The YES News Literacy Workshop gathered 43 participants and five mentors from 19 YES countries for an examination of media and news literacy topics from September 21–28.
A team of trainers and consultants from American Councils for International Education guided a talented team of YES alumni mentors through a Training of Trainers (ToT) to prepare them for a week of intensive instruction. The alumni mentors — Mariam Kaleem (YES 2007-2008, Ghana, placed with ACES in Pine Bluff, AK), Ally Gakweli (YES 2012-2013, Kenya, placed with AYUSA in Arcade, NY), Maram Albandak (YES 2013-2014, West Bank, placed with PAX in Locust Grove, GA), Yahya Ashour (YES 2014-2015, Gaza, placed with YFU in Fosteria, OH), and Faruque Ratul (YES 2009-2010, Bangladesh, placed with AYUSA in Laveen, AZ) — then led participants through six days of training, spirited discussion, and project design focused on news literacy concepts.
This collaborative online course explained how the news gets made, what misinformation looks like, how and when to fact-check, and how to use the tools of professional fact-checkers to find trustworthy information. Through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous content, trainers and mentors guided participants to navigate the 21st century news landscape, as well as develop projects that they can then implement in their home communities to teach others these valuable skills.
95% of participants rated the workshop as “extremely useful” and 97% reported that they “plan to share the skills and knowledge developed during the workshop” with friends, colleagues, and others in their country. Before the workshop, 31% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they knew how to verify sources and claims and to reverse search images online. After the workshop, 99% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with that statement.
One participant summarized the impact of the workshop by saying, “It is workshops like this that bring us all together and remind us why we became YES students in the first place and what our goals and objectives are now as alumni.”
Workshop participants and administrators shared highlights of this workshop on social media by using the hashtag #YESNLW2020.