I delivered a presentation on The eLearning 2.0 Survival Guide – Assessing the Credibility of Web Sources at the Brandon Hall Innovations in Learning 2008 conference which was held in San Jose, September 2008.
It is no surprise that integrating Web 2.0 tools to learning is an innovative practice that is catching on quickly. Pushing the Web’s potential for democratizing information, Web 2.0 social computing practices are well aligned with constructivist learning strategies. Enabling learners to develop multiple perspectives can foster analytical and critical thinking.
What is worrisome is the transition from a spoon-fed model of education to a self-discovery and self-directed model without reconfiguring the approach to learning. Are individuals applying fact-checking rigour to the content they access? What criteria are they using? What do they consider to be expert knowledge? Are they simply looking for other sources to confirm what they’ve found or are they actually analysing the source of the information? Are they aware that information, correct and otherwise, spreads like memes on Web?
My presentation was largely be based on research I have done for my M.A. in Educational Technology thesis which is a qualitative study of people who write blogs on training to be used in the professional development of people who work in the field. The question lies in the authority and credibility of these blogs, and by extension Web content in general.