Truth and bias are things we have always struggled with addressing in a classroom, aren’t they? They really are not new concepts that we now have to figure out.
Prior to the advent of a Web 2.0 classroom, the truth and biases we faced were the ones of the teachers, text book publishers and students. Now we address these ideas on a more global scale. Maybe one could even argue that this then actually reduces bias in a classroom. With the click of a few buttons, we have a global perspective…
Clarence writes about an example of how he helped his students to reach a deeper understanding of truth and bias. They reviewed multiple reports from around the world about the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts that are happening in Gaza. They were exposed to many truths and biases. His kids are leaving his class with a better grasp of what truth and bias really are. For me to achieve a similar understanding, I had to grow up, get a Master’s degree, and move to Saudi Arabia for a few years!
I am not saying that we shouldn’t help kids (and ourselves) to understand how to filter information, how to verify facts, and how to analyze whether what we’re reading is reliable or not. Chris Betcher did an excellent job of sharing loads of tips and techniques for navigating the Web with students. However, I found myself focusing not on the idea that ‘finally we can safely navigate the web’ but instead ‘finally we can be exposed to a lot of truths and then use those to form our own truths.’
I felt a strong kinship with Barbara’s post where she examines how our passions guide us down the path towards discovering truth. Yet she stops to wonder:
“Does this passion result in a greater effort to find the truth or an inherent bias?”
She continues with the idea of encouraging ‘investigators’ or students to find the alternative view points to their truths, challenge themselves to admit their bias and be open to the idea that ‘compelling arguments may win the day.’ What if this was the way we approached information online? What if instead of being afraid of this barrage of information, we embraced it and all of its imperfections? What if we found our passions and formed our truths…