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Defending The Truth In A Wikipedia World


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A presentation for Grandparents at Phillips Academy, Grandparents Day, 2008

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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Defending The Truth In A Wikipedia World

  1. 1. Defending the Truth in a Wikipedia World Elisabeth E. Tully Director, OWHL Grandparents Day, 2008
  2. 2. Alden Elisabeth, March 24, 2008
  3. 3. Defending the Truth <ul><li>“ How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” </li></ul><ul><li>Abraham Lincoln </li></ul>
  4. 4. For example:
  5. 5. Unfortunately, it’s not TRUE
  6. 6. Truth by Consensus <ul><li>The Millennial generation is immersed in Web 2.0. </li></ul><ul><li>They CREATE </li></ul><ul><li>They COLLABORATE </li></ul><ul><li>They CONNECT </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>A weather site where users collaborate to report on and predict the weather. </li></ul>
  8. 8. A new culture: belief over fact
  9. 9. “Collateral misinformation” <ul><li>“Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with your definitions. Define your world ” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Searching for History on the Web Ten Typical History Terms <ul><li>Fourteenth Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Roosevelt Corollary </li></ul><ul><li>Dust Bowl </li></ul><ul><li>Taft-Hartley Act </li></ul><ul><li>War Powers Act </li></ul><ul><li>Frederick the Great </li></ul><ul><li>Otto von Bismarck </li></ul><ul><li>Panama Canal </li></ul><ul><li>Konrad Adenauer </li></ul><ul><li>Taliban </li></ul>U.S. History World History
  11. 11. Is the information accurate? <ul><li>Maybe </li></ul>
  12. 12. Stephen Colbert calls this “Wikiality”
  13. 13. The big question: <ul><li>What is TRUTH in a world of user-generated information? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Truth: A History and Guide for the Perplexed <ul><li>Information has replaced knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>The truth of information doesn’t seem to matter very much. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Felipe Fernandez- Armesto </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Information vs. Knowledge
  16. 16. Do students know the difference? <ul><li>(Do they care?) </li></ul><ul><li>They are impatient. </li></ul><ul><li>They lack critical thinking skills and experience. </li></ul>
  17. 17. What do they really know? <ul><li>&quot;Eszter Hargittai, an assistant professor in Northwestern University's sociology department, has discovered that students aren't nearly as Web-savvy as they, or their elders, assume.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2008 </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Horizon Report 2005 <ul><li>Students use technology for: </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Task-related activities </li></ul>
  19. 19. PEW Internet & American Life <ul><li>“Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and trusting – but they are also unaware and naïve.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>92% of those who use search engines say they are confident about their searching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>87% of searchers say they have successful search experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>most of the time, </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. This is where librarians come in
  21. 21. Example: How to improve a search <ul><li>Three strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Phrase searching with quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Site operators </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusions with the - sign </li></ul>
  22. 22. A search for information on: <ul><li>Seasonal Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Typical Student Search: Depression </li></ul><ul><li>My search: </li></ul><ul><li>depression –great seasonal FAQ site:edu symptoms “seasonal affective disorder” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Example questions: <ul><li>Who is the Prince of Pop, and what is the blotted line that he made famous? </li></ul><ul><li>Which of William Shakespeare’s plays is said to refer to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Information Literacy