OER Text: Webliteracy for Student Fact-Checkers

Mike Caulfield (blog) of Washington State U Vancouver has released a book on web-literacy and fact-checking titled Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.

The book is written as a classroom text but it works well for self-guided instruction. It’s is a student-oriented text, not a teacher-oriented text.

Why is this interesting?

  • Mike published the book as CC-BY. Open source – open use. Free to distribute.
  • The book is still being written. Mike’s releasing it now because enough of it is ready to go, and will be updating and adding stuff over the next few months. That’s a new way of working with books like this. Because the book is distributed in digital format, it can be updated without reprinting. which makes serial publishing an option.
  • He used PressBooks (site) to publish the book simultaneously with web access and in multiple eformats. Open-source again.
  • Mike’s a nice guy who works at a state university and is able to release the work he does for students at the university to the wider public. Washington state tax dollars at work. Freedom of access. Academic freedom. > Mike Caulfield is currently the director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver, and the editor of the New Horizons column for the EDUCAUSE Review.
  • The book and Mike’s means of publication is timely in a time of propaganda.

Mike’s blurb:

So in November I switched gears and began to write a textbook for web literacy that focused on the question of what web literacy for stream culture looked like. What I found is that it had to be quick and tactical. Users are presented with hundreds of headlines and statements a day through social media, and asked to retweet or share that information with little or no background. Students need skills that help them to get closer to the truth in betwen the few minutes between when they see something and when they decide to share it. Conversations with researcher Sam Wineburg confirmed this need for quick and frugal fact-checking basics.

So I wrote this book: Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers. It’s still rough and unfinished in places, but it’s in a shape that’s suitable for classroom use.


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