Web Credibility

4247 Words17 Pages
Web Credibility Visualize the following scenario for a moment: You have entered what appears to be a library. The tens of thousand of rows and stacks of books seem endless. They are the focal point, an overwhelming, cartoonish image. The shelves seem ever-expanding by turns, and sag under the weight of the multi-colored volumes represented by all colors, forms and textures imaginable. There are some signs on the shelves that call out topics: Medicine, Science, Literature. Something is missing though, and the sheer number of books—the lure to peruse, to begin pulling and skimming is making it hard to concentrate on what it is; but it becomes apparent soon enough. There are no librarians and no help desks. No databases, library catalogs, no guidance at all. There is nothing to do but read, and once you open the books many seem to be missing the first several pages. At first reading, it may seem untoward to compare this surrealist library to the Internet, but consider the Internet by characteristics; by what it is, and what it isn’t, as a tool for research gathering, and it's not so far a reach. Choosing to begin a paper with an image rather than statistics, is a scheme to avoid the known, and to begin to promote consideration of what educators may or may not recognize about Web page credibility or the identification of credible Internet sources, why they should take the initiative, and what information they should utilize when educating their students, just as they would if undertaking a fundamental composition assignment. The Why of Teaching the Internet Now we have the Information Age, whose poster child is the internet. It seems to be all things to all people and thus can't be quantified or subjected to easy ethical questions. It is new territory, and the uncertainty of Internet ethics is far reaching. The Internet is for the most part unmanaged, unedited, unsupervised; anyone can post information on the Internet for all to see. Opinions can parade as hard facts; people with far-flung ideas can easily find an audience; photos, jokes and drawings of any ilk can be published…… (Emmans ) This quote, from 2000, along with strong notions of overall growth, of sources and users, represents, for most educators, the known of the Internet. It highlights the ever-expanding shelves in the library above; the lack of available expertise when choosing sources, the absence of publishers, reviews (in the missing front pages of the books) and clear paths through the maze of open choice.
Open Document