Friday, February 22, 2013

Teacher's Guide to Information Crap Detection

Information overload, information crap,information pollution...are some of the words that are being used now to describe the tsunami of irrelevant information we are bombarded with day and night.In  December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for all users, and we entered a new era of personalization. With little notice or fanfare, our online experience is changing, as the websites we visit are increasingly tailoring themselves to us.Everywhere you turn you find information that seems relevant to you but in fact is nothing but crap. This is probably why Eli Pariser recommended what he called Information Bubble

Howard Rheingold is another guy who has done a lot of writings on Information Crap. I have already reviewed his awesome book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online in an article posted last year. Today I am sharirng with you some of the great resources I learned from Howard himself about how to detect crap information and the literacies we need to develop and teach to our students to make them better internet users. Check out the links below and share with us what you think of them. Enjoy

1- Crap Detection 101
This is a must read article of Howard in which he talked about several techniques to sift the good information from the bad. Here is an excerpt from it :
The first thing we all need to know about information online is how to detect crap, a technical term I use for information tainted by ignorance, inept communication, or deliberate deception. Learning to be a critical consumer of Webinfo is not rocket science. It’s not even algebra. Becoming acquainted with the fundamentals of web credibility testing is easier than learning the multiplication tables. The hard part, as always, is the exercise of flabby think-for-yourself muscles.

2- Internet Detective
This is another great resource full of lessons, tutorials on how to teach your students to be good consumers of online information.

3- Best Practices for Social Media Verification
In this post, Craig Silverman goes through the challenges social media present us with when it comes to digital information and knowledge-building. A great read.

4- Crap Test

The CRAP test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria: Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View.  Below are some questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.

5- Video
Watch this great video to learn more from Howard's techniques in detecting information crap

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