Sunday, September 21, 2008

Publishing Web 2.0 Style

One of the most interesting conversations that I have with my students each year is about the quality of sources they can/should use for their research papers. The most valuable part is when we discuss the differences between print and non-print sources. No longer can we say print vs. online sources, as many credible databases make both available online. So, how to explain the value of the print sources? I read this in a recent Tweet by bernardlunn
Shirky: "the filter for quality has moved from publisher to subscriber" 08:50 AM September 18, 2008 from TwitterBerry

As we educate our next generation, the emphasis should be on teaching them to become automatic evaluators of sources of information: educated and informed subscribers. I am fascinated by sites like Digg where subscribers validate and recommend news and can set up accounts which direct them to articles that others like themselves recommend.
I am most interested in considering how we ensure a variety in our sources of information and avoid developing sources that take us down one slanted path consistently. I suppose traditional news sources have always done this as newspapers and major TV networks certainly have their own agendas. I hope that now is a time when we can break down these hidden barriers and develop networks of information that offer a broader perspective.
I guess this means helping students understand the value of seeing issues from a variety of perspectives. And, we've been doing that for a long time in education. So, how do you help your students broaden their perspectives and what online resources help you do this?


SCMorgan said...

Great post...there are no longer any "gatekeepers" of information (as we used to talk about in journalism). Digg, Diigo, and Delicious all allow us to see how many others have decided a post is valuable (ie Shirky's point about the strength of community/crowds).

Susanne Nobles said...

Great question. This goes right to what we discussed in our department meeting. I know our students can read very well and dissect things. Do they then use those skills when they aren't reading literature? Do I need to be more overt and say, "You know, this is how you should read news too?" What do you think?

J. Clark Evans said...

I've been surprised sometimes that my students don't extend their learning to new situations. Yet, at other times they do. So I guess it doesn't hurt to remind them, to continue the dialogue with them and think of our teaching as spiraling not stand alone lessons.

Chris said...

Having been a member of Digg since my freshman year when Kevin Rose started it I love it. However, especially when it comes to political stories alot of them are biased. Validating what is lies, distorted truths and what is just slightly biased is something that I think just comes with constant reading and understanding peoples point of views. Same can be said about tv news. Watching FOX news and then NBC will give different opinions on the same events.

J. Clark Evans said... it really is the reading (and tons of it!) that saves us :) Thanks for your comment, Chris!