Web Literacy becomes an important tool in this day and age, and the ability to discern the validity of sources and information found online is a critical skill. People looking for clicks will post lies and misinformation purposely to deceive. Unaware audiences share these claims and spread them further.
Our group for this project was examining two claims: whether children of divorce are more likely to get divorced, and whether France actually banned plastic cups and plates.
I really enjoyed this group project, and it was a great opportunity to be able to research these claims, which we found to be rooted in truth. The French ban of single use plastics is particularly fascinating, and I hope more countries begin the process of implementing similar laws. We also found a lot of disheartening information about how much parents’ divorces effect children.
I helped to find a website that listed the specific 2015 French law that confirmed that France was cutting back on single use plastics. Using skills learned from the Evaluate a Site activity in Caulfield’s textbook, I determined it was a legitimate site published by the French government. Some difficulties arose in trying to research laterally and determine if it was a legitimate source. A couple of the websites I was looking at were being translated from French by my browser, but sometimes phrases would not translate. It was confusing, and not a barrier I have ever encountered in research before.
We divided up the writing of the article by sections, and I offered to help out with the summary section and formatting. I also proofread both of our articles, offering suggestions to improve clarity and grammar. Hopefully I didn’t offend anyone. I was a yearbook copy editor, and old habits die hard. I wish I had contributed more to the research itself, particularly regarding the children of divorce claim. This is mostly for selfish reasons, because I simply wish I read more about it.
I think that the research our group did proves that it is beneficial not to take something at face value, even if your research ends up proving that the claim is true. We found out a lot along the way, and we really know that the answer to our questions was yes. It didn’t just sound true, it was true.
This project, the readings, and in-class activities about Web Literacy have made me a more conscious consumer of information on the internet, and I am grateful for that.