Teaching Online Information Evaluation

Here is a recent Powerpoint I used in introducing the concept of teaching student to evaluate the websites they see. Posted below it is a rough script/outline used with the slides.

Script--loosely defined, as I must confess I ad lib a good part of this preso.
  • Slide 1 – ice breaker reminding kids to “consider the source” I poll to find out where they look for info (usually the Internet) and favorite search engine–almost always Google. Then I confess to them that I am the same, preferring an online dictionary to a dictionary right on my desk even.
  • Slide 2 – Starts out with a question–can you believe everything you see online, and then polling group on how many had seen similar examples as shown
  • Slide 3 – Remind kids that in the not so distant past, all you had to do was visit the library to get information–that it was generally of a reasonable size that by college, most were masters at finding/using information, but with the explosion of information on the Internet, it was more like being in the ocean bombarded by waves
  • Slide 4 – Despite that we know how large and vast the Internet is, most kids (and adults too) tend to dive right in. (Hyperlink) The diver image hyperlinks to radcab.com, which I find to be a nice overview of the issues that one should check when evaluating a website. It is simple in nature–> a great beginning. We go through all six letters online at that site.
  • Slide 5 – (Inspector Image hyperlinks to Martinlutherking.org) Here I tell the kids we are going to look at an MLK site that is very popular. Using just the information on the home page (you dont need to look much deeper than the first page) students can begin to note concerns as they reflect over the radcab info. This usually also leads to a discussion on how search engines index sites, what algorithm is used, and how even a really bad site like that one can be in the top hits. (I even shared with kids that the site we looked at is usually on the first page in the top six hits in January and February, getting them to conclude why–>MLK birthday and Black History Month. Then I leave them stunned by showing that the host “Stormfront” linked at the bottom goes to a white supremacist page. At that time I usually remind them NOT to go home and tell Mom and Dad Mrs. Nelson was teaching about hate groups, but to instead go home and knock the socks off the parents by teaching them the same thing about that site and evaluating websites. (note I did not link to the MLK site becasue do not want to falsely increase their rank in search engines, which is a big source of our troubles causing us to teach this topic.)
  • Slide 6 thru 11 - The wordles allow us the review what we’d just talked about.
  • Slide 12 – We revisit that cartoon to find out what issue is being addressed from the radcab. It links to another site that expands on bias. (I actually did not get to that the other day either.) But it offers good examples to emphasize how bias works.
  • Slide 13 – finish/wrap it up-At this point I turned it over to Melanie, who reviewed using Destiny, how to find the pathfinder we had put together on the wiki, and reminding students to use DIscus (SC's virtual library), pointing out which DB would probably be most beneficial for their topics, and how to find it.

Now if you have more links that are useful in teaching the topic of evaluating webites, please post a link and a short annotation!

Media Awareness Network has the Jo Cool or Jo Fool cybertour at http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/jocool_jofool/teachers.cfm

av2learner@cathyjo re: links to teach web evaluation...hoax site for elementary http://bit.ly/4lACUV didn't know what gr you work with

*@cathyjo* try http://bit.ly/1JBaSF it's one of my favorites - Whale watching in Lake Michigan.