Tuesday, December 17, 2013

All About Explorers - Challenge Your Students' Historical Thinking

All About Explorers is a site that Russel Tarr tipped me off to this morning. The site, developed by Gerald Aungst and Lauren Zucker, was designed to help students develop their skills in identifying valid information found on the Internet. On All About Explorers students find fake biographies of famous explorers. The biographies do contain information that is in part based on facts, the content is intentionally written to be inaccurate.

Applications for Education
Teachers who want to use All About Explorers to teach their students to be discerning consumers of information should take a look at the All About Explorers lessons and treasure hunts. The treasure hunts are short activities in which students compare information from multiple sources on the web.

The lesson plans are a series of five activities designed to introduce students to web research strategies discerning the quality of information found online. My only criticism of the lesson plans is that lesson four perpetuates the myth that .org domains are generally non-profit organizations and that they somehow have more credibility than .com or .net domains. (A quick glance at martinlutherking.org or dhmo.org will dispel those myths).