December 05, 2005

Sources of information

EDN: Virtual Community Project: Graphics Exchange Magazine
Another interesting article from Brian's archives:
The River Oaks CD-ROM is a by-product of an innovative educational model developed by Alger called the Information Artist Instructional Model (IAIM), a teaching model built on three specific tool sets that Alger calls "Strategic Exploration", "Theatre of the Mind" and "Pioneering New Media" and a general set of learning principles labeled the "Ecology Of Learning." IAIM formed the basis for the development and implementation by Alger's class of The Virtual Community, a special comprehensive project to develop a model community.
I haven't read it all yet, but this caught my eye: he told the students that their most important source of information will always be people, places and things.

The other day, I spent some time in class discussing with two students the movie The Day After Tomorrow. They had watched the movie and wanted to talk about it. Unfortunately, they had little to say about it. Filling the vacuum, I asked them some questions that I had, even tho I haven't seen the movie. My first question was, what facts about global warming did they learn from watching the movie? They went away to think. They came back, and it became clear they were not sure what a fact was.

Next question: how do you check whether a "fact" is true? Or whether it comes from a reliable source?
A: well, it was on the Internet/in a newspaper.
Q: How do you know what is on the Internet or in a newspaper is true?
A: (silence; apparently they had never considered this possibility).

I expounded at length (i.e. ranted) about some recent issues in the news that had been in almost all the newspapers, but turned out to have little or no basis in fact.

Have these kids been schooled too much? "Just remember what I tell you; remember what's in the textbook coz you'll be tested on it." And no time left for considering whether it's true, or how you check whether a source is reliable or not.

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