Today in class you received your handrwritten draft with my notes and you began revising your midterm reflection on your laptop. I am writing a reflection as a model for you and will post it to Blackboard and to my blog before your reflection is due on October 20, the Wednesday after fall break. In the meantime, I am including here, as well as on Blackboard, the model reflection that I wrote for my students in late November and early December 2020.
Also in class today, you submitted the worksheet for the fourth lesson in the Check, Please! course. The summary and commentary that I wrote along with you appears below.
In the fourth lesson of the Check, Please!, Starter Course, Mike Caulfield, author of the course and Director of Blended and Networked Learning at Washington State University, focuses his instruction on the third step in the four-step SIFT approach to determining the reliability of a source. Lesson four, “Find Trusted Coverage,” addresses these topics: (1) scanning Google News for relevant stories, (2) using known fact-checking sites, and (3) conducting a reverse-image search to find a relevant source for an image.
One of the concepts Caulfield introduces in lesson four is click restraint, which was given its name by Sam Wineberg, Professor of History and Education at Stanford, and Sarah McGrew, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Maryland. Click restraint is an activity that fact checkers practice regularly, but many average people do not. Fact checkers resist the impulse to click on the first result, opting instead to scan multiple results to find one that combines trustworthiness and relevance.
Caulfield also considers the issue of false frames and offers as an example the miscaptioned photo of a young woman that circulated widely after the 2017 London Bridge attack. In the photo, the woman, who is wearing a hijab, is looking down at her phone as she walks past one of the victims lying by the side of the road, surrounded by members of the rescue team. Because the woman’s face is blurred, viewers of the miscaptioned picture cannot see the look of shock that is visible in her face in another image taken by the same photographer. Subsequently, her apparent lack of concern for the victim seems to confirm the caption in the infamous tweet.
Choosing a general search term over a specific one is a useful and unexpected tip Caulfield includes in his discussion of image searches. He explains that the benefit of such a bland term as “letter” or “photo” will prevent the confirmation bias that can lead to the proliferation of disinformation through false frames.
Caulfield, Mike. Check, Please! Starter Course, 2021, https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/front-matter/updated-resources-for-2021/.
Friday marks our seventh Wordplay Day of the semester. To prepare for class and to up your game, browse the Scrabble site’s Tips and Tools and my blog posts devoted to the game.