Teaching Students About Credible Sources

I’ll be honest, this has always been intimidating to me. Teaching about website credibility has been something that I’ve never been able to wrap my head around. I’m starting to wonder if it’s possibly because I was never taught about website credibility myself.

My generation was part of the strange middle-ground where technology was new enough that no one knew what to teach us about it, but prevalent enough that we had consistent access to it. My generation was the generation that had to make all of the mistakes to learn what to teach upcoming youth. We were the adolescent “guinea pigs” for technology that allowed the older generations to learn what needed to be taught. Even though my colleagues marvel at my “intuitive” use of technology, I’m often aware of the gaps that come from a life of self-taught technology use.

Website credibility is absolutely one of my gaps. When reading “Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information” I realized that I sound like the teenagers being discussed! The teenagers worry more about relevance than reliability of content! This is exactly what I do, and I honestly haven’t thought much of it. Mostly because unless the page is flashing colors and strongly resembling a teenager’s MySpace page, I don’t know what to look for.

This week’s readings were incredibly helpful for me as an educator! I love the credibility challenge that allowed for educators to provide students with a checklist for credibility as well as a list of websites that can be used for practice. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for in my teaching career!

As well as the credibility challenge, I also loved finding that Common Sense Media had put together three units on digital citizenship and media literacy that align with Common Core State Standards. As someone who is about to introduce blogging to a new group of students, I couldn’t have found this website at a better time.

It’s times like these that I realize I’ve been working too hard in the past as there are already resources out there to teach what I’ve been spending the year trying to scrape together!


2 thoughts on “Teaching Students About Credible Sources

  1. kdpierce90 says:

    I absolutely agree with you. It is crazy intimidating. Technology was always playing the games and then suddenly we were to use it for research and what not. Now as you said, when we were growing up it was mostly new to people. Think about the growth of the internet since then! Now students have so much more to wade through as they try and figure out what is and what is not truth.


  2. professorjvg says:

    This is exactly where learning to use the “web” has become less important to me than learning to find a rich network of people who will point me to the best things on the web. So now following the people who put up those resources on Twitter or some other social media platform means that I stay fairly updated. So after the Media Breaker mess, some good things. Phew!


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