Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Digital Literacy

Did a nice lesson on digital literacy last week.

I told students we were going to start a research project, placed them in groups, and told them that they were going to view different sites to gather information.  The information was going to be placed in a shared google presentation, but I had lots of issues with that, so I would reccommend sticking with word or paper for recording the info.  Also stress to the students that it does not matter if they have the same information as they will be comparing it later.

These are the sites that they visited:
Dihydrogen Monoxide

Save the Rennets/

Save the Guinea Worm Foundation

Help Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

The Burmese Mountain Dog

After doing research for 15-20 minutes they had to watch a short video from Google about research:

Being Smartonline

Only the first minute is really relevant.  It stresses 3 main points of research online.
Be a skeptic
Check the source of the site
Always compare a site with at least 3 other sites to confirm that it is true

Then students to copy/paste their search topic from the site into google and do some searching.

It becomes evident pretty quick what is going on as many of the sites that come up on the search show that they are all hoaxes.

After several angry outbursts from students who weren't happy about being tricked we looked at the sites in more detail, in particular the URL's for some of the sites, and checking further into the foundations that created the sites.

Lesson went well, and you could tell that it was going to stick with some of the students when one said they weren't going to waste 20 minutes of their life researching a topic that wasn't true.

Also, I don't think they quite trust me anymore.