THE WEB MASTERS; Pupils Produce Golden Rules for Trusting Internet

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN TURNER

STUDENTS at a city school are to produce a set of "golden rules" for pupils using the internet after an eye opening study surrounding trust.

The web wizards are students from Dingle secondary Shorefields.

Aware that the internet and technology are now part of their every day life, the school enlisted 20 pupils aged 14 to 16 to take part in a workshop looking at the authenticity of information they find using the web compared to more traditional methods such as communicating with family and friends.

And the students soon realised that the raft of information on the internet often needs to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

This included a bogus video documentary purporting to be highlighting an outbreak of rabies caused by a wild animal.

To make the footage look authentic the documentary used carefully edited real TV and newspaper cuttings surrounding ox attacks on babies as well as manipulated images.

The students were also given information said to be from social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook and information from friends and family.

Virtually all the students participating dismissed what they saw on the social networking sites as "entertainment", but said they were more willing to accept information from trusted friends and relatives.

The session finished with students concluding they had to be incredibly organised in how they used the internet as a source of research and the need to corroborate what they were being told with at least two other sources ranging from encyclopedias to academics and teachers in a process called "triangulation". …