Beliefs in the Goodness of Technology: Those Talkative Kids in Ads

This is a well-written and useful blog. Cuban does a good job highlighting the problems of blindingly following the panacea of technology in our culture. He uses an AT&T ad to do it: kids wanting “more,” “faster.” His problem with the television ads is that they are part of a perception that we all just want “more” and we want it “faster,” whatever it is. Of course, the idea that “more” and “faster” is better is not always the case, and in fact should be resisted at times. Cuban bemoans the absence of criticism of technology in our culture, except for the “old media of newspapers, television, and books where such opportunities do exist but, unfortunately, they are largely ghettoized into newspaper op-eds, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) programs, and seldom read academic studies.” He goes on to offer that the more appropriate place for these discussions is public school. And I think he’s right. If AT&T is willing to use children to promote technology, it is our role to educate those children about how they are being used.

Why do Social Media Users Share Misinformation?

Chen, Xinran, et al. “Why do Social Media Users Share Misinformation?”, ACM, 2015.doi:10.1145/2756406.2756941.

This article/study is really interesting. It points to why we share, on social media, information that we know is not true. There are other articles that point to this, and use complex methods to prove it and detect it. However, I am less interested in that. Instead, I am interested in making sure students recognize their own behavior and learn to be more wary of what they encounter through social media and on the internet. The article discusses how we share misinformation to spur discussion, and perhaps more interestingly, to create comments on their own accounts. This desire for attention trumps truth. My desire is to help my students look at information on the internet critically; therefore, if they can understand why misinformation happens, and how they play a role in it, perhaps they will be more willing to question what they encounter.

Trustworthiness and Truth: The Epistemic Pitfalls of Internet Accountability

Frost-Arnold, Karen. “Trustworthiness and Truth: The Epistemic Pitfalls of Internet Accountability.” Episteme, vol. 11, no. 1, 2014., pp. 63-81

So, this article speaks to my focus very well. In a nutshell, Frost-Arnold is arguing that the anonymity of the internet, the lack of checks and balances and the inability to do anything about poor behavior (spreading misinformation) makes the internet a poor place for the dissemination of knowledge. To be clear, the author is really pointing to social media (and sometimes Wikipedia) when it comes to these problems. For my purposes, I need students to see the value of evaluating internet sources. My idea is that students become better at behaving ethically online and acting in a way that they are proud of what they say, that they stand behind it


One thought on “Annotations

  1. This was a good start with two academic articles and one blog post from a respected blogger with an important perspective. Some different types of resources, perhaps a video or social media tool would also have provided a useful perspective on this important topic. I also think that when we select resources to reinforce our early ideas, we perhaps exclude or dismiss ideas and resources that run counter to our perspective. Seeing as this was meant to be a ‘survey’ of the land on this topic and all perspectives a couple of resources that perhaps explore the ways that Educators are using these tools and strategies to teach and support critical thinking would be appropriate. Thank you for submitting this, and looking forward to your final works cited list. If you could also direct link to the articles (either Google Scholar entries or UBC Library links would suffice)


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