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Web Literacy

Great Sites Center

Each week, the Education World Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. If your students are among the millions discovering the excitement of online learning, this week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching Web literacy. Included: Evaluation tools, checklists, and more.


  1. Critical Evaluation Surveys
    http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/eval.html
    Kathy Schrock developed these original evaluation tools for elementary, middle, and high school students to assess the quality of Web sites. Students learn to examine usability, bias, applicability, authenticity, and authorship. There's also an extensive hotlist of other Web-based resources on information literacy and some great links for practicing information literacy skills, such as Doug Johnson's Mankato, Minnesota, a study of Feline Reactions to Bearded Men, and a fascinating treatment of Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies!

  2. Evaluating Quality on the Net
    http://www.hopetillman.com/findqual.html
    Librarian Hope Tillman brings together an overview of how to be a smart consumer of Internet information by talking to the educators who must model best practices for their students. The site includes a survey of currently available evaluation tools, search engines, directories, and guides available on the Internet. The key indicators of quality checklist may be especially helpful in assessing the quality of online resources.

  3. Evaluation of Web Sites
    http://gateway.lib.ohio-state.edu/tutor/les1/
    Ohio State University offers this 30-minute online tutorial on assessing the content of a Web site for reliability and validity. Text-based for quick loading, the tutorial covers evaluation of the purpose of a site, the credentials of the author or publisher, the existence of bias or propaganda, recent updates of the site, and recognitions and awards the site has received. Ideal for secondary students, this plainly worded tutorial can be scaled down for younger users too.

  4. Information Literacy as a Liberal Art
    http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/review/reviewarticles/31231.html
    Jeremy Shapiro and Shelley Hughes advocate the development of an information literacy curriculum in this quick read. They identify a number of skills as part of information-age literacy, including tools, resources, emerging technologies, critical thinking, and social structure. Written for educators, this is a great starting point for educators considering implementing information literacy in their curricula.

  5. Internet Navigator
    http://www-navigator.utah.edu/
    Salt Lake Community College offers this Flash-based set of four modules designed to help beginning Web-based learners acquire the navigational skills and information literacy concepts to be successful students online. The first two modules cover basic navigation and communication. Modules three and four examine information literacy as it relates to research and publishing. Designed with secondary students in mind, Internet Navigator can also be used with middle schoolers.

  6. Internet Safety Game
    http://www.kidscom.com/games/isg/isg.html
    This simply formatted game gets kids to think about their actions while surfing online. Students fill in the blanks of sentences dealing with proper netiquette and safety, and they get immediate feedback on how successfully they completed each sentence. Multiple choices for each blank make the game fun and straightforward. Users can play for fun or play for points!

  7. Safeties and Dangers of the Web
    http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5210/
    This ThinkQuest entry is dedicated to educating students about Web literacy, including safety issues, viruses, and other dangers. Two printable games reinforce the safety and netiquette guidelines presented here. Developed by elementary students for elementary students, this may be a great place to start!

  8. TechKnow
    http://pbskids.org/did_you_know/techknow/
    PBS Kids presents this child-friendly site, which teaches Web literacy through trivia, surveys, stories, and games. In You Be the Judge, visitors use critical thinking to determine which TV shows influence their own language and behavior. At Get Your Web License, students take an interactive test that challenges their understanding of Internet protocol and safety practices for savvy surfing. This is a great site for elementary children learning to be smart while surfing online!


Article by Walter McKenzie
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World

Originally published 04/03/2001
Links last updated 03/23/2005