Monday, March 30, 2015

Information Warfare

In the 10-15 year history of digital information literacy, the need has generally been to help students find accurate, credible information and use it ethically. The stakes were typically low, i.e., school assignments, reports and personal projects.

Nowadays, there's a bigger threat to illiteracy: information warfare.

NATO has launched a Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga, Latvia for the purpose of combating alleged pro-Russian propaganda. The purpose of the Center, according to Director Janis Karklins, is to "develop skills of media information literacy and critical thinking in our education system to make it harder for adversaries to disorient the population." Read the full article.

The Internet may be a greater hazard than ever as a tool for terrorist recruiting and military "hybrid warfare." The challenge is how to educate populations to recognize and resist information that is created specifically to control or disorient thinking.

Educators would do well to keep an eye on the Center's activities to see how they propose to educate an populace about propaganda. Better yet, it may make an excellent language arts or social studies assignment for high school students to see Internet warfare and effective defenses in action.

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