The Post – Save the Rare Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, Part I

There is a great interview with UCONN professor Donald Leu, who participated in a study of online internet reading skills. He sent his students to a website for saving the “Rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and many of them believed it was the truth, even after he told them the whole thing was bogus.

When asked if he felt the current day’s students were less knowledgeable and more gullible than previous generations, he discounted that idea, instead noting that they’re actually brighter and more aware. The real need  is to teach strategies for evaluating websites and showing healthy skeptimism in the face of online information. One must validate with several sources and also question the origin of the source of information…ie a biased source such as medical information provided by pharmaceutical companies only, etc.

He further pointed out that it isn’t just young students not checking their sources. In fact many adults don’t bother to question the sources and information they look up on the web.

To see “pictures of the rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and to hear the interview, visit:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/02/04/exp.nr.tree.octopus.professor.cnn?hpt=T2

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