Critical Thinking: CRAP DETECTION

“Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him.”

Ernest Hemingway, 1954

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Howard Rheingold has done extensive work in New Literacies, including “Crap Detection”

Howard Rheingold is a critic, writer, and teacher. Howard teaches courses on social media in U.C. Berkeley’s School of Information Management and in Stanford University’s Communication Department. He is also the author of 15 books about the social, cultural, and political effects of modern communication media and technologies.

***Here is a reaction to the Rheingold video which will be helpful when you do your own reaction to this lesson.

How much do you know about web literacy? (from Alan November, November Learning)

Take the following quiz  (you can do in teams) to see if you are:

Somewhat Savvy (0-5 points)
Moderately Savvy (6-10 points)
Downright Nerdy (10+ points)

1. List 4 major search engines and a major directory.

2. What is a blog?

3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?

4. URL is an acronym for…

5. Identify three Boolean search terms.

6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a website?

7. Identify these extensions and what they represent:
.org     .com     .sch     .k12     .edu     .gov     .ac     .net     .mil     .co

8. How do you find out who is linked to your school’s website?

9. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal website?

10. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)

11. How do you find the history of any given website?

12. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education websites that contain the word turtle?

13. How do sites get to the top of a result list in Google?

(answers HERE – please discuss in class)

TRY THIS: Find the publisher of the site and check out these bogus ones

NEXT: Check the HISTORY of the site and the EXTERNAL LINKS to find some surprises!

It’s very important for us to critically examine what we find on the Internet, especially since that has become our go-to place for information.

One tool is called the CRAAP TEST. (see pdf below)

CRAAP test_eval_websites

Go to a Web site you are using for your EE or for another school project OR choose a random but still appropriate site. Follow the CRAAP test and record your findings on your blog (you can incorporate into the assignment at the end)

Let’s check out this VIDEO: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/learning/concentration/diving-in.html?play

and this one “Are They as Savvy as They Seem?”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/living-faster/digital-natives/are-they-as-savvy-as-they-seem.html?play

corresponding blog post: “Being a Digital Native Isn’t Enough”

This is your Brain on Google: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/living-faster/where-are-we-headed/your-brain-on-google.html?play

MORE RESOURCES

https://balancedtech.wikispaces.com/Critical+Consumption+-+C.R.A.P.+Testing

http://blog.sfgate.com/rheingold/2009/06/30/crap-detection-101/

Evaluating Websites

http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic32.htm

Check out the tools on “Verification Junkie”

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672452/an-absurdist-news-ticker-thats-all-media-no-message

Can You Spot the Fake Scientific Studies?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/st_realorfake/

Critical Thinking for Life:

http://www.edudemic.com/2013/06/25-ways-to-make-students-better-learners/

Critical Thinking in the Age of Spin:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/critical-thinking-necessary-skill-g-randy-kasten

App tests “truthiness” in Politics

The 6 Thinking Hats (DeBono)

http://bossysmile.wordpress.com/resources/debonos-6-thinking-hats/

about_sixhat_chart1

See how applying the 6 Hat Method works as a teacher thinks about STRESS and TESTING http://bossysmile.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/focus-on-stress-and-testing/

TASK part 1:

Write a reflective blog post OR make a vlog  and post to your blog discussing your thoughts on this lesson.

You will need to:

1. Address the Rheingold video and use specifics

2. Refer to at least 1 of the resources in the resource list

3. Address the Frontline videos (there are 3)

4. Discuss your thoughts about your own web literacy and crap detection skills after doing the class activity (Quiz/ Discussion/ exploration of sites).

TASK part 2:

Create a Visual Message informing or cautioning the public (sort of like a PSA) about any of the issues from this blog post or the post on EXPERTS.

1. Pick the issue and think about how you can simply but effectively get the message across.

2. Include a call to action of some sort

Medium suggestions: Poster (analog or digital); short film or commercial; PhotoEssay, rap or song with accompanying video; art-piece (2 or 3 D)

Goal: is to be effective, informing, inspiring, and to use more visual, less text/words

Knowledge Justifications: Experts

THINK…

– How is knowledge accepted or rejected?

