Several years ago I wrote a feature article for Technology & Learning magazine on information literacy -- how to help students be critical and savvy users of information (particularly information they find online). It's been many years since I was a classroom teacher but these were the sorts of issues that I loved addressing with students in the pre-computer age (yes, I know, I'm OLD) and I tried to imagine what I would do if I were teaching with the Internet to get some of these ideas across.

When I wrote that article, one of the things that intrigued me was the use of various hoax sites that had been created -- some for propaganda or malicious reasons but many others for educational purposes. I thought these sites offered a great jumping off point for getting kids to investigate what they find online and figure out what methods they would use to verify information.

Today one of the online tools that I'd use for these same purposes is wikipedia. I imagine getting my class to pick some topics they know very very well and then to see how well wikipedia covers those topics -- what they got right, where they were off, what's missing. I'd also want my students to try updating those articles and learn about that process and what it tells them about wiki editing and tracking authorship and all that.

I'm posting because I'm writing a NEW article on the topic of information literacy/digital citizenship and am hoping some of you have had your own experiences using wikipedia or other online resources to teach information literacy. Beyond that, any suggestions about activities or great resources for teaching about this would be greatly appreciated. (NOTE: I did see the earlier discussion Jeff Branzburg started about wikis and will peruse that as well.)

Tags: information, literacy, wikipedia

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