Polly want a cracker !

We are surrounded by crackers and crackpots on the internet. Par for the course and parroting of information is something we have to work to avoid. We have to know how to think , not what to think. It’s why we cannot downplay and underestimate the role of academics and librarians in our society. We need them to be vocal so we are reminded that good research skills are vital in a connected world where a lot of the information is repeated ad nauseam in well-trained ornithological style. Information regurgitation. That isn’t learning and it’s not knowledge but it is hard to avoid. The video clip points out, too, that it can put young lives in danger. The internet can make claims and pronouncements and people can feel obliged to comply because they don’t know how not to. It’s not that social media or YouTube or other popular sites are bad and evil but you have to understand how these things operate. Newly created , conventional wisdom is nothing more than pulp fiction and has to be recognised as that. Merlot II has an Internet Detective tutorial which helps gives students critical thinking skills about the internet. The stated objectives of the tutorial are that students:

be aware that there is an issue of information quality on the Internet
have learned practical tips and hints for evaluating Internet resources (eg dissecting URLs)
have a list of quality criteria to apply to information found on the Internet
have practical experience of evaluating electronic journals, mailing lists, subject Web sites and organisational home pages

The difference nowadays between the information rich and the information poor is delineated by the quality of powers if discernment with regard to information.


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