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Todd Suomela

Fluent in Social Media, Failing in Fake News: Generation Z, Online - Pacific Standard - 0 views

  • Instead of burrowing into a silo or vertical on a single webpage, as our Gen Z digital natives do, fact checkers tended to read laterally, a strategy that sent them zipping off a site to open new tabs across the horizontal axis of their screens. And their first stop was often the site we tell kids they should avoid: Wikipedia. But checkers used Wikipedia differently than the rest of us often do, skipping the main article to dive straight into the references, where more established sources can be found. They knew that the more controversial the topic, the more likely the entry was to be "protected," through the various locks Wikipedia applies to prevent changes by anyone except high-ranking editors. Further, the fact checkers knew how to use a Wikipedia article's "Talk" page, the tab hiding in plain sight right next to the article—a feature few students even know about, still less consult. It's the "Talk" page where an article's claims are established, disputed, and, when the evidence merits it, altered.
  • In the short term, we can do a few useful things. First, let's make sure that kids (and their teachers) possess some basic skills for evaluating digital claims. Some quick advice: When you land on an unfamiliar website, don't get taken in by official-looking logos or snazzy graphics. Open a new tab (better yet, several) and Google the group that's trying to persuade you. Second, don't click on the first result. Take a tip from fact checkers and practice click restraint: Scan the snippets (the brief sentence accompanying each search result) and make a smart first choice.
  • What if the answer isn't more media literacy, but a different kind of media literacy?
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  • We call them "digital natives." Digitally naive might be more accurate.Between January of 2015 and June of 2016, my colleagues and I at the Stanford History Education Group surveyed 7,804 students across 12 states. Our goal was to take the pulse of civic online reasoning: students' ability to judge the information that affects them as citizens. What we found was a stunning and dismaying consistency. Young people's ability to navigate the Internet can be summed up in one word: bleak.
Todd Suomela

"We do software so that you can do education": The curious case of MOOC platforms - Wor... - 0 views

  • edX’s case illustrates one mechanism through which this happens: the construction of organizational roles. Consider the separation of software and pedagogy within the edX ecosystem. As edX expanded its slate of partners, its first clients and patrons, MIT and Harvard, saw a decline in their own ability to set the agenda and control the direction of the software. These “users” argue that the software has an implicit theory of pedagogy embedded in it, and that, as experts on pedagogy, they should have more of a say in shaping the software. While acknowledging this, edX’s architects counter that they—and not the Harvard-MIT folks—should have the final say on prioritizing which features to build, not only because they understand the software the best, but also because they see themselves as best placed to understand which features might benefit the whole eco-system rather than just particular players. The standard template in the education technology industry is that the technology experts are only supposed to “implement” what the pedagogy experts ask. What is arguably new about the edX platform framework is that the software is prior to, and thereby more constitutive of, the pedagogy.
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