Posts Tagged information gathering

Put Downs Go Up In Flames by The McPherson Sentinel

Eisenhower Elementary School students saw their negative thoughts, comments and actions go up in flames Friday.   Eisenhower third through fifth-graders wrote put downs on paper to be burned during the ceremony. The school’s head custodian, Al Ortego, then burned, and extinguished the put downs in a brief but powerful ceremony.
Put downs are negatives comments students say to one another or about one another.  Burning the put downs is part of the school’s bullying philosophy that if a student does not have anything nice to day, they don’t need to say anything at all said Eisenhower third grade teacher Kari Moddelmog.
The lesson also goes along with the district’s new 8 Keys of Excellence, which is part of the Citizenship, College and Career Ready initiative.  The second key, speak with good purpose, teaches students to make positive comments to one another.   By burning the put downs, the negative thoughts and comments student have heard or said “will be gone forever, never to be said or thought about again,” Moddelmog said.


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Learning Via The Tree Octopus

Hello, I'm a tree octopusI just read this article on the Tree Octopus of the Pacific Northwest.

OK, the article is not actually about the tree octopus. It is about how an online tool referenced by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills that is meant to determine the legitimacy of a website is not actually a very good tool. See, they tested a bunch of junior high kids, and they all failed.

So what we have learned is that middle school kids are not able to discern the accuracy of a hoax created by web savvy adults with the intention of deceit.

Getting real, we probably all know people who are easily fooled by misinformation, bogus statistics and put-ons, even as adults. A straight face and sarcasm can be very confusing to children.  They don’t get satire.  It’s why someone like Stephen Colbert does not let his own kids watch his satirical TV show. For that reason, the argument is not as much about the tool in question, because I think the tool can work for older kids who are more savvy.

I think perhaps what can be gleaned is:

  1. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has a notion that kids must learn what is valid online information and what is not. That is valuable.
  2. There needs to be additional and conscious learning on how to verify validity of online information.
  3. Developmentally, young kids are not as able to decipher sophisticated adult humor or deceptive communication, so they need active guidance in Internet use.

OK, back to reading about my little octopus friend.

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