15 Feb 2011, 8:46pm
Latest Wildlife News Too Ludicrous For Words
by admin

Tree octopus exposes Internet illiteracy

by mludwig, My San Antonio, 02/01/2011 [here]

Is this creature capable of exposing shocking internet illiteracy?

Donald Leu, a researcher from the University of Connecticut, conducted a U.S. Department of Education-funded study of internet literacy among so-called “digital natives,” fabricating the tree octopus to test students’ ability to evaluate information they find on the internet.

Researchers asked students to find out information about the endangered Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Students had no problem locating a Web site dedicated to the cause [here], “but insisted on the existence of the made-up story, even after researchers explained the information on the website was completely fabricated,” according to a press release.

(Author’s note: You gotta check out this Web site, you can actually buy posters and T-shirts through Cafe Press.)

Most students “simply have very little in the way of critical evaluation skills,” Leu said. “They may tell you they don’t believe everything they read on the Internet, but they do.” … [more]



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