Inspecting the Internet

Thanks to my learning project, I’ve been thinking a lot about the information available online lately.  In particular, the abundance of information that is available at our finger tips.

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Photo Credit: Bernardo Ramonfaur via Compfight cc

There is so much content online, in so many different forms.

There are 300 hours of YouTube footage uploaded every minute.

There are 75 million posts on Instagram a day.

There are 1.5 billion loops on Vine a day.

And these are just a few of the social media platforms that people generate content on. Facebook, Twitter have even more information and opinions to sift through.  Blogs also contribute to this online schmozzle.

Our reading for this week focused on why blogging matters and how to start to curate your own little section of the internet.

When reading Kay Oddone’s Digital Content Curation piece, I enjoyed her tie into Joyce Seitzinger’s When Educators Become Curators.  I enjoyed the different types of curators teachers can be.  At one point or another, I’m sure that I’ve been a couple of these types of curators.  And if not, I’ve definitely interacted with them either online or in person.

While all of the different types of curators are frustrating, I think that the National Enquirer type of curator is one with the most potential to do harm.  Since there is so much available online, it is very important to be discriminate when selecting content.  I find this type of curator is very common, especially if they are not reading the content that they are sharing.

Following this train of thought, I then proceeded to think about strategies to avoid pitfalls in being a curator, or in teaching kids how to curate content.  One thing that is important to know is how to find the truth online.

In this video, Markham Nolan speaks to how journalists have to sift through the multitude of information in order to determine fact from fiction.  He talks about using the free tools available online to see if videos or pictures are telling an accurate story.  This is something that we can teach our students.  Maybe they don’t have to corroborate a news story, but the ability to discern the correct information is and what is real on the internet is a skill that students will definitely need.  Teaching students these skills can maybe prevent others from believing online hoaxes or satire.

I’m not sure if each time students go on the internet, they need to be searching for truth, but if they are learning how to be learners, they also need to be able to decide and evaluate their own content. If the goal is for our students to be able to curate on their own, we need to provide them with the skills, tips and tricks to be able to curate responsibly.

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