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Educators and Digital Book Publishers Team Up to Fight Fake News

In a world of fake news and alternative facts, no one is left out the quest for truth. But if facts are debatable, where does that leave teachers and book publishers?

Enter the Digital Book World conference, a convergence of publishing industry professionals, authors and educators being held this week in Nashville, TN. The industry event usually showcases topics ranging from copyright law to ebook publishing standards to marketing.

One panel this year, "Publishing in a World of Fake News," addresses the impact of alternative facts on writers, publishers and educators.

"Journalists and book publishers are in a place of distrust in the minds of many Americans," said Michael Hernandez, a high school media arts teacher from Los Angeles, who is presenting this discussion alongside journalist Denise Clifton.

"That puts teachers in a tough place when we try to find resources for our students that are reliable enough for educators and also credible in the eyes of our students and our communities."

Hernandez feels that media literacy is THE most important skill schools should be teaching now.

"If we can't agree on plain facts, how can we as a society make important decisions and move forward?" he asked.

This week's panel discussion is one of several efforts by Hernandez to help his students and other teachers around the country develop media literacy skills.

In June, he published an online course for teachers, Media Literacy For the Classroom, through Participate Learning, and in March he will present at SXSW EDU about the transformative power of storytelling in the classroom.

For those who can't see this week's presentation in person, his panel discussion is expected to be streamed live on Hernandez' twitter account, @cinehead, starting Wednesday, October 3rd at 8:30am Central Time.