We need to educate for the critical information consciousness
You are absolutely correct. The focus of education beyond the elementary level must include critical analysis and in higher education this become the core skill to master.
Most higher education is still wasting time delivering information that is readily available at our fingertips. The reasons for that are that it is far easier to parrot information sources rather than working on inculcating critical analysis skills. Those are hard to learn and even harder to teach.
The lateral reading technique is as good a name as any but is the simple need to confirm anything that you read online or anywhere. The power of planetary search engines is that you can easily scan a search page for positive or negative views of most anything.
The tricky part is wording the search query. It is very easy to find hundreds or thousands of listings that may support or critique a specific statment depending on you worded the query. I think this skill is elementary and should be added to memorizing of multiplication tables.
Maybe it should replace that, if multiplication tables are still required for memorization. Beyond that it gets hard again because a century of propaganda and marketing techniques can load people to a desired outcome very effectively. How do we counter that?
Whatever critical skills that you teach can be overcome by the quantity of lies that are presented to people. We need to be able to control that as part of managing our societies. We have allowed that to be subverted for greed as if that is not a direct threat to human survival. We need to have some sources of information that can be trusted.
So the answer is two part, creating a critical information consciousness in everyone with usable tools while maintaining planetary scientific information standards that can be used as baseline sources of information.
I think the fist in this glove must be very clear punishment for knowingly presenting false information in any public forum. We have been corrupted by allowing lies to sell things. “It’s only puffery . . .” is the slippery slope to living with bullshit as a way of life. Once that happens you can have an idiot and congenital liar allowed to con whomever he can and we can do nothing to stop it.