Last week, Computer Applications students were asked to gather information from this website on the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. After spending some time viewing the information provided on the convincing website, students were surprised to discover that the tree octopus does not actually exist. We then spent time discussing how to evaluate websites for credibility and some red flags to look for that give away spoof websites such as the one we had viewed. Once the students were better informed, they were able to more easily spot out factors that made the fake content obvious.
Here are some of their thoughts on the activity:
"I thought that the Tree Octopus project was eye opening because it showed that not everything on the internet is true."-Sara B.
"My thoughts on the Tree Octopus activity that we did last Friday was that is was important because we need to learn about fake accounts and how to know if they were fake or not. People often believe that any website is true but with this website we know that not every website is true. Also, it helps us learn how to gather information on a specific topics." -Leslie L.
"The way I evaluated how to see if the web page was fake after the assignment was first I looked at the url then we looked at the pictures."-Mason N.
"My thoughts about the tree octopus were, that at first, the site didn't seem to be spoof. It looked like it was an actual site. But after we were told that it was spoof I noticed all the unusual things that I didn't see before. One thing I noticed that after I was told it was spoof, was the pictures. The pictures were really fake. You could tell they weren't realistic at all. And another thing was the ads at the top of the website.So this made me think that that i need to be extra careful when looking on the web."-Kinsey W.
"I thought it was pretty strange that someone would put that much time an effort into a website for something that doesn't even exist. If you really looked close enough and paid attention a lot of things said on there were completely wrong, if I hadn't really took the time to reread through it and pick out the obvious things that proved it to be fake, I might actually believe a tree octopus exist."-Mickey W.