Just found out about this source from a post in Buffy Hamilton’s blog.



“We started NewsTrust to address growing problems of information overload, misinformation and mistrust on the Internet, caused by the rise of opinion news and amateur journalism, as well as media consolidation and newsroom cutbacks.”  About NewsTrust

Aside from being a source I plan to use, it gave me an idea about how to give students practice in evaluating sources, while injecting a little collaboration.  This statement intrigued me:

“Our web review tools enable people to rate stories for facts, fairness, context and other core journalistic principles — and become more discriminating news consumers in the process” (emphasis mine).

At our school, we’ve been asking student to fill out “web evaluation forms” for websites that they choose to use in their projects.  This arose of necessity, because of the low quality of web resources they were choosing.  But it is an individual activity, and (I think) often viewed as “busywork” because they don’t really see the use in justifying a source they plan to use anyway (whether or not it turns out to be good!).

How about a little crowdsourcing activity here?  Rather than just one person looking at a source, let’s have it be a group activity.

  1. Decide as a group, what constitutes a “good source” for a particular topic.  Have the students generate, as a crowd, the standards of evaluation.
  2. Gather together all the possible sources on a topic.
  3. Rate all of the sources based on the standards the students generated.  This could be done as a group as well, or through something like the rating system offered through Moodle.
  4. Come up with a Top Sources List for the topic.

Now, hopefully the students have more ownership of the evaluation process than a teacher telling them what is a good source, and they’ve engaged in a meaningful task that will solidify the learning.


About Paula Montrie

I am a Middle School Librarian at Friends School of Baltimore. I have been a librarian for 11 years, serving 6 years with the Howard County Public School System before arriving at my current school. I teach two classes: SpeechCraft (a combination of information literacy, public speaking and theater), and Media Literacy at the middle school level. I also collaboratively co-teach with a number of teachers at the school, including Music, Geography, and U.S. History. I love it! My professional interests are: information literacy, multiple intelligences and learning styles, teaching through movement, curriculum-writing, technology integration, and bridging the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants. My personal interests are: dancing, singing, knitting, sewing, art, living history, writing and of course - reading!
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One Response to NewsTrust

  1. ktenkely says:

    Really great resource and idea for using it with students! I know my students do the same, they see justifying their resources as a burden and busy work. I like your idea for taking a crowdsourcing approach!

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