Under Pressure combines two best practices in the field of education – peer education and gamification – to create a unique approach to teach young people about disinformation.
Peer educators are uniquely equipped to reduce the gap between teacher and student. Our peer educators are socially engaged young people, specially educated to discuss issues in society with students. They approach students as equals, making tough and controversial subjects like (cultural) taboos and politically sensitive topics easier to discuss. In search of their own identity, young people in this age group often mirror themselves to those with similar experiences in life. Knowledge and information coming from people in the same age group with similar backgrounds, will create a better and lasting learning experience.
Peer educators can bridge the gap between teacher and student
Over the course of the programme, the Under Pressure peer educators will engage in conversation with students about their (social) media use, democratic values and knowledge of disinformation. They will do so by combining practical assignments and theory with the experiences of the students; their ideas and questions form the base of the lesson, keeping their knowledge and personal experiences as a focal point.
We believe that the best way to learn to recognize disinformation is to create it yourself. In the Under Pressure game, students step into the shoes of a social media disinfomation tycoon and start spreading “fake news” themselves to learn about some of the most common strategies used to spread false information. Experiencing these tricks first-hand will allow students to defend against them the next time they come across them online.
Improve your ability to spot fake news through playing a fun game!
The Under Pressure game is specially adapted for use in the classroom: students play the game in teams of two on their phone, while highscores and live updates appear on the Smart Board. Students are invited to be as bad as they possibly can. They have to polarize, generate intense emotion, lie and cheat. To raise the stakes even more, the students compete against each other. Whoever has gained the most followers by the end of the game wins!
The peer educators guide the students through the game and lead the discussion. Together with the students they make a connection between the fictional environment of the game, and the serious consequences of disinformation in real life. With the help of the peer educators, the students connect their actions in the game with what they see on their own social media feeds. By sharing their experiences, difficult topics like trust in media and society, freedom of press and freedom of speech are discussed on an accessible level.