CEP812: InfoDiet

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This week in CEP812 we were asked to critically examine our InfoDiet. What is an InfoDiet, you ask? Our InfoDiets are the set of information that we take in regularly. The internet has made information readily available, but it also filters what we see. However, Eli Pariser describes in his TED Talk that there are now “algorithmic gatekeepers that decide what we do and don’t see,” (2011). Pariser warns that we must seek information outside of our “filter bubble” to avoid only taking in information that only aligns with out current thinking.

When I first started thinking about my own InfoDiet, I was convinced mine was balanced. I often turn to the internet to find ideas for my classrooms. I enjoy seeing what other teachers are doing and learning. However, I don’t seek out just any teachers online, I have a handful teachers that I have found that I follow on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on their blogs. I am frequently turning to these online spaces to gain new ideas, but these new ideas come from the same people. I realized that I need to have a more balanced InfoDiet. Here are the three new sources I found on Twitter to help expand my filter bubble:

  1. NWEA– I chose to follow NWEA on Twitter to learn more about the organization. As a first-grade teacher, I often times disagree with testing such young kids. I also disagree with the weight these test scores have on a teacher’s evaluations. I have strong opinions about this test, however I have never sought out information to try to better understand it. The first thing that stood out to me on the NWEA’s Twitter page was that it was a non-profit organization. I suppose I always thought that the NWEA was another avenue for someone to make money. Throughout the week, I read their Tweets, which offered a variety of information on different types of assessments and overall links to information to support teachers. After this week, I have gained a new respect for the organization.

2. Flipped Classrooms– When searching for solution to my wicked problem, rethinking teaching, I automatically thought of Project Based Learning, since I have has positive experiences with this. It was not until I was pushed to see the limitations of PBL that I began to realize I needed to push my thinking further. This is when I began to research flipped classrooms. This idea took me out of my comfort zone and initially was not something I agreed with. This Twitter feed provided a lot of information on using various technologies in your classroom and the benefits of a flipped classroom. After taking some time to consider this idea, I can see the benefits and appreciate the idea more.

3. MEA– I chose to follow the MEA because it is an organization I am a part of, yet know little about. Before this week, I did not see a real purpose behind the MEA. Little change has happened in my district despite the efforts of the MEA. Due to this, I did not feel the MEA was doing what they could to fight for teachers. However after reading though their Twitter feed, I saw all of the positive things the MEA was doing around Michigan. I also appreciated that they were always posting news articles and updates from the Department of Education. They are doing what they can and keeping their followers informed.

References

Geralt [image]. Retrieved from http://libguides.gwumc.edu/c.php?g=27779&p=170351

Pariser, E. (2011, March 1). Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” Retrieved August 8, 2015, from http://youtu.be/B8ofWFx525s

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2 thoughts on “CEP812: InfoDiet

  1. Hi Kristine,

    Thank you for sharing your blog this week! I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about your infodiet and how you thought it was well-balanced when really it may have not been. I feel this is the case for most of us this week. I had the same revelation when thinking about my personal learning networks and who I seek information from. One of the things that I really liked that you did is that you chose 3 different sources about 3 different individual topics. I think this is great, as you were able to seek information from more than just one source that you may have initially disagreed with in some way, shape or form. I know when I posted this week, I chose 3 articles that all surrounded one single belief that I disagreed with, but I feel that I may have gotten more out of my infodiet search if I had done as you did. Another thing that really struck me in your post (as it did when I was viewing the Eli Pariser TED Talk) was the idea that these algorithms exist that basically choose what we see and do not see on the internet. I had never even thought of the idea that two people could google a topic and get completely different results. Did you know that before watching this TED Talk? In addition to your varied sources and the quote on algorithms, I also like how you specifically chose MEA as one of your sources to look into, stating that you were a member and knew very little about them. I feel that a lot of members know very little about some of the organizations they are in, myself being one of them. As humans we tend to think things or even be a part of things but do not know why or for what reason. We simply follow what we think is right at the time. I feel this is the case especially with MEA. Because we are teachers, we are a part of the group but do not take the time to actually know what it represents or does for us. I am glad to see that you took the initiative to find out, and also that you were surprisingly impressed with the positives you saw. Lastly, I like your choice of image for this week and how it really portrays the idea that the internet has a wealth of information that everyone in the world has access to and that we are all linked in some fashion. Interestingly though I found it humorous that the small bubble that I believe signifies Facebook to be what stood out in the image, as if that is the most important source of information. It is interesting how when images are created, what the focus is 🙂 Great post this week and I look forward to reading more!

  2. Kristine,
    I really enjoyed your blog this week. I approached my infodiet also believing that it was balanced because I have lots of different sources, but similar to you I noticed it was similar people every time. I loved your choices to differentiate your infodiet. I also added the MEA and found it super helpful. I had a similar experience to the MEA as you did and found that the Twitter account so enlightening.

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