The 5 Elements Students Should Look For When Evaluating Web Content

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March , 2014
In a section in her wonderful book "Understanding The Social Lives of Networked Teens" Danah Boyd talked extensively about the concept of digital natives and argued that this nomenclature does not really capture the essence of what a digitally savvy teenager really means. Dana argued that the mere fact of being comfortable with a social media tool does not prove that the user has a digital fluency to allow them to better use it for educational purposes :

Just because teens are comfortable using social media to hang out does not mean that they’re fluent in or with technology. Many teens are not nearly as digitally adept as the often-used assumption that they are “digital natives” would suggest. The teens I met knew how to get to Google but had little understanding about how to construct a query to get quality information from the popular search engine. They knew how to use Facebook, but their understanding of the site’s privacy settings did not mesh with the ways in which they configured their accounts. As sociologist Eszter Hargittai has quipped, many teens are more likely to be digital naives than digital natives.

Learning how to evaluate online content is an essential step in the process of developing  digitally literate students. I have already featured several materials on strategies and skills for students to evaluate web content and today I am adding a great resource from Lisa Hartman. The presentation below features the 5 elements ( CRAAP ) students should look for when evaluating online content. These elements according to Lisa are :
  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority 
  • Accuracy 
  • Purpose 
Watch this short introduction to CRAAP

  •  Is the information too old.
  •  Is it still valid?
  •  Do you know how old the information is?
  •  Does it fit your needs?
  •  Was it intended for you, or written for another audience? (example: children, scientists).
  •  Does it make sense to use this web page?
  • Who is publishing this information? Organization , Person ?
  • Are they experts?
  •  Do you trust them?
  • Can you contact them or their organization for more information, or to make corrections?
  •  Is the information reliable, truthful, and correct?
  •  Does it match other information you’ve found?
  •  Professional appearance – Do you see spelling or grammar errors?
  •   Is it well organized and easy to navigate?
  •  Are they citing their sources?
  •  Why does this Website exist?
  •  Is it there to inform and educate?
  •  Is it trying sell you or convince you of something?

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