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Module 5 ReflectionReflection on Access and EvaluationMichael FerrariAmerican College of EducationET5023 - Practices for Evaluating Technological ResourcesDr. Frank TulliFebruary 11, 2024

Reflections on Access and Evaluation

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Developing Responsible Consumers

Databases vs Search Engines

Vetting

References

Reflection

Legal/Ethical Use

Evaluating Data

Title Page

Being a responsible consumer of research is a critical aspect of digital citizenship, the ethical and mindful use of technology. As Curran and Ribble explains, it is "how individuals actively solve problems and participate in online platforms, communities, and networks." (CUrran and Ribble, 2017). As educators, there are many opportunities to guide our students towards responsible information consumption.One key approach is finding teachable moments. It is important to teach learners that "headlines can be deceiving and that they are sometimes written to get them to click on the information" (Gordon, 2021). Information online doesn't always hold the whole truth. Educators should teach students to question sources, analyze claims, and identify trustworthy content. This involves exploring topics together, showing them how to identify reliable sources, and determining biased or inaccurate information.By fostering healthy skepticism and critical thinking skills, I try to teach my students to become active and informed participants in the digital world. It's not just about protecting them, but equipping them with the tools to navigate information responsibly and engage constructively online.

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Developing Responsible Consumers

Databased vs Search EnginesBoth are used for retrieving information but are fundamentally differnt tools used for diffeernt purposes.

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Database"Data is information and a database is a place where data is stored. A database is a way to organize data so that it is easy to access and manage" (ACE, 2024).Examples of databases:

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global
  • Eductaion Resources Information Center (ERIC)
  • Academic Search Complete
Key differences:
  • Structured data
  • Specific search approach
  • Used to find specific information

Search Engine"A search engine is a software system that is designed to search the World Wide Web using words offered in a search query" (ACE, 2024).Examples of search engines:

  • Google
  • Google Scholar
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
Key differences:
  • Unstructured data
  • Broad open-ended search approach
  • USed to discover relevant information

Criteria to consider when determining the viability of a source:

  • Validity: Is the author considered an expet ont he topic or in the field? Are sources and a refernce page included? Is there specific evidence provided?
  • Currency: Is the article recent? Could the content be outdated?
  • Quality: Is the article balanced or biased? Does the author remain neutral in their writing? Is the article's intent to persuade the reader?
  • Utility: Is their an abstract available? Does the database list the number of time the article has been cited?

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VettingIt is important to assess a source to determine its validity as well as its benefit.

Evaluating DataTwo forms of evaluating a source.Both an annotated bibliography and a source evaluation checklist can be valuable tools when researching. As a technology leader it is important that stakeholders know the difference between the two and how to properly use each.

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Annotated Bibliography includes:

  • Citation of resource
  • article/journal title
  • author(s)
  • short summary of the source
  • Currency of article
  • subject coverage
  • balance/bias
An annotated bibliography would be an essential tool for students when building resources for research. Students could use these bibliographies as a way to summarize and provide basic insight about the text. The reader could assess the summary and decide if the text is valuable to their own topic.

Source Evaluation Checklistevaluates:

  • Credibility
  • Relevance
  • Currency
  • Purpose
A source evaluation checklist could be used by students as a quicker way to assess a text and determine its value. For a reader, the checklist gives a basic evaluation of the text, but provides no information about the subject covered within the text beyond the title of the article or website.

While technology and communication methods have evolved, copyright law continues to protect original written words and ideas. Today "our standard example is the use of Creative Commons to specify how your work may be shared" (ACE, 2024). The issue arises when we realize that with the access to technology, there are many more people that have access to this information. This makes for a greater chance of people stealing and infringing on copyrights and protected material. "How do we teach learners to honor other people's copyrighted material" (ACE, 2024)? One strategy may be to "appeal to the learner's sense of self." The learner must be made aware that "theft of intellectual property means loss of earnings - and someone else making a profit off an original work" (ACE, 2024). Though it might be challenging to convey this to learners, it is important that they are made aware of the issues with using other people’s words or ideas without referencing them. They also need to be aware of the possible consequences. As young learners continue to use social media, they need to be made aware that many social media sites also encourage the sharing of personal information. It is the role of the educator to guide these young learners and help them maintain positive online relationships while also understanding the importance of privacy. The challenge for educators is to "create a safe environment for digital learning that simultaneously engages learners and teaches them to be responsible for their actions in that environment" (ACE, 2024).

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Plagiarism and the Legal and Ethical Use of Resources

Peer Reflection

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Upon review of my peers' presentations, it is clear that there is a wide range of access when it comes to technology in the classroom. As a school that has gone 1:1 in technology over 5 years ago, it is disheartening to find that many districts still struggle to get the basic technology necessary to help develop necessary 21st century skills. Because of our somewhat early incorporation of laptops for the students as well as teachers, our district was well equipped to transition into online learning when the pandemic hit, but that was not necessarily the case for many school districts across the country.There seems to be a lack of professional development in school to properly equip teachers with the tools necessary to utilize the wide range of technology available. There seems to be a wide gap between teachers that feel comfortable using new technology and those that might be more hesitant to try new approaches in their classrooms.There are so many tools available to us that it can often be a daunting task to try them all and evaluate their personal worth. An example would be to simply observe how many different ways this assignment was approached using a variety of tools (Powerpoint, Prezi, Genially, Canva, Google Slides, etc). The technology available to us can often feel overwhelming. I feel that, as an educator, it is important to remain open minded, try a range of applications, and determine which ones work best for you.

References

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American College of Education. (2024). ET5023: Practices for Evaluating Technological Resources: Module 4 [Part 1 Presentation: Intellectual Property]. [Part 2 Presentation: Privacy]. [Part 4 Presentation: Why Teach Ethics?]. Canvas. https://ace.instructure.com/courses/1915078/modules/items/35218254Curran, M. & Ribble, M. (2017). P-20 Model of Digital Citizenship. New Directions For Student Leadership, 153, 35-46. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.20228Gordon, S. (2021). How to Teach Your Kids to Be Critical Consumers of Media. verywell family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/media-literacy-how-to-teach-kids-to-be-critical-consumers-5181306