CTRL-F is the keyboard shortcut for 'find.’ The idea behind the CTRL-F verification skills module is that we can all use quick strategies to investigate information on any topic, at any time. With the rapid rise in false and misleading information online, the ability to discern what is reliable has become a fundamental life skill. CTRL-F supports informed citizenship by helping students learn contemporary digital information literacy skills purpose-built for the modern web.
Too often when students evaluate online information, they rely on out-of-date strategies. They will review a site for signs of professionalism, count the number of ads, or check if the URL is a .org versus .com. These ‘checklist’ techniques often provide conflicting signals and lead to incorrect conclusions. To assess information effectively, we need to ‘read laterally,’ leaving the page the information is on to open a new tab and conduct simple research. Lateral reading skills and strategies are at the heart of CTRL-F.
A series of engaging short videos provide the foundation of the learning, introducing concepts and demonstrating skills. These are led by pioneering digital information literacy expert Mike Caulfield (Washington State University, Digital Polarization Initiative), and disinformation expert Jane Lytvynenko, a senior reporter with BuzzFeed News who tracks false and misleading information and debunks it in real time.
CTRL-F lesson plans package up videos, practice activities, slide decks, assessments, and extra activities, compatible with classroom, remote and blended learning settings. Materials have been developed for grades 7-12, but could be tailored for younger students.
Watch this video for an introduction to the CTRL-F resources available on this website, and information on how to access and use them.
Join an engaging professional development session with expert Mike Caulfield, to support bringing the CTRL-F verification strategies to the classroom
By subscribing to this 7-day text message course, you will receive daily messages that contain videos and practice examples, as well as helpful context about the issues.