How to Protect Students From Fake News | Edudemic

English: Graph of social media activities
English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: A protester holding a placard in Tahr...
English: A protester holding a placard in Tahrir Square referring to Facebook and Twitter, acknowledging the role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

For those raised in the information age, life without the internet is no life at all. It is often a primary focus of a teen’s day (75% of teens are online several times per day) and an important means by which they communicate with the world and take in new information. While information can be found in various sources across the internet, an overwhelming majority of teens and pre-teens tend to gather their information from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

A 2015 report by the Media Insights Project found that the majority of surveyed Millennials (aged 18-34) cited Facebook as their sole or primary source of key news and other information.

Unfortunately, Facebook is not known as a credible source for news. The recent outbreak of “fake news” has hit social media sites particularly hard, as these types of platforms are set up to propagate information at record speed regardless of source or content. In addition, teens are particularly bad at discriminating between real and fake news. According to a recent study out of Stanford, 82% of surveyed middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between ads and real news on a website, highlighting the need to teach students media literacy and proper research skills.

Source: How to Protect Students From Fake News | Edudemic

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How Google’s search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias | Technology | The Guardian

There has always been an issue with data mining on the internet. The number of times I’ve heard the phrase “Well, Google told me so it must be true” is, to say the least, disheartening. It’s worth reminding students that Google is not infallible.

Search and autocomplete algorithms prioritize sites with rightwing bias, and far-right groups trick it to boost propaganda and misinformation in search rankings

Google’s search algorithm appears to be systematically promoting information that is either false or slanted with an extreme rightwing bias on subjects as varied as climate change and homosexuality.

Following a recent investigation by the Observer, which found that Google’s search engine prominently suggests neo-Nazi websites and antisemitic writing, the Guardian has uncovered a dozen additional examples of biased search results.

Google’s search algorithm and its autocomplete function prioritize websites that, for example, declare that climate change is a hoax, being gay is a sin, and the Sandy Hook mass shooting never happened.

Source: How Google’s search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias | Technology | The Guardian

Why you should turn off push notifications right now | @WiredUK

Most students believe that they can study effectively whilst simultaneously watching TV, checking Facebook and responding to every ridiculous interruption that appears on their phone.

They can’t.

We live in an age of interruption. Ping – you have a text message. Ping – you have a new email. Ping – you have a Facebook friend request. Ping – you have a match on your online dating app. Ping-ping-ping, all day long.

A recent Gallup poll found that more than 50 per cent of Americans who own smartphones keep their phone near them “almost all the time during waking hours”. Over 50 per cent say check their smartphone at least several times an hour and 11 per cent say they check it every few minutes. And that’s just what they’re aware of and admit to – I would not be surprised if the real frequency and intensity is much higher.

Until relatively recently in our technological history we did not have a lot of content coming to our devices. Now, we have texts, all kind of notifications and what seems like an endless stream of both personal and work emails. And it’s not just our phones. How many times have you been at your computer working on something when you get an email notification? And of those instances, how often did you stop what you’re doing to look at your email, realised that it was not that important and returned to your work – after taking a few minutes to remind yourself where you were and what your train of thought was?

At this point, it should be painfully clear to everyone that we need to be worried about the interruptions economy. What value do interruptions provide, under what conditions, and what are their costs? A little ping may seem innocuous, but there is cumulating evidence that the cost of an interruption is higher than we realise, and of course given the sheer number of interruptions, their combined effect can very quickly become substantial.

Source: Why you should turn off push notifications right now

How Google’s search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias | @GuardianNews

With great power comes great responsibility (insert your own cliche here). Where one company has a virtual monopoly on searching they have a particular responsibility to ensure that their results do not contribute to the spread of false information.

As the pre-eminent company in the field Google have the greatest responsibility, and the most to lose, if they do not ensure the integrity of their results. The evidence is that they are not living up to their responsibilities.

Google’s search algorithm appears to be systematically promoting information that is either false or slanted with an extreme rightwing bias on subjects as varied as climate change and homosexuality.

Following a recent investigation by the Observer, which found that Google’s search engine prominently suggests neo-Nazi websites and antisemitic writing, the Guardian has uncovered a dozen additional examples of biased search results.

Google’s search algorithm and its autocomplete function prioritize websites

Source: How Google’s search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias | Technology | The Guardian

Assessment by ePortfolio

If you’re considering incorporating ePortfolios into your teaching (and if you’re not you should) there’s a good review by Helen Barret available.

Abstract

This paper provides the theoretical background for a study of student learning, engagement and collaboration through the development of electronic portfolios. After covering an overview of the limited research on portfolios in education, definitions, multiple purposes of portfolios, and conflicting theoretical paradigms are discussed. Principles of student motivation and engagement are covered, along with philosophical and assessment issues and the importance of reflection in learning. The relationship between storytelling and reflection is elaborated. Finally, the paper describes several technology tools that engage learners in reflecting, including blogging and digital storytelling.

You can read the full report here.

50 Blogging tools to help you work smarter, write faster and become irresistible to your readers

Smarter Planet logo
Smarter Planet logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I started writing, I didn’t use any tools. All I had were my laptop, notes, and head. I thought that was all you need to publish something great, which is true. That is all you need. But the time and work you invest into one post isn’t enough to become an influential writer — it actually takes many exceptional posts to build a fan base who can’t wait to read your next piece. And the best way to pump more “wow” into your post is to use the right blogging tools.

Source: 50 Blogging tools to help you work smarter, write faster and become irresistible to your readers