Well, it is done (or is it). I completed my major project for ECI 832. I choose Option 1 to 'Develop a curriculum-supported digital citizenship/literacy resource'. During one of our early classes in the semester, we had Mary Beth Hertz as a guest speaker. Her talk and information provided inspired me to pursue CRAP Detection (she even became one of my first guests on my video/podcast series). I looked at the Digital Citizenship Education
in Saskatchewan Schools Policy Guide and was also inspired to pursue this project from the quote on page 11 of the document “We need to ensure that students are equipped with the skills to safely and smartly sift through this abundance of information and to navigate online spaces in ways that contribute to their learning.” With that I went down a the path of having conversations, creating a toolkit, curating resource, and creating a lesson plan with a CRAP Detection Information and Infographic Sheet. I know I will use what I learned from this project in my classroom and in my own CRAP Detection journey. I will also share what I have learned (and what I will continue to learn) with others. To see the project overview and the fruits of my labour click the buttons below . To be continued ...
I have created many resources for my CRAP Detection Major Project. I have really enjoyed the conversations and the materials I have gathered and created. I have a few more details and materials I want to add to complete my CRAP Detection Information Research, Shows, Toolkit, and Lesson. Here's what I have created so far. I particularly want to thank all the amazing people I was able to have conversations with. I have learned so much, shared what I have learned, and hope other find it useful. I think those are the components of a great learning experience.
CRAP DETECTION THE LESSON
DV - Hi and welcome to a special blog edition of ‘That’s CRAP Detection’. I’m very grateful to be joined by Archbishop M.C. O’Neill Catholic High School’s Resource Teacher, Lisa Hautcoeur. Thanks for agreeing to sit down and explore my main question as part of my CRAP detection. So my first question is was a time you have run into a problem with fake news as an educator or in your personal life? How did you use this as a teachable moment?
LH -While working with a Social Studies class on a research project, the teacher explained to the students how his name once appeared in a Wikipedia Search associating him with a role in WWII (can’t remember the exact story). We used this as a teachable moment, stating to the students that you can’t believe everything you see or read on the internet. When working with the EAL classes, we showed them CBC / “This is That” and “The Onion” / Fake News . To show the students examples of Fake news and to make them laugh
DV – Goes to show you that Wikipedia is a pretty good resource but still need to verify the contents on there for sure. I also like the fact that you use humour to teach about fake news, but sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Okay time for question two, what are your favorite FACT checking tools or strategies?
LH - As the Teacher-Librarian at a High School, teachers will book in a time for their classes to come in and learn where to find credible resources for their research topics. The first thing I always do is teach them how to use the databases (online resources). If the information they require is not available through the online resources, then we learn about finding credible resources. Our school division uses Noodle Tools to cite their sources. Students learn very quickly how much more work it is for them once they have to start filling in all the information required for citing a website. I tell them that if they can’t find most of the information need to cite the source, which is already a flag and probably not a credible resource. We use the CRAP test rubric to check the websites for currency, reliability, authority of author, authority of organization and purpose. When working with classes that just want to learn about how to find credible resources, I have a Website Evaluation PowerPoint that we go through together followed by a short quiz. We then look at a few websites and evaluate them as a group. I guess what I am saying is that the biggest tool I try to teach them to use is their brain. It is easy to plug info into the computer to check for them, but it is better for them to learn how to detect non-credible information themselves and to be critical thinkers. Students are also encouraged to “Triangulate” - to check other websites or print resources to see if the information remains consistent.
DV – Use your brain … that’s pretty good advice. I definitely think that’s one of main skills that we need to help students develop is their ability to think critically. With this in mind however, how do we maintain a balance between critical thinking and cynicism?
LH - The reality is that our students today spend most of their time on social media, where images are filtered, stories are altered and messages are skewed. Students need to think critically and learn to develop the skills they need to know when to believe what they find online and when to realize that the information is not real.
DV – That’s one area where I think schools need to develop more strategies and understanding. We are getting better at sources like webpages, but social media is a different beast for sure. Thanks so much Lisa for sharing your insights on this topic and I know you do great work on growing your own understanding and helping out the students of our school on their journey. Thanks for reading a special blog edition of ‘That’s CRAP Detection.’
and make any necessary revisions. I also felt that some context was needed to go with my Navigation Sheet, so I created an info graphic in Visme that a combination of a visual and text to help explain what was in the sheet, but that could also stand out on its own as a resource on CRAP detection. Both of these took a bit of time to research and design, but in the end I think they have turned out well. I know I will use them and I hope other find them useful as well.
help organize and moderate a twitter chat on media literacy / digtal citizenship (laid some ground work for this as well), create a lesson plan with the resources I created, and orgainize and do more research. Feedback and thoughts are always welcome.
We have all probably heard the term ‘fake news’ quite a bit lately. Whether is in the realm of politics, economics, entertainment … we seem to be inundated with wave after wave of questionable ‘facts’. Propaganda or misleading information is not an entirely new concept in the history of humankind. But with the access and amount of information like never before in our history, separating the wheat from the shaft has never been more difficult or necessary. This phenomenon will not decrease (at least in the near future). So how do we prepare our students to become informed and empowered citizens?
We should always be encouraging students to question what’s happening in their world and become critical thinkers. We need to help our students develop skills and provide tools so they can become good CRAP detectors. CRAP is an acronym that has been used in fact checking advice that stands for: Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose (I have also found it as CRAAP with and extra A for Accuracy – here’s a great site to learn more http://bit.ly/crap101). This method encourages one to take a closer look at the information we consume and attempt to validate the facts presented. It is hoped that through this one can be aware of biases and alternative motives for some of the information posted.
