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INFOhio Blizzard Bags - Grades 9-12: Evaluating Information

Students follow the six dimensions of inquiry as they read, investigate, and complete the activities. Ohio's learning standards are integrated into the activities.

Evaluating Information: Food for thought...

Evaluating Information

Watch this video before you continue the activities below. Now answer the following questions in writing using your notes:

1.  Identify the source for this video. Who is responsible for the information?

2.  What makes the information in this video reliable?  

3.  What individuals or groups might find the information in this video important? Why?

4.  Is there more information you need to know about the subjects that make the information more reliable? What is it?

Evaluating Information: Activate Learning

Evaluating Information 

  1. Refer to your notes. ​Using any of the resources you've gathered so far, answer 3 of the following questions in your notes. 
    • ​​How might the competitive drive for evermore online friends on social network sites subtly devalue the real, flesh-and-blood friends in one's life?
    • How might the temptation to customize or embellish one's persona when creating a profile for a social networking site become a problem?
    • What activities, both solitary and group, were popular pastimes before the advent and wide availability of social networking sites? Is there any value lost when these activities are supplanted with online socializing?
    • What type of social skills might a person develop in face-to-face interpersonal exchanges as opposed to online interactions?
  2. Choose one of your resources that discusses advantages or benefits of social media. Answer 3 of the following questions about the article.​
    • What does the author claim are the most beneficial aspects of social networking sites?
    • ​What tone or attitude does the author adopt in this essay? How does it help or hinder the argument?
    • How does the author defend social networks against possible criticism and attacks? Is the author's argument effective?
    • What point does the author raise in the conclusion of this essay? Do you agree with the reasoning?
    • How does the author structure this essay? Is the structure effective?
  3. Now, look at your KWL&Q chart. What questions did you write in the middle column? Read the articles again to find the answers to what you wanted to know at the start of this unit.

Understanding Bias 

  1. Read "How to Understand the Bias of a Publication" in Points of View Reference Center.

  2. Look at your citations. If any of your sources are from sources mentioned as conservative, liberal, or moderate in "How to Understand the Bias of a Publication," type or write conservative, liberal, or moderate next to the citation.

  3. Read the "Judge Fact and Opinion" section of "Social Networking Cites: Guide to Critical Analysis" in Points of View Reference Center. Using the two articles you've chosen that are relevant to the questions you selected in items 1 and 2 above, show how the authors of the two articles used fact and opinion. In your research journal quote two fact sentences from each article. In your research journal quote two opinion sentences from each article. Be sure to cite your sources. 

Understanding Scholarly versus Popular, Fact versus Opinion, and Bias in Sources 

Using ISearch (find it in the Resources box) try a search for social media and compare the results under each tab.

  1. Determine which tab is most likely to produce scholarly journals. How can you tell?  
  2. Using ISearch, enter the search term social networking or social media. Note the difference. Then add the search term danger to see how the results change. From the left-hand side menu, limit your search by clicking on the subject "online social networks."
  3. Choose two articles to view and compare both scholarly versus popular and fact versus opinion.
  4. Read "How to Understand the Bias of a Publication" in Points of View Reference Center.
  5. Look at your citations. If any of your sources are from sources mentioned as conservative, liberal, or moderate in "How to Understand the Bias of a Publication," type or write conservative, liberal, or moderate next to the citation.
  6. Read the "Judge Fact and Opinion" section of "Social Networking Cites: Guide to Critical Analysis" in Points of View Reference Center.
  7. Now evaluate your two sources, using the website "Evaluating Sources" suggestions or the C.R.A.P. Website Evaluation Checklist in R4S (find the link below).
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