Tutorial 2 – Digital Resources for Literacy

Kids World Travel Guide

  • Is the information easy for us to read? Well, organised with navigation guide, subheadings etc? YES
  • Does it use photos, video etc. effectively?  YES
  • Does it help answer our questions? YES
  • Is it reliable?  YES

Reading the Web

Sawyer Criteria:

  1. Does the website have a clear purpose?
  2. Does the website have information needed to answer the reader’s questions?
  3. Are the language and concepts within the reader’s control, or nearly so with appropriate support?
  4. Will the organization of the website be clear to the reader?
  5. Is the navigation reader-friendly?
  6. Will the graphics be accessible to the reader?
  7. Do the dynamic and interactive elements support the purpose of the website?
  8. Are there short bursts of text, or can the text be easily segmented to manage and differentiate the reading?

A website that has information about Australia that is clear, age appropriate (stage 3) and a good model for a lesson about note taking and reading online.

Facts about Australia

This website is a good example of a website that has information about Australia; the structure of the website is very clear with subheadings that would make it easy to not only navigate through the site but also to retrieve the correct information quickly and therefore lends itself to the teaching and learning of note taking and reading online. I believe this website meets criteria 1,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 of Sawyers criteria, with criteria 2 to be determined depending on what question was asked. I particularly liked this site as a good website for information about Australia as it was the link that the Government Website suggested.

A short video (3 minutes or so) about Australia that is age appropriate (stage 3), which could also be used to model note taking using the visual and aural aspects.

This is a great video that provides animated information on the 6 states and 2 territories of Australia, giving information on where each state is located in relation to the continent and surrounding oceans, how big they are in relation to the other states and territories and detailing population size. The video is structured clearly, giving more generalised information at the start before going into the specifics of each State and Territory.    It meets Sawyers criteria 1,3,4,5,6,8 with criteria 2 still dependent on the specific question asked.

A website that is poorly written (too long or complex) or has too little information or that only sells a product etc. about Australia to use as a contrast to the other sites in order to develop student’s analytical and critical skills.

88 Crazy Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Australia

This website does not necessarily scream poorly written, it was however the very first result that came up when I searched ‘facts about Australia’ on Google and offers a good opportunity to show students that they need to be discerning about how and where they get the information from. The issue I have with this website is not that the information isn’t factual, it might be; my issue pertains to the lack of hierarchy in how the information is presented and the relevancy of this information in an assignment. This post on the Buzzfeed website is also meant as a form of satire and not intended to be a source of information for academic research. And for those reasons alone I think it would be a good example, as it is not as obvious as other websites, to use to contrast against websites like the one above, Facts about Australia, and teach students how to select the ‘right’ websites.

Developing your photography skills

Rule of Thirds:
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This shot utilises the rule of thirds by dividing the image into a series of thirds, the blue sky, the man on the bridge, and the underside of the bridge. The man is also located at the intersection of a vertical and horizontal third.

Leading Lines:
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This shot utilises the photographic principle of leading lines that are created by the edges of the building and columns that draw your eye as a vector towards the tree that is framed by the edges of the built environment bringing it into prominence.

Don’t Place Your Subject in the Centre:
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The shot utilised the photographic principle of placing the subject off centre; in this case the main subject is the bicycle which is placed in the lower right hand quadrant.

Social Media, News and Critical Literacy

On what basis would you decide each one is a reliable source of news or information? Are these legitimate sites, satire, or simply fake news masquerading as actual news?
Questions to ask yourself when evaluating a website

1. Reliability of Information:

  • Who is the author? What are their credentials?
  • What is the domain’s suffix? (.com, .gov, .edu etc)
    as a general rule .com is for commercial domains, .gov is for government affiliated websites, .edu is for education affiliated websites etc.
  •  Have they used references as to where their information originated?

2. Purpose of Information:

  • What is the author’s purpose when presenting you with this information?
    Are they trying to persuade you? Are they trying to sell something to you?
  • Is the information presented objectively? – Does the site support a particular bias?

3. Quality of Information:

  • Is the information on this website relevant?
  • Is the information on this website up to date? – Has anything changed since the information was published?
  • Is the information presented well written? – Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?

ABC News

This website automatically screams that it is unreliable purely by its web address. The .com.co suffix indicates that it is inauthentic as the ‘real’ ABC news website would have .com suffix.

Animal Conservation

Researching the author of this website quickly alerts you to the fact that this website is not reliable and in fact is the result of an internet hoax.

News

The Onion is an online, American based satirical News website. It does, however, present itself as an authentic news website quite convincingly and it is difficult to determine if the content is of a good and factual quality based off its aesthetics. The first big indicator that one should not rely on this information is the lack of author ownership when reading articles posted to the News site or on the site as a whole and there are no references for their information.

Nature and Science News

The author of this website is Mike Adams and a simple Google search immediately raises questions over his credentials, being called a ‘quack’ in one of the first results that appears and the website itself is associated with conspiracy theories and ‘fake’ news. Additionally, the website is overrun with advertisements for dietary supplements and alternative medicinal products.

Fake News: is media literacy the answer?

The increase in satirical news sites like The Onion  has lead to the increased circulation of what is considered to be ‘Fake News’. Whilst the idea of fake news is not new, the advent of the internet and other technologies has made this satire far more freely available and far more problematic. The issue of bias and representation in the news is not a new concept but these satirical websites raise into question how we evaluate credibility of information and the need for society to become information literate. The acknowledgement of this is imperative to educators, who in today’s classroom are face with a new wave of information and availability through the internet and social media, as they need to find ways to teach their students how to navigate through the information and determine what information is actually factual and valid.

References:

Glass, I. (2015). 573: Status Update. This American Life. Retrieved November 27th, 2015, from http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/573/status-update?act=0

Pakarklis, E. (2013). 11 composition tips for taking great photos with your iPhone.   Retrieved February, 2016, from Parkalis photography

Salyer, D. (2015). Reading the Web. The Reading Teacher, 69(1), 35-39. 10.1002/trtr.1380 Accessed February 22, 2016 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/trtr.1380/abstract

 

 

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