Blog Number Three

 U.S. Students Awful at Evaluating Reliability of Online Science Readings

Part One: Summary

This article focused on how today’s students are terrible at identifying the credibility and origins of online sources, which are skills that are crucial in today’s world. The study in question noted a large gap of ability between male and female students–girls performed substantially better than boys when locating critical information online, as well as a large gap of ability between students who were economically disadvantaged, those students who qualified for free or reduced lunch.

Moreover, this article addressed the magnitude of this problem, it’s not just a few students who need help finding information like an article author, publisher and credibility. The author points out that when a study to retrieve this information was conducted, only four percent of students could correctly identify the information requested.

Part Two: Question and Answer

Question One: Why does this matter?

Answer One: In an increasingly online world, students draw a majority of their sources and information from the internet. As far as papers are concerned, about 90% of student’s sources come from websites or online versions of articles or books. I’m personally going to be teaching English, so this issue will need to be repaired in my classroom in order for my students to be effective writers and learners.

It is crucial that students know where to find certain information so they can construct correct citations and reference pages. Without this imperative skill, a student could accidentally plagiarize another author’s work or ideas. At a collegiate level, this could cost a student their enrollment at a college or university. In the middle/high school level, it could mean repeating a course or disciplinary action.

Question Two: What can we, as teachers, do?

Answer Two: According to the article, educators must begin with extensive lessons when it comes to developing an understanding of online sources. It starts by guiding students step-by-step through what they could potentially find; the internet is a huge entity that encases millions of bytes of information, and as teachers, it’s our job to help students sort through it all. Moreover, it is critical that we [teachers] support students, boys in particular, when it comes to evaluating the websites they find. Without the support of their teachers, the skills students need will never improve. The author of this article ended with, “we need to focus instruction on critical evaluation, since students are significantly lacking in these skills.” This statement is true in not only areas of online evaluation, but all facets of education.

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