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ISTE 2010: Session: Howard Rheingold: Critical Thinking while Exploring the Web

I've seen Howard Rheingold present online, and was looking forward to seeing him live.

First we looked at Bing and the photos that they use on their opening page.
There is a Wikipedia tab whenn you search in Bing, along w/ related searches on the left. You can see the tone of the related searches as you search through something like "global warming." If you search "Global Warming," you will see "myth" or hoax, as you go further, you can see how the tone shifts in thinking on the topic.
They now have a beta Social Search in Bing as well. And "
Microsoft has a site for teachers around critical thinking here.

Finally, Howard started talking and began by sharing the resources for the session.
We used the hashtag on Twitter #istect and people also added resources on the wiki page.
This allowed for the creation of this .pdf at the end with resources created by the participants.
The resouce mining included a Diigo Group called Critical Thinking where you can join and find great resources.
Howard asked the audience if there was anything you could tell your administrator about it, what would it be? Angela Maiers was in the audience, and said, "start early, do it often, and don't underestimate young minds."
It is important to show students early where information comes from, and show them sites that have bad information.
Rheingold discussed, a site I have used many times with students to discuss critical thinking.
A site called Newstrust can be used w/ older students and has resources for educators.
Rheingold stated that Wikipedia is a marvelous educational tool precisely because it is untrustworthy, and it reveals the process. "It's the best place to start, and worst place to stop researching on a subject."
You can triangulate by doing a Bing, Google and Wikipedia search on a topic. This will give you a better start.
Teachers need to develop THEIR critical-thinking skills as much as students!
Someone in the crowd asked whether there was a wiki page on Wikipedia discussing the validity of Wikipedia? Yes, in fact there is.

Rheingold talked about the scientific method and degree of authority. We need to instead develop a process of thinking where we can defend the sources we use.

Someone made the valid point that we need to have the same critical thinking we have with books that we have with Wikipedia. We need to question EVERYTHING!
There need to be a partnership between classroom teachers and media specialists on this.
CommonSense Media has some great resources on this.

The session gave many resources in many formats that will be valuable assets on this topic.


Brendan said…
These are some great posts on the ISTE conference. Made wish I'd seen and done more.
Katie said…
As a teacher I thought I knew my role in helping students understand that there are inaccurate websites out there. To do this, I used a few sites about Mankato, MN that showed beautiful ocean views. I thought I was doing my job...but after reading this post I know I wasn't. The sites I used in the past were so outlandish and obvious that I wasn't requiring my students to think remotely critically about what they were reading. They could see it was inaccurate instantly. Those aren't the sites to be leary is the sites that look "real" and authentic, but are biased and inaccurate. Not always easy to spot.
I am responsible for modeling how to critically evaluate a website--a website that requires real thought rather than a quick glance.
I don't think I would be comfortable showing the Martin Luther King example to my 6th graders, but the links on the Wikipedia Wiki would be a great starting point.
Thanks for jump starting my trek towards critical thinking!!

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