When researching online, your students will need to decide if they are getting their information from a credible source. Teach them to use two important steps to determine whether or not they can trust the sources they find.
- Expertise: Does this source know a lot about the topic?
- Motive: What does this source want you to believe and why do they want you to believe that?
For simple questions that only have one possible answer (like the temperature outside or the name of a celebrity famous for singing a particular pop song) they are usually a credible source. But if the question is complicated, it would be better to start with people or groups who have lots of experience or have earned awards or PhDs related to your topic. Then you can use a voice assistant to confirm
Does the source make money if you follow their advice? For example, do you think an influencer earns a fee if you buy the product they’re wearing or talking about? Does a professional athlete wear a certain brand of shoe or shirt just they like that brand or because they’re paid to talk about it?
Money can often be one reason why you’re seeing a logo or brand name in a video or ad – it can affect what the influencer or athlete is telling you (and what they’re not telling you). They probably don’t intend to hurt you, but it’s possible that making money is more important to them than giving you all the facts or saying what is good for you.
Who might be hurt if you believed the ad? You might be wasting your money if you bought the app. You might also be spending time practicing the wrong things, and then actually do worse in school. Or you might rely on the app, which can only make guesses about what you need, instead of seeking help from your teacher, who actually knows what you need.
If your students can learn to ask these question then they can...