Why do kids believe what they read on the internet?

Again a great post by Greg!

Filling the pail

A new report from Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK has shown that an increasing number of children unquestioningly believe what they read on the internet, assuming that information returned by search engines must be true. Possibly most worrying of all, nearly a third of the teenagers who were questioned were unable to identify paid-for advertisements in search results. Some children seem to be looking for ‘true and accurate’ information about what’s going on in the world on Youtube, but only half of those surveyed were aware that Youtube is mainly funded by advertising.

Educators of all stripes will be concerned by such developments. It should give us reason to hesitate before accepting the idea of students teaching themselves and each other by looking things up on the internet, an idea that is currently being popularised by Sugata Mitra amongst others.

The traditional response to such a survey is to call for better teaching of ‘critical thinking…

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