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Digital Literacy > Posts > Reality Check
May 03
Reality Check

herculesDogDid you hear that frozen water bottles can cause cancer? Did you see the video of the kid walking on the beach and being snapped up by a Killer Whale? Have you heard that Ridgeview Elementary had their iPads stolen?

That’s horrible. It’s awful. I can’t believe it!

Three times in the last week I’ve been victim to “Too Much Information”.  After reading the book entitled “Too Big to Know”  I found myself experiencing the premise of the book; that there is so much information available to us that our traditional filters (newspapers, media, schools, friends) are no longer able to filter all the information for us. Inevitably, we need to learn how identify and choose what is true and right. 

So I’m at baseball and I see a mom handing her son a water bottle that had been put in the freezer. I had remembered (vaguely) something about this not being good and I felt the need to say something.

A colleague asks me if I had heard about the iPads being stolen from a neighbour school and how you can’t put any information on websites otherwise thieves will know where to target the schools.

A friend shows me a shocking video of a boy innocently walking on the beach when a killer whale violently snaps him into the water, causing him to disappear forever.

In each case, I did what any self-respecting geek would do. I “googled” it.

The water bottle; not a problem. Turns out this was one of those email chains that went around a few years back with no science to back it up. I’m still cautious however and use ice cubes instead.

No police information about the stolen iPads. Turns out that a teacher had an absolutely brilliant lesson you can read about HERE. Students were part of a crime scene, but it was part of an inquiry project and not part of a CSI imageinvestigation.

The video on YouTube – it is a Romanian commercial (and I have to admit here I’m not 100% sure of the sources saying it isn’t real, but there was enough evidence to suggest this was the right answer).

The moral of the story – there is so much information available to us we need to make sure we trust our filters and even when we think we have credible sources, check again. Learn to ask the questions and do the searches to determine what is true and what is just a good story.

Have you heard about Hercules, the world’s largest dog?

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