We can provide strategies such as checking a domain extension like .com, .edu., .org, and more. Examining what each of these say about the potential motivation for a site. There are numerous fact checking sites out there like snopes.com, www.politifact.com, canadafactcheck.ca and more (here’s a great source to check out even more fact checking sites http://bit.ly/craptoolbox). Images and memes are a huge source of how many of our students get their news updates. Using Google Reverse Image Search and sites like fotoforensics.com can help trace the source behind these images and give insights into their validity. We can also model and encourage ‘lateral reading’ which entails opening up multiple tabs to check author information, references, and other information presented with the site itself and also to cross reference information with other sources and dare I say even a book. It is important to do our due diligence when consuming information.
There are many resources available to help teachers provide students with opportunities to become good CRAP detector. Commonsense.org (http://bit.ly/csfactchecktools) and mediasmarts.ca (http://bit.ly/mediasensetools ) are great places to start your media literacy journey. There are many teacher based ‘fake sites’ such as dhmo.org (I used this one in my class and had almost every student sign a petition to ban this substance without even checking the site – here is a link to more sites like this one - http://bit.ly/hoaxsite). There are many ways to infuse this important skill in the classroom.
The digital age produces and consumes information like never before. With AI increasing and ‘deep fakes’ on the rise, it is imperative that we give students the media literacy skills to fact check and make sense of it all. On some of the websites, I have been reading state that even democracy depends on being able to distinguish sophisticated ‘fakes’ from the ‘real deal’. I watched a great TED Ed video (http://bit.ly/howtospotfakenews), the young lady used the acronym FABLE instead of CRAP where the E stood for Exert. Exert some patience before you repost and become part of the wave of ‘fake news’. A moment of reflection can be the best way to deal with misinformation on and offline.
Pro Tip – You may have noticed I used a lot of links with bit.ly in them. This site allows you to take long web addresses and turn them into customizable shortened bit.ly links.
I will have a follow up to this vlog / podcast as I reached out to Mary Beth and she has agreed to answer a few extra questions I had (didn't work out for this week) so stay tuned. I'm stoked and it is a great example of reaching out and tapping into and growing your PLN.
A Sample from My Social Class
I did a little experiment on Media Literacy on my Social Nine Class on DHMO ... check out the Youtube videos below to see more
Things I Learning From The ECI 832 Crew
For a young person, I’m not sure they have the innate ability to make the distinction between what is real and what’s been severely modified to look a certain way. Trevor
Schools are the perfect place for students to learn about social media tools and how to use them responsibly and efficiently Adam
Mary Beth’s presentation not only taught me important strategies and skills to do so, but also inspired me to bring these strategies into my classroom. Amanda
Fake news, reading laterally vs. horizontally and teaching students to be critical thinkers is something I really enjoyed talking about as I think it is extremely important in our society. Brad
We need to be a little be skeptical when we read online, but we can help our students by giving them the tools to understand how to avoid being fooled online and how to make sense of bias. Catherine
I make the assumption that kids know more about technology then I do because of the world they are growing up in. Christina
But I have created such easy access to communicate with me that it has become routine for both of us. Diana
Teaching critical thinking skills and helping our students learn how to evaluate bias in media can only help society get rid of some of the toxic culture that some sources of media are trying to promote. Daniel
Not only are we teaching students to examine the information and accept it as facts (or not) but they need to also understand the author’s bias and understand how that relates to their own bias. Laurie
I appreciate how the point of the conversation was not to deter people from using the internet and social media, but to emphasize the importance of “doing your homework” before diving in. Leigh
I came to the realization that even though I've been teaching digital citizenship for the majority of my career, there is still so much I don't know. Matt
I believe that teachers and society at large have a vested in making sure our students understand how to balance their phones and social media as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Matteo
It is like a ‘digital playground’ where students are being thrown into without guidance. It is our job to address and fill in the gaps. Melinda
I was shocked to learn that there are no global laws surrounding users and the ability for companies to track or market a consumer. Michala
Mary’s presentation motivated me to talk to my kids more about Cybersafety and security and how to make good choices online.
However, I think that I almost kind of stop there and consider my work as digital literacy teacher to be done there.
Teens think they know everything about the online world, and in most cases, they definitely know a lot, but the difficult part is making them listen.Shelby
So I'm going to challenge myself to become a better CRAP Detector for my major project.I've always (especially in my social studies class) made a point of examining resources and making sure they are valid. I have used a variety of sources and have been fortunate to work with a great resource centre instructor to help with this process. In my professional life, I have tried to ensure that I also do my due diligence when researching for the classes I teach. Whether it is a new resource, a shared resource, or one that has been 'established' for a while, I try to find out the validity of the source. On social media, I again try to make sure content I'm producing or sharing is valid ... can be a bit harder on this as sometimes a quick retweet is convenient and maybe not as 'fact checked'. Our society now creates and has access to information like never before and will only increase. The are many opportunities to exchange great ideas and information, but there is also 'fake news' and many a lot of 'mis'information out there (both intentional and unintentional).
I plan to tackle this project through a variety of methods:
That's CRAP Detector - The Blog (aka ECI 832 Major Project Blog)
Will share all my content (ideas below) here.
Add some of my thoughts and reflections.
That's CRAP Detector - The YouTube Series
I will make a variety of infomercials / tips on crap detector.
I will find sites and break them down and look for crap
That's CRAP Detector - The Podcast Series
Use my PLC connections and organize interviews about CRAP
That's CRAP Detector - The Resource
Create a flow chart or app idea that will help people deal with CRAP
That's CRAP Detector - The Social Media
Share work and find relevant posts to share.
Create meme's and post finding on Twitter.
I’m excited about this project. I look forward to having some fun, sharing and learning about CRAP. Any and all feedback welcomed.
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 20 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.