Native naïveté: Critical thought discerns FAUX v. REALITE

Session Description
Two paradoxical digital behaviors co-exist in informationally overloaded modern society. As Adams (2014) has noted: Digital natives, born in the era of the Internet and other electronic accouterments, can and do “use a piece of technology with almost eerie intuitiveness. As digital natives, (they) have grown up with these tools and have assimilated their logic.” But, Adams continues, “Even though these digital natives know how easy it is to create and distribute information online, many believe—sometimes passionately—the most dubious, tempting, and implausible theories…”. This presentation proposes a two-pronged effort to address the paradox: On the one hand, the notion of critical thinking in the digital age must be raised; and on the other hand, the concept of reliable “truth” in a world of things “fake” must be engaged. Critical thinking will be seen and analyzed in five “steps” similar to those proposed in the New York Times Learning Network, while the question of “fake” v. “real” will be examined through five additional—sometimes overlapping—ways proposed by Edutopia’s Adams and by the Stony Brook Center for News Literacy. In addition, data will be presented from a recent study by Stanford University regarding students’ skill at discerning the logical/real v. the fake.
  • Katherine Watson, Coastline Community College, Fountain Valley, California, USA
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