PS I'm a Mom, too, but....

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Posted by Cecile on January 16, 2003 at 22:40:03:

In Reply to: Re: Death Valley Forest posted by mom on January 16, 2003 at 21:14:44:

this came up on another message board today as well and this was my response:

You know, when I first came to the boards and found how people were responding to children's questions, it apalled me. Then I took a look at the questions and how they were presented, and thought, this child is expecting someone else to do their research for them, and they need to learn to ask in a more appropriate manner. Anyone that can figure out how to get on the computer and get to a site like this should also be able to figure out that the site itself provides the answers without going straight to the message board. Just takes a little extra time and effort that's all, which most of these children do not seem to want to do. They also need to learn that you never know who you are talking to on a message board, and even on a website, you never know if the information being presented is fact or fiction. That is part of the education process to me - being able to properly research in more than one place and assess the information, piece it together properly, seperate the true from the farce, then turn in your report, with your own words, not someone elses.
Even in a library you wouldn't go in to the library and hand the librarian your questions and say this is what I need - now help me! You would hopefully have the skills to use the library yourself, or at least appropriately ask the librarian where you could find the information on the questions you have for your report.

I've even seen teachers on message boards asking questions about as dumb as the kids, which scares me sometimes. And I've seen adults doing the same thing - going straight to the message board and screaming for help when the question they needed answered was right in front of their face on the front page of the website to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I think the message boards are great educational and informational tools, but it's important to know how to properly research on your own as well. Sometimes on these forums we are completely having fun, and I would hate to think that someone read them and used the information for truth without speaking out first and saying "Hey, c'mon guys, this doesn't sound right to me - you're kidding right?"

I also have to say I spend a lot of time researching histories of ghost towns and such and I read many different versions of the same stories. Handed down over a hundred years who knows what is true and what isn't. Knowing what I do about journalism in those days and today as well, I think twice before I take any source completely for truth. When I finalize my research I always give credit to my sources and tell all the versions I have heard. Of course if something really sounds completely outlandish to me, I wouldn't even use that info at all unless I was presenting it as a myth or a legend to begin with. I would expect a student to be able to do the same thing.

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