Do you trust the source?

As part of year 7 ICT (a junior ICT class), we are exploring if we can trust the source of the information. So I presented a PowerPoint that DHMO produced, talking about the dangers of the substance and provided a link to website for the students to read. By treating the website and it’s ideas as real my goal was to fool the students and to then reveal the lie for a classroom discussion.

Following the reveal, I prompted the classroom discussion with some questions, making it a little like a detective story;

  • Can you tell who is the author of the website? (Authority)
  • Does what they are talking about make sense, or is there something else going on? (Accuracy)
  • Has the website being kept up to date? (Currency)
  • what sort of language are they using? (Objectivity)
  • Are the links on the website consistent with its intent? (Coverage)

The aim here is to start students critically think and evaluate about the websites they look at. Check out, Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools and Evaluation of Web documents, both from Cornell University’s Library.

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