Is educational research reported not very accurately in the general press or, even worse, is the research as reported just another example of fake news? Despite the photo I've used to illustrate this article (I just couldn't resist it!), I think on the whole it is the former. Mind you, with headlines like "New report says computers are useless for learning", it's a fine line. (That isn't an actual headline, by the way, or at least not one that I've seen. But it comes pretty close to actual ones.
My belief is that most journalists seek to be as accurate as possible, but because of a combination of financial matters, the way research reports make their way into the news, the ways newspaper stories work and other factors, the article that appears sometimes bears only a passing resemblance to the research it's supposed to be about.
Does it matter? Of course. If you have just asked, or are about to ask, your headteacher for a small fortune for new laptops, new software, better wi-fi routers or whatever, and she reads in the paper that it's all a waste of money -- well, good luck with that.
In my presentation at ResearchEd 2018 on Saturday 8th September I'll be looking into why educational research tends to be poorly reported and, crucially, how you can defend yourself against it. Attendees at my session will also be able to download a 'cheat sheet' of suggestions in that regard, as well as the presentation itself.
I've spoken on this topic before, and contributed a chapter about it to Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology: What the research says, by Rose Luckin (Ed) (Amazon affiliate link). However, my talk at ResearchEd is based on more recent research from the Reuters Institute, NFER, OECD and other organisations. The newer research doesn't change the situation except to reinforce my original findings.
Unfortunately, there are no more tickets left for ResearchEd, although there is a cancellation list. If you've already booked your ticket, have a look at the amazing variety of sessions (pdf) on offer. I won't be offended if you attend someone else's instead of mine -- in fact, I'm tempted to do so myself!