Reflections on topic 1

I learned a lot about my own digital identity (or lack thereof) during the work with this topic. Before I started this course I thought that I was pretty “good at the internet”, but I realize now that I have a lot to learn about what and how to share my work. In my private life, I am more of a resident (facebook and instagram, but I only share my profile with people that I know), but for work I am very much a visitor (David White, Visitors and Residents). At work I use the internet a lot (pubmed, wikipedia, google scholar, google images for preparing lectures), but I make sure that I do not leave a mark by posting my thoughts about work. I guess I am afraid that sharing will hurt my professional identity (Sophia Mavridi, Managing teacher digital identity).

As a teacher I have strongly discouraged my students from using online tools (such as wikipedia and youtube) to learn since they not peer-reviewed or even fact-checked for that matter. However, of course I know that the students use these tools and the black market that is created is something that really bothers me (David White, Visitors and residents – credibility). I need to learn about what’s out there and what the students are using. There are probably many good tools out there and if we, as teachers, would have the time to find and test them we could more easily guide our students to find good tools. But how do we find the time and does every teacher have to reinvent the wheel and look for themselves? Also, is it wrong to want the students to read books?

One way to assist our students without having to check the entire web ourselves, is by teaching them to be critical of what they read (Howard Rheingold, Crap detection). The quality control is no longer with the publisher, it is with the consumer and hopefully we can teach our students to be critical of what they read online. The search engine “whois” is a great way to start to see who is behind a website. To me, it’s not completely obvious that academia should “hand over” its control of knowledge to the Resident Web (Lanclos and White). I believe that universities should play a large role in assuring credibility of what is taught and learned. On the other hand, academia would very much benefit from leaving it’s bubble and try to connect with the rest of the world and I think that we will see this happening more and more over the next 10 years.

References

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3 thoughts on “Reflections on topic 1

  1. zaaronl

    Interesting to read your reflections on Topic 1.

    As a librarian and a teacher I totally agree with you when you write about wanting to teach the students to be critical of what they read. I think this is the way to help students without controling them. To talk about different texts and sources and teach students to be critical to information no matter where they find the material.

    Critical thinking and information seeking is one of the important aspects of Information literacy/literacies.

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  2. alastaircreelman

    Source criticism is indeed probably the most essential skill to be taught in all schools an colleges today. Actually Wikipedia is an excellent tool for teaching this and the national bodies of the Wikimedia Foundation work very closely with universities to encourage more academic involvement in building Wikipedia. One good exercise is to try to edit something in Wikipedia – it normally only takes a few minutes before your edit is deleted unless you can provide credible references to back it up!

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  3. Karolina

    One way to make students being critical is a simple activity in which students are asked to choose and then analyse the Wikipedia acticle according to other sources of information. This is more of less what Wikipedia Education Programm does.

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