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  • This article defines misinformation, malinformation and disinformation – how they are used in online media, with examples of each. It also delves into the human brain and how it deals with information and fake news.

    Rights: Crown 2019

    Connected article: Fake facts

    An article in the 2019 level 4 Connected journal Seeing Beyond, published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Illustration by Gavin Mouldey.

    The article suggests strategies that students can use to evaluate information sources and whether the information is worth sharing. It also has illustrations that are ideal for starting discussions about how information is conveyed through online media.

    Rights: Crown 2019

    Navigating false information

    “When it comes to navigating false information on the internet, it’s like everyone’s driving cars without a licence.”

    Illustration by Gavin Mouldey.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2019 level 4 Connected journal Seeing Beyond, download it as a Google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown 2019

    2019 Connected Level 4: Seeing Beyond

    The cover of the 2019 level 4 Connected journal Seeing Beyond, published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the articles Maths crafts, Fake facts, Defending the dark and The Global Positioning System.

    Photo of Aoraki/Mt Cook taken from the Aoraki MacKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, by Glen Butler.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi (Word and PDF files available). It has three learning activities that support exploring technology, science and social science aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum – Positive digital citizens, The bigger picture and The myth of scientific objectivity – along with resource links.

    Related content

    Climate change, science and controversy looks at fake facts – from Galileo to the present.

    Wicked problems – those that are incredibly complicated to solve – are often supported by fake facts. Use one of these as a context for exploring misinformation, malinformation and disinformation:

    In the article Read news like a scientist discover how to approach science news like a scientist – see past the sensational and find the facts.

    The Hub has an Ethics thinking toolkit and there are several related articles on the Science Learning Hub designed specifically to support teachers in exploring ethical thinking with their students. These include Frameworks for ethical analysis and Teaching ethics.

    Use the article Participating and Contributing strand to find more examples of socio-scientific issues/resources and how to include them into a science programme.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    Our Science communication – sorting fact from fiction Pinterest Board curates resources that will aid educators in looking not only at science communication but also science and society.

    Tens of thousands of bogus research papers are being published in journals in an international scandal that is worsening every year, scientists have warned. Read more in this Guardian article from February 2023 ‘The situation has become appalling’: fake scientific papers push research credibility to crisis point.

    See the 2023 Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor report, He Uru Kahikatea Building young people’s resilience through media and information literacy and digital citizenship skills’. It proposes solutions to equip young people to understand how scientific evidence is generated, how uncertainty is communicated and how knowledge changes and advances.

    In this article from The Spinoff, Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris have tips to help learn the difference between information, misinformation and disinformation.

    Maps shape our understanding of world events like the COVID-19 pandemic. This article from The Conversation, looks how to make sure they don't mislead you: Can I trust this map? 4 questions to ask when you see a map of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In this 2024 video: What can we learn from Covid-19 misinformation? Professor Julia Wright, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard, New Zealand's Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor and a Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi, spoke about the nature and context of misinformation (and missed information) in science and health, its effects during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what can be learned for future pandemics and other crises.

    See the 2015 Connected level 3 article Pseudoscience – something that sounds scientific but isn’t actually based on solid evidence.

    The study looking at do Sagittarians really make better hernia surgeons was intended to be an example of random, but meaningless links. It aims to encourage us to be critical consumers of information.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 20 March 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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