfo Series was funded by a Senate Innovation Grant to offer professional development opportunities to faculty around new approaches to information competency, one of GCC's Institutional Learning Outcomes.

4/7/2023: News Credibility

  • April 7, 10:00-11:30, Zoom
  • Presenter: Alexa Volland, Senior Manager of Educator Professional Learning

What does it mean to be “news-literate”? In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the news literacy concepts and skills that students need in order to be reliably informed, such as recognizing the difference between news and other types of information, including opinion and propaganda. We will use the standards of quality journalism to identify credible news sources and common types of misinformation.


4/28/2023: Bias in the News

  • April 28, 10:00-11:30, Zoom
  • Presenter: John Silva, Senior Director of Educator Professional Learning

People frequently perceive and allege bias in news coverage, but what does this really mean? What makes a piece of news biased, and who decides? What role do our own biases play in our perceptions of bias? In this session we’ll help you teach this vital, controversial, complex topic in ways that empower students to meaningfully evaluate the fairness and impartiality of news coverage.


Presenter bios:

Alexa Volland is the News Literacy Project’s senior manager of educator professional learning. She specializes in fact-checking, social media mis- and disinformation and Gen Z media consumption.

Prior to joining the News Literacy Project, Alexa was the Youth Programming Manager at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a non-profit journalism school and research organization.

She has both newsroom and classroom experience, having also worked as a journalism teacher in the Tampa Bay area.


John Silva is the News Literacy Project’s senior director of professional and community learning. His team is responsible for NLP’s programs teaching news literacy concepts to educators and other adult audiences including NewsLitCamps, educator professional learning webinars and training partnerships with other organizations for adult audiences including AARP, Rotary International, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters - Sisters in the Brotherhood.

He joined NLP in March 2017 with 13 years of experience as a middle and high social studies teacher with Chicago Public Schools. He first became involved with news literacy in 2014 when his students engaged in NLP’s original classroom program. He spent several years in corporate telecommunications before deciding to become a teacher.

He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in the teaching of history and has a master’s degree in education, with a concentration in e-learning, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2012

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