There were two probing questions this week: (a.) How will you actively seek out knowledge instead of letting it come to you? and (b.) How might being an active researcher impact your practice? Can knowledge just come to us? I believe we always have to do something to find knowledge. Therefore, since I did learn some new tips this week for searching for information, I decided to give it a go. I did a Google search for “Who coined the phrase fake news?” I found several articles with .com domains and I tried a sites: .edu search but I didn’t find anything for who coined the phrase. Interestingly, it seems the term has been around quite a while. Defined by etymologyonline.com, “Fake news ‘journalism that is deliberately misleading’ is attested from 1894; popularized in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.” Trump took credit for the term; however, Craig Silverman an editor at Buzzfeed, also claims he popularized the term during the election campaign, even though he has decided to no longer use it (Beaujon, 2019). As I spiraled down this rabbit hole, I also learned the United Kingdom government also decided to no longer use the term “fake news” (Hern, 2018). Since I could not find supporting evidence on a domain other than .com’s, I checked the name of a source Hern cited, Dr. Claire Wardle. I found her on harvard.edu so I have decided this bit of news is probably trustworthy and maybe Beujon’s article is accurate but without more reliable sources, I leave it as only a possible truth. The second question was about how being an active researcher will impact my practice. This question has true-to-life significance for me in my current position. I am educated to teach languages, was hired as an English as a second language teacher, but three years ago I was voluntold to also teach students with learning disabilities. I have enjoyed the experience immensely and have learned so much. One of the ways I have made it through this experience so far is through finding information online to help the students I’m working with now. Don’t know what ASD is? You can find thousands of hits online. Don’t know how to write a social story? You can find examples for any topic on teachers-pay-teachers or Pinterest. Maybe my example is not exactly the type of “active researcher” the question was implying; however, the practical research I have to do to be better at my job is spot on.
First reading of the week and my takeaways from Children in a Digital World: I was surprised to read, children who “speak minority languages often can’t find relevant content online.” I wasn’t surprised this is true, I was surprised the idea had not occurred to me. As a native English speaker, I think I’m spoiled and have this expectation the whole world understands English. “Ninety-two percent of all child sexual abuse URLs identified globally by the Internet Watch Foundation are hosted in just five countries: the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, France and the Russian Federation.” Since the URLs are based in those countries, does this mean the abuse is happening there too? Information and communication technology (ICT) lacks the needed research on children’s health like it’s effect on obesity and depression. The authors recommended we should be “focusing more on what children are doing online and less on how long they are online.” They also suggested, “internet companies should work with partners to create more locally developed and locally relevant content,
especially content for children who speak minority languages, live in remote locations and belong to marginalized groups.” Should it be internet companies’ responsibility? I wouldn’t trust corporations to do the right thing. My next thought is should the government be able to regulate this? I definitely don’t trust governments to do the right thing either.
Second reading of the week and my takeaways from Pages 13 – 20 of Living with New Media: Genres of Participation with New Media. The main idea of this section was the three genres of participation, “hanging out, messing around, and geeking out are three genres of participation that describe different forms of commitment to media engagement, and they correspond to different social and learning dynamics.” The study found adults see using new media while hanging out with friends as a waste of time. In response to restrictions on hanging out, teenagers find workarounds. The first genre was hanging out. “While hanging out with their friends, youth develop and discuss their taste in music, their knowledge of television and movies, and their expertise in gaming. They also engage in a variety of new media practices, such as looking around online or playing games, when they are together with friends.” “Young people use new media to build friendships and romantic relationships as well as to hang out with each other as much and as often as possible.” The second genre was, “messing around represents the beginning of a more intense, media-centric form of engagement. When messing around, young people begin to take an interest in and focus on the workings and content of the technology and media themselves, tinkering, exploring, and extending their understanding. The third genre was, “‘geeking out’ —an intense commitment to or engagement with media or technology, often one particular media property, genre, or type of technology.” TLDR: Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out are three ways kids are using technology in their lives but to different extents.
My takeaways from Google Search Tricks for Research: Search operators target whatever I’m searching for. First, quotation marks give more exact results for what’s in the quotes. Second, use OR in caps; for example, climate change OR global warming. Third, the minus sign, for example, apple -fruit will give results for apple but not the fruit. Finally, site: – you can search within a specific website for search terms. You can also include university domains with .edu and country domains like .de for Germany.