I know it’s true…I read it online
Recently I came across an interesting article. The headline read: “Lawsuit Paid In Full: Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion sending 30 trucks full of 5 cent coins” (from The Blade Brown Show). Outrageous, right? Well, this got me thinking – how would students react to this article? Would they question it or accept it at face value?
I’ve been meaning to do some lessons with my junior classes on website evaluation, and this article just reminded me how important that skill is in today’s digital world.
I’ve dug up some great resources I’ve found over the past few months and I’m currently attempting to organize them so that I can teach the lessons in January. Here is what I have so far:
To introduce the lessons I plan to show my students some photographs and have them assess if they are real or photo shopped. Here are a few examples:
A tornado sucking up a rainbow
For an interesting article about the authenticity of this photograph click here.
Click on the picture for more photo shopped pictures of the first lady.
Two websites about extraordinary animals:
One website is full of ‘information’ that is totally fabricated, the other is amazingly true. My goal in the lesson is to have students read and discuss the information from both websites, then decide which one is true and which is false, with reasons why they think so. I’d like students to collaboratively come up with a set of guidelines for evaluating the validity of information they find online (see below for a great guide to help teachers moderate the discussion).
Michael Gorman’s (@mjgormans) Seven Steps to Website Evaluation for Students:
A is for Author
B is for Bias
C is for Currency
D is for Domain Anatomy
E is for Effectiveness for Purpose
F is for Facts and Content
G is for Good Links
This is That:
This website is full of articles ranging from plausible to totally ridiculous, all in a news style format, that students could evaluate using the criteria they created. Here is a sample:
Finally, I’ll have students visit the website I mentioned at the beginning of this post:
They will be asked to read the article from the website and convince me and their classmates that the information contained there is true or false, giving reasons for their choice. I’m hoping through these lessons students will think twice before taking everything they see online at face value.