Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chapter 2: Digital Connections in the Classroom

Chapter 2 Digital Connections in the Classroom (Marcovitz, ISTE, 2012)

Critical Information Literacy
Digital Connections in the Classroom(Marcovitz, ISTE, 2012)

“Critical information literacy is not about neat and tidy outcomes or simple checklist. It is about preparing our students with the mental tools to be able to tackle the real and messy web.” (Marcovitz, iPad page 66)

When Marcovitz mentioned an article he wrote called “I Read It on the Computer: It Must Be True”, I first thought of the State Farm commercial where the girl that says “they can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.” Pretty funny commercial because most people know there are a lot of websites that are not accurate. Just like the fake websites Marcovitz mentions, there are many websites with bad information, some that are easy to spot and some that are not easy at all. The author also writes that you would think students would easily pick up on the fake websites, but many of them don’t.  We need to help students think critically about the information they are given and the authors’ intent.

As teachers, it is important to model and provide experiences to analyze and think deeply about the information on the Internet. There is many times where we need to use the Internet to find a small piece of information, fact retrieval, just like I did to find out what company made that commercial I mentioned. We need to teach beyond that skill. I appreciate that Marcovitz says that teaching how to be a critical user will not happen with a few lessons, instead we should help students build on their skills throughout their schooling. My school is evolving our Library to a place called Learning Commons. When students go to the “library” for their special, there will not be as much emphasis on books, but how to find information and researching skills using books and the internet. I am hoping through this we are able to give students experiences in being a critical user.

The resources and lesson ideas Marcovitz gives provides me with some resources and ideas to help strengthen my students’ evaluative skills. Has anyone had any experience in using any of these resources? Do you have a lesson that you are thinking about using with your students to promote being a critical user? 


  1. Kayla- I was doing an integrated unit with my team teacher a couple of years ago and at the time she had a student teacher. Her student teacher used the fake site about water and about the pacific northwest tree octopus. She was successful for her lesson and I think that our students were more critical of sources, but I'm not sure the skills they learned stuck with them.

    I looked at the University of Chicago's website evaluation checklist that Marcovitz mentions and it is definitely something that I can see myself using with students. I also might make an anchor chart for my room that reminds students to check the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of all websites like New Mexico State University recommends. I was also thinking about having students put these 5 categories on a "stickie"on their desktop so they can be reminding of them when they're working.

    Beyond students being able to evaluate the merits of a website, they need to be able to analyze multiple websites critically before making their final conclusions. This is going to take a conscience effort by all teachers to model/encourage/expect from students for it to consistently happen.

  2. This chapter immediately made me think of that State Farm commercial with the "French model". Especially since our students are growing up in this technological era, I think we really have to work hard to get them to critically analyze the information they find online. Often, they will Google search a question/topic, click on the first link provided, and then take any information given as correct.

    The fake sites, such as the tree octopus that Kern showed us during STI, and the checklists are great resources for kids. The fake sites, although maybe too obvious, are great because they will let kids know that not everything on the internet is true. The checklists are great because they give students something to refer to when sites might look real.

  3. To day at the Google Summit in Hampden. The Keynote speaker did a simple activity around her name and its origin with the google research tool.... it was very interesting to see the information (and cross linked) Her name was Monica so you can see what came up....