Facts & “Post-Truth”

Today you will view our Google Map and introduce yourselves, discuss the readings and your quiz results from last night’s homework, and begin setting up your WordPress site for the semester.

I. Happy places.

  1. Go to our map and find yourself.
  2. Make sure the information here looks good. If you didn’t add a selfie it’s not too late! Send one to me via email today and I’ll add it. This will help us all get to know you better.
  3. Once we are all set, look around the world and read the bios for our section. Be ready to ask follow-up questions. [Tip: one simple way to view names quickly is to pull down the list on the left sidebar.]
  4. Questions for discussion: How might we use this tool in other ways? As teachers? As researchers? As writers? What are some potential complications with this? Are we okay that this is on a public website?

II. What is a fact and why does it matter? Discuss your Factitious quiz and our readings:

  • How did you do on the Factitious quiz? What information did you have to consider as you decided if a news item was true or not? Where did this knowledge come from?  What was limiting about the quiz?
  • Take this 5-minute quiz on “How DigiPo Defines a Fact.
  • Pull up your other reading for today: William Davies’s essay, “The Age of Post-Truth Politics.” According to Davies, there is a “crisis of facts” in Western democracies. What does he mean by this? Point to some moments in the reading.
  • What role has technology played in the shift from a “society of facts to a society of data,” as he puts it? How is it “possible to live in a world of data but no facts”?
  • Davies’s essay was published in the Opinion section of the NYT. Still, are there any facts presented in his essay, as Caulfield defined them? What are they?

III. WordPress.

One of the consistently great resources you will use this semester is Lynda.com, a high-quality, video-based tutorial site that Rowan pays a hefty fee to subscribe to. The fact that you can have a free account to Lynda is a real perk of being a college student here and so we will use it. Although many of your already have experience with WordPress, I’m going to show you a few videos today that help introduce it.

  1. First, make an account at Lynda.com using your Rowan credentials. Once you’re in, you can search for different videos, courses, and other content. I’ll show you this today.
  2. I’ve chosen the “WordPress.com Essential Training” course for us to view today. We want to look at as much as we can with some pausing for questions and processes. Our goal is to simply get your site up.
  3. On Tuesday we will do more with content (i.e. posts and pages).

Homework for Tuesday, 9/12:

  • Finish setting up your WordPress by watching the Lynda video on Creating a WordPress.com account. Then add your URL to this spreadsheet (must be signed in to your Rowan Google Drive). You only need to set up your account — you don’t need to post.
  • Read Caulfield’s Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers: Chapters 1-6
  • Fact-check a claim from your social media feed and write about it in a Google Doc that is saved in your WRT student folder. Title your document “Factcheck 1.”