– How does knowledge gain or lose status?

-What are the responsibilities of the “knower”?

-What role does intuition play in knowledge?

-Why is healthy skepticism important?

-What are the justifications of knowledge?

-What do we mean when we say “expert”?

***backchannel using #tokkailua and someone should start chat by saying: “Starting TOK TED talk chat Noreena Hertz How to Use Experts and When Not To #tokkailua”

Be sure to check out the VERY intelligent comments here: http://www.ted.com/talks/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to.html

and this on TED convos: http://www.ted.com/conversations/609/how_do_we_know_what_we_know_a.html

THE TROUBLE WITH EXPERTS

***backchannel using #tokkailua and someone should start chat by saying :” Starting chat on film “The Trouble with Experts #tokkailua”

(accompanying write-up) http://www.creativitypost.com/pop-culture/the_trouble_with_experts

HOW MUCH DO WE BLINDLY TRUST?

Correspondent Rushkoff observes: “We Americans value our freedom of choice—choice in the marketplace of goods, and choice in what has become a marketplace of ideas. When the same persuasion industry is engaged to influence these very different kinds of decision-making, it’s easy for our roles as consumers and our roles as citizens to get blurred. By revealing some of the most effective practices of the persuasion business, we may better understand our choices and perhaps make wiser ones.”

Find out more about how the media shapes our thinking and decision-making with this great series we’ll be exploring in and out of class:

Frontline Series: The Persuaders (see FULL MOVIE)

***we’ll especially look at the section on “Narrowcasting” in politics

(see screen shot)

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Check out the discussion forum

Think Ahead (will be assigned next time): 

After another post on Web Literacy and “Crap Detection”, you will be asked to Create a Visual Message informing or cautioning the public (sort of like a PSA) about any of the issues from this blog post or the post on “Crap Detection” and Web Literacy.

1. Pick the issue and think about how you can simply but effectively get the message across.

2. Include a call to action of some sort

Medium suggestions: Poster (analog or digital); short film or commercial; PhotoEssay, rap or song with accompanying video; art-piece (2 or 3 D)

Goal: is to be effective, informing, inspiring, and to use more visual, less text/words

Belief and Doubt

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” – Richard Feynman, 1918-88

doubt

TOK LINKING QUESTION: To what extent should we accept knowledge by authority?

How do you know what to believe when there is so much propaganda? How can we trust what scientists claim, if the science itself is baffling? How can we trust any claim which may be instigated by special interest groups or political parties?

***As we watch this TED talk, please backchannel using #tokkailua (someone should intro the chat by tweeting: “Starting chat on Battling Bad Science: Ben Goldacre at TED #tokkailua”

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Next, READ THE FOLLOWING PDF

Edward Harrison, prof. of Physics and Astronomy at U. of Massachusetts, 1987

Harrison_The_Uncertainty_of_Knowledge

I. Provide a reaction paragraph about this article, including addressing the line: “The creative mind fashions the world in which we live” (post on your blog)

“If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done” – Peter Ustinov, 1921-2004

II. Although this is a PSA told from a biased stance, check out this video on climate change. On your blog, record your thoughts regarding this piece. To see some humorous but poignant animated videos also produced by Climate Reality Projectclick here

CURATE:

III. on YouTube or the Internet

A. Advertisers sometimes appeal to the authority of “experts” and/or “science” to sell products. Find an example (think foods, drugs, other products) and post on your blog with a brief description. You will definitely want to check out “106 Science Claims and a Truckful of Baloney” – a Popular Science Magazine article which asked a reporter to analyze the “scientific” claims he encountered on a typical day (1 every 10 minutes!)

IV. On Twitter…Be sure to post to your blog post with a brief analysis (for example- check out the author’s creds)

B. I typed in “climate change” on Twitter and found some interesting tweets, like this one:

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Try doing this yourself with climate change OR another controversial hot topic (pun intended)

Here’s another:

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***Sample of this assignment:

http://zoecook.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/belief-and-doubt/