In an era when misinformation flourishes, understanding the media and how to get your message across has never been more important. This first edition of IE for 2022 addresses a range of issues related to news and communications. Give truth a chance!

With lies and propaganda prolific across the internet and social media, helping students spot fake news is vital. Read how teachers can foster media literacy and help young minds deal with a complex world of competing opinions and ‘facts’ (Digital citizenship and media literacy).

Enhanced media literacy is not much use if you can’t connect to the internet. Lockdowns during 2020-21 revealed a stark digital divide between those with access to devices and wi-fi and those without. Our feature examines initiatives aimed at shutting that information gap (The great digital divide).

It’s also difficult to teach such topics if your own digital skills are not up to scratch. Our report on the Digital Technologies in Focus project, designed to upskill teachers, shows that investing in teacher development improves student engagement and achievement, particularly in disadvantaged schools (Digital technologies: A step-by-step process).

Overloaded Australian teachers know there is less time for developing such skills because they are increasingly occupied in administrative tasks and data collection. A prime example is the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on school students with disability, which has exacerbated the educator workload crisis. We address what can be done in NCCD breakthrough.

Three in four people still turn to traditional media for their news, and if you have a message to get out there it pays to understand what editors choose to cover and why. In What (education) stories get published and why, we speak to working journalists and editors to discover what they need and what they want to publish.

Polymath Olivia Hargroder is no stranger to successful campaigning. The talented swimmer, equestrian and former Queensland Australia Day Ambassador is a passionate advocate for the rights of people with Down Syndrome and people with disabilities. Read about her amazing journey through sport, acting, and advocacy in our In Focus feature on Olivia Hargroder.

These are just some of the highlights of a timely, compelling edition of IE. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did compiling it for you.

Deb James

General Secretary IEU Victoria Tasmania Branch