Discriminating Websites

This week for my Instructional Media Resources class, we focused on internet resources and how they can be effectively used in teaching and learning.  I found the Building Treehouses resource (Lamb, n.d.) interesting and useful as it mentioned web sites that I can use in my classes.  Though I usually frequent the Enchanted Learning website, as well as resources for quizzes listed in the document, there were listed resources that I was unfamiliar with, or have heard of but have never really visited before.  I had checked out the Edheads.org interactive website and found the weather activity challenging.  Now if I could just throw it into my Earth Science classes. 🙂

I have to admit, despite the sheer volume of information that I could lay my hands on using the internet (for my lesson plans and activities), there are times when I sometimes feel dissatisfied with the results displayed on the page.  Other times, I feel lost and overwhelmed with the amount of information available that I don’t even know where to begin.  The latter I feel despite my background in research.  Sorting through all that information takes time.

It was a good thing that Glencoe (2006) had listed five basic criteria to evaluate the appropriateness and credibility of websites.  It also helped me make sense of “web speech” and what those tildes (~) and percent signs (%) on URLs mean (that is, they are usually found in web sites authored by individuals).

Apart from being useful to me as a teacher, I think that these resources will also be invaluable to my students especially since they have investigatory projects that they need to review literature for.  The world wide web is like one big library. But as with any old library, we need the skills in discriminating which reference is good and which is not; which source is relevant and which is not.  We need to teach ourselves how to properly use it. Only then can we teach the “net generation” how to responsibly and critically utilize it, just like how we teach them to use printed, audio, and video resources.

Helping our students to evaluate web resources also helps them develop critical thinking skills.  And isn’t that what we all want our students to develop?

References:

Glencoe. (2006). Evaluating web sites – five basic criteria. Available at http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/10

Lamb, A. (n.d). Selecting & integrating resources: Teaching and learning with internet (Chap 4). In Building treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 119-158. Available at http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TG4Internet2.pdf

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One thought on “Discriminating Websites

  1. I agree that before we can teach students how to responsibly and critically utilize the internet, we should learn how to responsibly and critically use it ourselves. Though I’m practically using the internet every day and I can confidently say that I know much about it, still, the lesson on internet resources taught me much. Truly, there is no end to learning.

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