Digital Credibility: 13 Lessons For the Google Generation

lessons-for-digital-research13 Digital Research Tools And The Credibility Lessons They Teach

by TeachThought Staff

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This post is sponsored and promoted by Noet, makers of Encyclopedia Britannica Noet Edition and the free research app for the classics, who asked us to talk about the credibility of information research in a digital world. We thought, then, that it might make sense to focus on digital tools and resources that highlight the idea of credibility.

And because credibility and research are such important digital concepts–or really, data and thinking concepts, actually–we itemized each tool as lesson in and of itself.

The Google Generation has a universe of information, right there on a little pinch-and-zoom screen. In How Google Impacts The Way Students Think, we theorized that Google could create “the illusion that answers are always within reach even when they’re not. In fact, if users can Google answers to the questions they’re given, they’re likely terrible questions.”

Further, “by ignoring the phases of inquiry learning, premature Googlers often find what they want rather than what they might need. In this way, it underscores the independence of information rather than the interdependence. Instead of looking at information and data as components of knowledge, and then understanding, it instead treats information in more binary terms: black or white, right or wrong, credible or not credible, good or bad.”

This doesn’t make digital research better or worse, but rather different. So in response, here are 13 digital research tools and resources (one is a video), each complemented by a lesson on credibility and research for the 21st century student who has grown up in an age of information abundance, but contextual scarcity.

13 Digital Research Tools And The Credibility Lessons They Teach

Lesson 1: Not all sources are created equal.

Lesson 2: Access matters–so improve it. Be ambitious. Don’t settle.

Lesson 3: Want credibility? Cite your sources.

Lesson 4: Wikipedia is neither good nor bad. Like anything, it’s a matter of citation.

Lesson 5: The internet never forgets. (It’s out there somewhere.)

Lesson 6: There are different rules for citation depending on what form you’re using.

Lesson 7: Curation and readability are critical parts of digital research.

Lesson 8: You can combine digital search with academic content.

Lesson 9: Metrics can help demonstrate credibility, but popularity and credibility are not the same.

Lesson 10: Question everything–even if you like the source.

Lesson 11: Go as close as you can to the original source. Blogs & journals can help. So can Google.

Lesson 12: There is a difference between primary and secondary sources–and both matter.

Lesson 13: Google doesn’t make info easy to find based on credibility, but rather searchability, indexing, and other “SEO” logistics.

Digital Credibility: 13 Lessons For the Google Generation; 13 Digital Research Tools And The Credibility Lessons They Teach