Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Game that Encourages Cheating?

In class on Tuesday, my group and I took on A Google a Day. We did this along with other online related activities to learn more about searching the web, and finding accurate information. We were taught more on using online resources responsibly.

Our first activity was doing the A Google a Day game/challenge. This game is all about finding answers to the questions they give you. You are allowed to search Google for the answer, and then type it into the answer box. They have a hint button and a clue button that can help you with your research of finding the answer. It seems really simple, but it ends up being harder than expected. I thought it was fun to see everyone freaking out when an answer wasn't right. At times, it got frustrating because the answer would be in plain sight on a certain website, but it would end up being wrong. From this experience, I learned that many things on the internet aren't exactly historically correct. Even though I already knew this, the game proved even more to not trust everything. It also taught me to make sure other websites had the same information. If two different websites have two different pieces of information, it can be hard to figure out which one to trust.

After we finished the game, we described what accuracy, authenticity, and reliability are. Accuracy is how precise something is. Information that is accurate is up-to-date and correct. Accuracy is important when evaluating an online source because the information I am using for important research needs to be reliable and scholarly. I, along with many others, do not want inaccurate information in whatever assignment I'm doing. Authenticity is also very important in evaluating an online source. If a website is authentic, it is what it claims to be. The source is real and original, and not copied. Also, it can be backed up by other sources. This is important so one knows what they're using is right and true. Reliability is the last word we defined. If a website is reliable, one is able to trust the source, knowing it is real information. Is the author a professional or expert on the subject? Or do they just enjoy the subject as a hobby? Reliability is very important when evaluating an online source, because you are taking incorrect facts from something if it is not reliable. To see an example of what not to use as a source, we visited the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus website. This website was created in 1998, to help "save" this octopus. It is not a trustworthy website because it is a hoax. It is not a real octopus, since they cannot live on land. There are no other sites with scientific evidence of its existence, so it is pretty clear it is a fake animal. The website features most likely photoshopped photos of an octopus with a background featuring trees, as seen in the image attached below. Now, many teachers use it to teach their students about online sources. Media literacy is a huge deal when finding sources, so it was important that we learned more about it in class.

"Rare photo of the elusive tree octopus" 

Save The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

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