Is it C.R.A.A.P.?

This blog post is in response to “Holy CRAAP” from the #OExtend activity bank. The assignment asks us to evaluate resources using the CRAAP Test. As a brief summary for those who are not familiar with this framework, C.R.A.A.P. stands for:

Currency – How dated is the resource?
Relevance – What is its intended audience?
Authority – Who wrote it and what are their credentials?
Accuracy – Has it been reviewed by respected others?
Purpose – Why was it created? For information, opinion, or propaganda?

I’ve been researching Digital Citizenship resources that I can use in cross-curricular environments. I’m teaching in the Faculty of Education so I’ll be teaching future teachers in curriculum courses such as Science and Math, however I feel that the use of technology is prevalent in all courses, hence the importance of embedding the digital citizenship aspects everywhere.

One resource that I found in my perusal of the OER repositories in the Curator Module was the Be Internet Awesome project put out by Google. I know in today’s heightened privacy culture where we are (rightfully) concerned with how our data is being used that Google is not everybody’s favourite company. These concerns are legitimate, however, it they have created a resource to help educate young users about this particular issue and it passes the CRAAP Test, then I think it can still have educational value.

So, how does it do?

C – Currency: I could not find an exact date of when this resource was first made available to the public, however the earliest reference to it I could find was 2017. That is also the date that is included in the Curriculum Guide that is available for educators to download. The topic does require current information so going forward it will be interesting to see if it is updated at any point. (Conclusion: Pass)

R – Relevance: The intended audience of the Be Internet Awesome resource is definitely kids, roughly grades 3-5, though based on the games involved you might be able to go a little younger or older depending on the audience. The curriculum guide states that the lesson plans are “best suited for grades 3 to 5”. The teacher candidates I am working with are Primary-Junior teachers, therefore this fits right into their age range. (Conclusion: Pass)

A – Authority: The creator of this resource is nominally Google, however the landing page of the site does state that they “worked with experts in digital safety to ensure that every element of the program addresses what families and educators need to know”. These experts are organizations such as iKeepSafe, ConnectSafely, and Family Online Safety Institute which are American non-profits and charities who focus on keeping the Internet safe for children and families. Without delving too deeply into the politics of each of these organizations their main objective does seem to be educating users on using technology safely. They all seem to provide either certifications in these areas or publish research to this affect. (Conclusion: Pass)

A – Accuracy: As mentioned in the previous point on Authority, the organizations that Google worked with to create this resource seem to provide some research to back up the content of the Be Internet Awesome project. However, they are invested in the project so I decided to try and find a third party who had something to say about it, and I did. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has given the Be Internet Awesome project the ISTE Seal of Alignment which are given to “high-quality products and services aligned to the globally recognized ISTE Standards”.  (Conclusion: Pass)

P – Purpose: This was the category I was most concerned about going into this review.  Was it going to be full of references to Google products and essentially a big advertisement for Google. A couple of things surprised me. First you did not need to log in using a Google account to access the game. Secondly, a search of the curriculum document provided only had 4 references to Google, most of which were for transparency and one of which was a footer of the document. For me this was a pleasant surprise and one that I feel contributed to the relevance and usefulness of the resource. (Conclusion: Pass)

   

All in all I feel that the Be Internet Awesome resource and its corresponding support documents pass the C.R.A.A.P. test by ensuring that the target audience, children, are put first in the creation of the resource. Could this same resource have been created completely free of any reference to Google at all? Absolutely! Is that in Google’s best interest as a company? Not really. We definitely reap the benefits with this resource, however Google as a company also needs to see a benefit in creating it. Having digitally responsible users in the future is definitely one of them, however the goodwill and word of mouth that providing this free resource to the Internet community provides also does not hurt their bottom line.

4 thoughts on “Is it C.R.A.A.P.?

  1. Steven:
    Whew – so glad Google wasn’t asking students in grades 3-5 to have an account to access, but I would not put it past these big companies to require it!
    The resources on Digital Citizenship abound, but I’d love to share a couple of my recent favs:
    https://www.tlp-lpa.ca/home/digital-citizenship from The Learning Portal is a curation of OER from Ontario College Libraries and it includes a node on Digital Citizenship.
    Michael Caulfield’s Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers in the open library has some ready-to-go activities – more advanced than the basic ones in Extend’s Curator module. They might be good for your learners, not necessarily the learners with whom they work ~ https://openlibrary.ecampusontario.ca/find-open-textbooks/?uuid=ccbb4e77-b20f-4dec-8a9f-67ccc9bc774b&contributor=&keyword=&subject=

    • Peggy, thanks for resources. As I’ve always said: When you need to know something, check your library. It might not be as fast as Google (though often is!) but the quality of the responses will be significantly better.

  2. Great application of the CRAAP test! Your responses to each are well thought out. I’d love to use this as an example for my classes on how to approach and think through the test.

    And, I spent way too much time playing the games at Be Internet Awesome…

    • Lynn, thanks for the compliment! Feel free to use it in any way you see fit.
      As for spending too much time playing games on the site… I am very guilty as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *