Facing Threats of Virtual Echo Chambers in Schools

Become aware of virtual echo chambers through reflected information search and take part in societal discourses in a self-determined, constructive way.

echo chambers, teenagers, social media

The project overview

Area of Science: Technology and Computer Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile, with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Tablet or Computer with internet
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, observing, collecting, testing online, analysing, other activities
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.10.2017 - 31.08.2018
Time to join in: 01.11.2017 - 30.06.2018
Expenditure of time: Flexible; e.g.6 lessons + 4h preparation or 1 day workshop + 1h reading

Project objective

Virtal echo chambers are created on the Internet through the selection of friends, interest groups and idols, which to a high degree correspond with one's own interests and world views. Through these self-chosen connections, information is obtained that reflects similar world-views, thereby repeatedly strengthening one's opinion and convictions, while critical questioning of information and perspectives does not take place.

As part of the research project "Facing Threats of Virtual Echo Chambers in Searching & Reflecting Information on Social Media", the research team is working with students, teachers (also in training) to develop methods and materials that are designed to educate students in digital competences. The focus is on reflective information behaviour.

How to participate?

Pupils and teachers can take part in various ways.

  • With the support of the scientific team teachers can use and evaluate a bundle of already prepared teaching materials.
  • A social bookmarking environment can be used in the classroom. Log data are provided to the teachers for evaluation.
  • Teachers are invited to participate in a participatory design workshop on the further development of materials and the software prototype.

What happens to contributions of citizen scientists?

With the help of citizen scientists existing teaching materials and the “Reflective Search” software will be improved. The results will be published in scientific publications.

Participating and supporting institutions

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