Thursday, February 23, 2012

Updated Date/Freshness Challenge

Thanks to teachers and librarians who use the resources on our site, we are able to stay up to date.  Many times the examples on 21cif are subject to Internet 'creep': a change is made to an external page over which we have no control.  With hundreds of challenges on the site, we don't routinely check up on the activities for alterations.

Here's a challenge I just updated. Ironically, it was the Date.swf Challenge and it contained three tasks that seemed 'stale': information on the web site no longer matched the challenge.

I adjusted one answer, substituted another page for a problem site and decided to leave the third example alone. Information taken from the context of the page is more accurate than the timestamp returned when the page opens in a browser window.

Java may be used to publish a timestamp of the exact moment a page is opened. Many times this is what you see if you check Page Information data. How did I manage to open a page exactly at the time it was last modified? Well, it's unlikely you did. The 'last update' is misleading and it's nothing more than the last time the page was opened by you.

In that case, other clues should be consulted for freshness. The example page in question hasn't changed in more than five years, yet its last modified is 'now'. If I was citing the page, I'd stick with the internal clues that make more sense.

Try the new challenge!

No comments: