MODULE 2 - DECRYPTING INFORMATION
SESSION 4 : DECRYPTING DIFFERENT MEDIAPractical activities
ACTIVITY 1 – Analysing images and/or photoediting
Computer, photo paper, video projector, projection screen or whiteboard
In this activity, participants play the part of a fact checker to determine whether a news item, particularly an image or video, is real. The aim is to demonstrate how images can be manipulated, taken out of context, or misinterpreted on the internet, especially on social media. Participants are asked to decrypt images that have been edited or manipulated (for example, by taking them out of context) in order to disinform users.
Possible activity variation:
- This activity can be done individually or in groups.
- One option to make the activity more dynamic would be to give each participant or group a certain number of images to fact check and, just for fun, present the activity as a competition to select the best fact checker.
1. Choose images: Teachers prepare the activity in advance by searching for photos and/or videos that have been in the news recently and that may have been manipulated or doctored
2. Set up the room: Participants will need computers and an internet connection to do this activity.
3. View the photo: Teachers put the participants into groups at computers. The activity can be carried out in one of two ways, either by giving participants the images to check directly – on a USB flash drive or on the computer – instructing them to find out the images’ origins, or by sharing the entire fake news piece, such as the article or social media post.
4. Checking the source: Participants can check the source of the image or photo by copying it to the search field in Google Images. Sites such as https://tineye.com/ and Google Images (https://images.google.com/) will let you do a reverse-image search of a photo. These search engines search the web for similar content, often allowing you to find the origin of the image.
5. Class discussion: Talking about the activity as a class gives participants a chance to react to the results. This is also a chance to remind students that checking images is a quick, easy, and useful way to avoid being manipulated.
DOING THIS ACTIVITY ONLINE
- Teachers must prepare the activity in advance by finding photos or videos that have been in the news recently and that may have been manipulated or doctored and emailing them to students.
- The teacher creates a Zoom link (or other meeting platform) and sends it to students.
- Once students are in the video conference with the teacher, they can have another look at the doctored photo or video.
- The teacher divides the students into groups. This can be done using the ‘breakout room’ function most videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom provide. The students do their web research in these groups.
- Once they have found the photo’s source, the groups go back to the main meeting room and give their answer and explanation of how they performed the search as well as why they think the creator wanted to manipulate the photo.