So, how much do you spend working with your students to check the validity of their internet research? As you see in the image, we definitely need to do this to help our students gather appropriate and reliable data. The Internet is a great source of information, but with all the reliable information comes many instances of false information. Research, with the introduction of the Internet, definitely has changed, and we want to make sure we allow our students to use it, but also to search through all the volume to construct their own meanings. How to do that? Point them to good, mainstream sources. You cannot usually go wrong with .gov government sites, the major news sites, and even Wikipedia. Yes, even Wikipedia. Every kid starts there, so why not start there but train them how to scan through it and use the LINKS at the bottom to go on to their cited sources. That will give them a basic understanding, then they can head to other sites for more data.
Another great strategy–actually going through sites and discussing them. What works better when study space? Nasa.gov or Joe’s Planet Site? Point out ways you can tell. Does the website look new or from the 1990s when web design began? Definitely a good start, but a lot of misinformed sites can look good. So look through the data. Are there videos? Photos? Documents? Use Google and see what is as the top of searches. Usually, although not always, the primary results in a Google search have been vetted by what else links there. If a lot of others link to a site, it is probably a reputable site. So taking these tips, you can definitely take your students to a higher level and make sure they find the reputable information they need.
Image source: Geeks are Sexy