Trust It?



Teen Independent Learning Online: Visual Literacy Tools For Assessing Credibility

Teens are increasingly engaging with media independently, thus face the process of credibility assessment alone. This is problematic as teens have limited cognitive abilities and life experiences to judge what they see, but rely primarily on the look and feel of content to determine credibility. Additionally, advanced design tools and broadband access are widely available for average users to create and distribute content that may look and feel “professional” to inexperienced teens. I have developed a set of speculative tools to assist teens in assessing the credibility of visual language when researching online.

Trust It? is a plug in that would be available on aggregated sites, such as flickr and google images. It is a floating tool which allows teens to choose where to put the tool, how large or small it is and when is visible. By putting credibility assessment tools in the hands of students it encourages independent judgment.

Scenario one, asks: What aspects of visual language and originating sources inform and educate
students to the credibility of information?

Scenario two, asks: What online activities encourage students to critically analyze the visual
language they view, create or alter in informal learning environments?

Scenario three, asks: In what ways does understanding the history of an image inform
a student’s ability to critically analyze visual language?