The organization: The Reboot Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Paris that aims to elevate critical thinking at all levels of society. Founded by Helen Lee Bouygues, an accomplished business leader, Reboot aims to promote richer, more reflective forms of thought in the daily lives of people around the world. As a leader in supporting research on critical thinking and media literacy, the organization conducts surveys and opinion polls and also supports the work of independent scholars. These efforts result in free resources for parents, educators, and anyone interested in cultivating a capacity for critical thinking, especially in a world that is heavily influenced by social media.
The need: Social media is a constant presence in modern life, but the Reboot Foundation knew that it came with a cost. The organization sought to interrogate the influence of social media on our ability to think critically, particularly around news consumption and misinformation, and to then use the research to generate a public-facing resource.
Our role: In 2020, The Learning Agency assisted the Reboot Foundation with developing a research project that would examine how different generations evaluate information online. Successes in this project include:
- Designing and implementing of the study’s research instrument. The Learning Agency team helped design the report’s research instrument and oversaw its implementation.
- An engaging report. Research findings were discussed in the report Is There A Fake News Generation?. The report found that the more people used social media, the worse their news judgment became. The report also found differences between older and younger users when it came to falling for “clickbait” headlines, and it revealed that internet users of all ages vastly overestimated their abilities to spot “fake news” or misinformation online.
- Implementing a media strategy for significant coverage. When the results came in, we handled media outreach and distribution for the report. The report received coverage in The Washington Post, NPR, and newspapers and television stations around the country.