Digital Literacy- Critical Thinking

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Learning Outcome

Students develop critical thinking skills in cyberspace

  • Students understand that not all information that is available on the internet is accurate or relevant.
  • Students learn how to ask critical questions so they can identify the information that meets their needs.

NetSafe Digital Citizenship Definition: demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of ICT



Detecting Lies and Staying True

Steering clear of cybertricks

Look at the Tree Octopus website

Discuss: Does this website give us useful information? What makes us think that the content on this
website might not be reliable?

Here are some lists of things to think about when you are assessing the credibility of an information
resource. Many of these criteria apply to information other than websites too. You will need to
work through these criteria with students the first few times.

Remember that although the title of this worksheet refers to hoaxes, content creators do not always
make it available as a joke. People and organisations can create biased content to try and persuade
people to buy things, to do things, or to believe in the things that they themselves believe in.

Students could use some of thesethinking guides or graphic organisers to keep track of the information as they compare
results from multiple sources to find similarities and differences, inaccuracies and different


Look at Buy Dehydrated Water website and mark all the parts that make you think
again about its credibility. If you are looking for more, searching for ‘hoax websites’ will direct you
to many more or try the websites of specific organisations for biased content.


Why is there so much biased information on the internet?

Whose responsibility is it to make sure the information is correct?


Create your own mnemonic that helps you to remember how to assess the credibility of a website.
Make it into a poem, a song, a recipe…

Create a poster, or piece for the school website, to display near the places people do online research
that reminds them about checking the credibility of a website. Make sure it is in the library,
classrooms, everywhere!


This MediaSmarts game helps students to recognise bias, prejudice and propoganda


Dorothy Burt, Pt England School - CyberSmart Matrix

Jacqui Land, Papanui High School – papNET Digital Citizenship course

Esther Casey, National Library of New Zealand