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Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy. Colin Harrison ukla 2019

This presentation identifies the high-level demands for critical Internet literacies and indicates how to develop them when reading with digital technologies. Based on recent challenges faced by literacy learners, he outlines and provides practical examples of nine strategies for enhancing critical Internet literacies. For example, the strategy to Be Alert! Be Suspicious! induces readers to be circumspect of web material by asking questions, raising doubts, noticing discordant details, and making it challenging to be convinced. The strategy to Integrate Information Across Sources directs readers to think laterally and vertically among the many modes of information, remaining open to more than one possible meaning or interpretation for the task or challenge the are addressing. In all, seven other strategies will be presented with classroom-focused examples.

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Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy. Colin Harrison ukla 2019

  1. 1. UKLA Conference: Sheffield, 12-14 July, 2019 Digital Literacies in Education symposium The pedagogical and moral imperatives of new literacies: Be mindful, be productive, be critical Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy Colin Harrison, University of Nottingham, UK
  2. 2. What are the pedagogical and moral imperatives for the teacher of new literacy practices?
  3. 3. The Internet is not a safe learning environment Who are the soldiers in the ‘Army of Jesus’?
  4. 4. The Internet is not a safe learning environment Who are the soldiers in the ‘Army of Jesus’? In an email from St Petersburg, a Russian ‘translator’, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, explained: “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”
  5. 5. The Internet is not a safe learning environment
  6. 6. The Internet is not a safe learning environment Who is deep in the ‘Heart of Texas’? ‘Heart of Texas’, a Russian-controlled Facebook group had 500,000 reads, and was ‘liked’ by Donald Trump’s son. One of the 13 defendants indicted by Robert Muller was Yevegny Viktorovich Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s cook”.
  7. 7. The Internet is not a safe learning environment
  8. 8. The Internet is not a safe learning environment
  9. 9. The Internet is not a safe learning environment
  10. 10. The Internet is not a safe learning environment We hoped that the 1.7 billion websites accessed over the Internet would be a liberating, safe, open and authoritative learning environment But in fact, the Internet: - is largely unedited - contains wilfully misleading information - uses search engines that try to hide their promotion of paid-for content - 76% of all websites send tracker data via cookies to Google - one click on Google can send your data to 350 other web sites
  11. 11. • More opportunities for social and dialogic learning • Daniels (2016) on Vygotsky – обучение: learning/teaching/education/nurture • Mercer on ‘interthinking’ in knowledge creation (2019) • Encouraging more reading practice to speed up word recognition and vocabulary, which will free-up capacity for comprehension- and Critical Internet Literacy (Spiro et al., 2015) • More guided support to develop Critical Internet Literacy skills (Harrison, 2016, 2018): • More collaborative/social learning on the Internet • Assessing relevance • Assessing trustworthiness • Generating better search terms In the light of all these factors, what are the most urgent imperatives for the teacher?
  12. 12. In the light of all these factors, what are the most urgent imperatives for the teacher? Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy Harrison C. (2018) Defining and seeking to identify critical Internet literacy: a discourse analysis of fifth-graders’ Internet search and evaluation activity. Literacy, 52 (3), 153-160 • Guided support to develop Critical Internet Literacy skills: • More collaborative/social learning (work in a group of 3) • Assessing relevance (Planner) • Assessing trustworthines (Evaluator) • Generating better search terms (Navigator)
  13. 13. 1. Proceed With Good Understanding of the Task - Quite rare! - Planner’s role crucial - Jessica (all names are pseudonyms): Let’s just look and see if it answers our question, because our question is ‘How many stars can we see in the sky?’ So, we don’t just have to look for the biggest amount of numbers. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  14. 14. 2. Be Clear About Your Role This comes with both modeling with the teacher and practice, but it makes a significant difference to group processes. Amie: I’m the Evaluator, so I’m trying to see that we’re doing the right thing. Lawrence: I’m the Navigator, and you’re the Planner…. Hildegard: I’m supposed to be telling you guys what to do. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  15. 15. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy 3. Use Your Reading Strategies! - Groups in which a member (ideally the Planner) suggested skimming were more successful than groups that opted for (sometimes painfully long) reading aloud of large chunks of text. Hannah: Yes, let’s just skim-read it; Chloë: Shall we, like, skim-read and see if we can find anything…? - Discussing reading strategies within a group proved to be really valuable.
