Tom Hoffman is tired of people complaining about the martinlutherking dot org site.
Like my good friend David Warlick, I’m pretty much sick of the whole martinlutherkingdotorg shtick. I’m particularly sick of it because the point seems to be that once you figure out that the people behind it are evil (and, I would add, they are evil), then Q.E.D., it is an unreliable source. While “don’t believe what evil people say about good people” is a nice, tidy rule, figuring out who is good and evil is a difficult trick to anyone living outside Middle Earth.
He is asking edubloggers to post a collection of legitimate King information pages to Google bomb it out of the number one ranking of the illegitimate site.
I’m going to respectfully decline.
I certainly don’t support groups that put this kind of crap on the web. And Tom’s right, of course, that it’s hard to tell the good from the bad on the net.
It’s even harder to teach young people how to evaluate the quality of what they find.
However, I subscribe to the approach taken by Alan November in his talk Teaching Zack to Think (search in iTunes for NECC 2006 to find the podcast of the current version).
Rather than trying to hide such sites, Alan maintains that we must use them to vividly demonstrate to teachers and students that not everything on the web is the truth.
Then we can also use them to demonstrate the wide variety of tools for finding and validating accurate information.
Unfortunately, there’s plenty of misinformation, not to mention outright garbage on the web. As educators, we can’t pretend like it’s not there.