Students are often challenged when evaluating the credibility and relevance of online information. Have you ever been fooled by information you read online?
Throughout the years, I have spent a lot of time online, both for personal and professional reasons. I have always been a bit of a skeptic, so there aren’t many traps that I fall into. I will say that I have wasted a lot of time looking for “free” resources that, for whatever reason, have not turned out to be free. Plus, all of my time that I used to look for said resources will never come back my way. I have managed to have a few “go to” sites that work well for my needs. I also use Pinterest as a place to store my work-related finds that have visuals that help me sift through what I want and what I need. I am dabbling in Pocket, so I can make the most out of the sites I want to revisit. There is such an overload of information out there, that these tools help me organize and synthesize what I need in order to add to my professional bag-of-tricks.
My biggest personal annoyance is looking for coupons or “deals” that so many swear are out there via email or other “catches” on the Internet. I can’t say that I have believed that I could save millions, but there is always the hope. I can put myself in the student’s shoes when looking aimlessly online for the “answer” that I need to find. If students experience that much surfing and sifting, and not achieving the results they need, I can imagine how frustrated they will become. My motivator was saving money, the students have grades hanging over them.
Following links and trying to be the creator of my own learning just makes me want to shut down some times. Developing the appropriate skills for my tasks has taken years to develop, and I still get stuck sometimes by choosing bad links and making poor choices. Dr. Julie Coiro’s podcast from 2008 about online reading comprehension (http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/posts/26036) mentions how students are creating their own books when reading and clicking through links, and if they do not click through the proper links, they will not create a “good” book for themselves. This hit home as part of what my duties as an educator will entail. I think that teachers need to understand how to create lessons that will guide students on effective searching, evaluating and synthesizing information.