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.
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!
Quality on the Net
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.
of Web Sites
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.
Literacy as a Liberal Art
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.
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.
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!
and Dangers of the Web
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!
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
Copyright © 2005 Education World
Originally published 04/03/2001
Links last updated 03/23/2005