A quick note on tagging summaries – be sure to do it, and to use the following tags:
how it works
This helps to organize the summaries. If they’re tagged properly, we will see all the readings on “how it works” when we click on the tag. So when it comes to discussing that topic in class, everyone can easily see what the whole class has to say about it.
The Internet Class has done a great job so far of building the reading list. I have yet to dig into the summaries, but I’m looking forward to it. Here are a couple of things I noticed.
A number of people identified books. This is a good thing, but I would encourage them to focus on a relevant chapter rather than the whole book – otherwise it would probably be too much.
Several people found popular news sources. These are not bad, but they’re written by journalists, who are typically not experts the topics, although sometimes they are. But some of the news articles report on recent research studies. It would be better to go to the studies themselves than to use articles about them.
Those points go back to the CRAAP test, so I will review.
Currency – Is it up to date? What “up to date” means can vary. The revelations about the NSA might make a 2 year old article on security or privacy outdated, whereas a 20 year old article on ARPANET might be just as good now as it was then.
Relevance – This is kind of self-explanatory when it comes to topic, but there is also personal relevance. Some articles might require more of a technical background than some of us have. It’s okay to steer clear of those.
Authority – Sometimes an article gives a little information about the author, but sometimes it’s just a name. What makes the author worth listening to? What is his or her area of expertise? This is a big one, to me at least.
Accuracy – This can be tricky to evaluate. You can look to references, methodology, logic, and how it fits in with other information.
Purpose – Why was it written? Some things are there to inform and educate, some are there to sell, persuade and advocate. If a publication is supported by advertising, like many news sites, then it may be selling as much as informing.
Those are good questions to ask of anything we read, watch or listen to.