  16. 16. 4. Explore the Whole Page - Unlike books, many computer displays show only part of the text that’s intended to be read. - Some groups neglected to scroll down the page and therefore failed to encounter key information. - The Navigator has important responsibilities in this respect. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  17. 17. 5. Be Alert! Be Suspicious! The Evaluators in this study were commendably circumspect, and mistrusted Wikipedia on principle- Ben: I don’t trust Wikipedia! They mistrusted any site that displayed advertising- Chloë: Why are there cars [here]? Jessica: I don’t trust it….They’re just trying to get money out of the website. They were cautious about an overfriendly tone- Cameron: I don’t trust this already. The writing looks informal. Paige: It’s trying to sound like it’s your friend. This is just blah-de-blah. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  18. 18. 6. Read Between the Lines This is perhaps the key to Critical Internet literacy. First, the Planner can try to monitor comprehension- Hildegard: Are you actually taking any of this in? Amie: [grins] No! Paige showed caution; she noticed that a website named Answers.com may appear to give answers but has wholly unedited content: Sometimes titles can be deceiving, because, like, sometimes Answers.com, because it says ‘Answers,’ we think it has the answer [but it doesn’t].” Similarly, Chelsea trusted the less scientific site more, because she understood it better: This one is concise. The other one has got larger words and stuff, so I trust this one. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  19. 19. 7. Integrate Information Across Sources This high-level skill also depends on a group avoiding premature closure. Here, the Planner and Evaluator managed it well- Hannah: Let’s go back and look at the positives and negatives about them. This one- you can tell it’s real because it’s got a caption below the picture. Chloë: Yeah. Hannah: And you know the other website- some websites just want you to ‘like’ them on Facebook. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  20. 20. 8. Make Late Decisions Premature closure is always a threat, especially if one group member values speed over depth. The Planner’s role can be vital Lucy: Let’s look at them all again.… We need to go on the one we trust most and look at that again. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  21. 21. 9. Make Joint Decisions This is key to making the best use of the different skills in a team, and again it comes with practice. Logan: We’ve got to work together…’cause working together is key to answering the question. Later, Olivia noted: So, we’ve gone through all the websites, and we’ve gone through all the relevant… EarthSky definitely answered our question and gave us extra information. Logan responded: Yes, Sky and Telescope and EarthSky are similar. Did you notice that? They are similar, and they are the most relevant. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  22. 22. Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy 1. Proceed With Good Understanding of the Task 2. Be Clear About Your Role 3. Use Your Reading Strategies 4. Explore the Whole Page 5. Be Alert! Be Suspicious! 6. Read Between the Lines 7. Integrate Information Across Sources 8. Make Late Decisions 9. Make Joint Decisions Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy
  23. 23. UKLA Conference: Sheffield, 12-14 July, 2019 Digital Literacies in Education symposium The pedagogical and moral imperatives of new literacies: Be mindful, be productive, be critical Colin Harrison, University of Nottingham, UK colin.harrison.ac.uk"Our past is bleak. Our future dim. But I am not reasonable. A reasonable man adjusts to his environment. An unreasonable man does not. All progress, therefore, depends on the unreasonable man. I prefer not to adjust to my environment. I refuse the prison of 'I' and choose the open spaces of 'we'". Toni Morrison (2019) Morrison, T. (2019) Moral Inhabitants. The Source of Self-Regard.
  24. 24. UKLA Conference: Sheffield, 12-14 July, 2019 Digital Literacies in Education symposium The pedagogical and moral imperatives of new literacies: Be mindful, be productive, be critical Nine Strategies for Enhancing Critical Internet Literacy Colin Harrison, University of Nottingham, UK colin.harrison.ac.ukHarrison C. (2016) Are Computers, Smartphones, and the Internet a Boon or a Barrier for the Weaker Reader? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(2), 221–225 Harrison C. (2018) Defining and seeking to identify critical Internet literacy: a discourse analysis of fifth-graders’ Internet search and evaluation activity. Literacy, 52 (3), 153-160

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