“It’s hardly groundbreaking to stress to students the importance of evaluating the validity, reliability, and accuracy of online sources—this aspect of information literacy has been an important feature of the “research skills” curricular strand for years now. But being a fan adds a new wrinkle. Fans are consumed by a perpetual thirst for information that pertains to their fan object… so how does that never-satiated, always-researching mode of reading make fans more vulnerable to misinformation and even disinformation? By the same token, in what ways does this constantly at-risk state make the fans who have developed proficiency in this regard the perfect guides for other young people? “
Food for thought: what are the skills learned by students involved in fan culture? How can teachers use fan culture to engage students in learning research skills and critical thinking?