the Web for Educational Resources
for Kids: www.ajkids.com
type in a question for Jeeves to answer, an easy-to-use format youngsters tend
to like. A built-in spell-checker helps by[ass snags--like looking for Pludo instead
CyberLibrarian's Reststop: http://www.angelfire.com/in/virtuallibrarian/
This site includes great tutorials and helpful tools for all Web searchers.
Check out 2a- Evaluating What You Find (Tips for Selecting Resources); clear and
precise, without being unappealing.
Grade Level: Middle School, High School,
Content Area: Technology (Internet)
Application Type: Web-based Tutorial
Dab Doo and Dilly Too: http://www.dibdabdoo.com/
search engine with no advertising.
Scholarly Internet Resource Collections: http://infomine.ucr.edu/search.phtml
by librarians, this site has limited content but no advertising and a unique feature;
results can be organized by grade level.
The Montreal-based, self-described
"mother of all search engines" aggregates the search results of
Google, Yahoo, and other services.
Search Interface: http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/index.html
OAIster is a Mellon-funded project of the University of Michigan Digital
Library Production Services. The OAIster search interface allows users the opportunity
to freely access and search a wide variety of digital resources from various institutions.
Users can view each collection separately or search the database by keyword, author,
title, or subject. This user-friendly interface is valuable to students, teachers,
researchers, and other information professionals needing simultaneous access to
a variety of digital resources.
Search Engine Showdown: http://searchengineshowdown.com/
A search engine
that lists webpages based on sites linked to them.
This is a site that is building a complete archive of all versions of Websites.
If you are looking for a site and it is not available any more or if you want
a previous version of a site, try looking for it on the Way-back Machine.
Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/help/index.html
Technology is an increasingly popular tool for learning. These classroom
projects were designed by K-12 teachers to demonstrate engaged learning and effective
use of technology. They seem to be advanced projects for students and teachers.
They worked closely with a staff of experienced educators and computer specialists
at Fermilab's Lederman Science Center.
ThinkQuest provides an educational and highly motivating opportunity for students
and educators to expand their academic and technical skills and increase their
awareness of the Internet by encouraging them to create high quality, innovative
and content-rich Web sites that are made freely available to others via the Internet
at http://www.thinkquest.org. One
of their first competitions of the year is called ThinkQuest Junior. ThinkQuest
Junior is a classroom-based competition that encourages girls and boys in grades
4-6 to take a meaningful interest in computers and technology. ThinkQuest Junior
helps teachers promote the "Internet Style" of learning an interactive,
participatory method that encourages students to take advantage of the Internet
as a constantly growing source of information and as a powerful collaborative
tool. Making learning fun for other students of the same age, ThinkQuest Junior
teams create educational Web sites on a variety of subjects.
the Internet is a valuable educational resource. Sure, it makes research
a snap. Sure, it can provide you with reams of information on almost every topic
under the sun. The question is, how much of that information can you actually
The Internet's main strength is also its main problem: it is freely accessible.
Anyone with a computer and modem can publish anything to a worldwide audience
in a matter of minutes. There is no way to regulate content, and Web sites often
contain inaccurate, unsubstantiated, or misleading information.
So how can
you separate the wheat from the chaff? The process of identifying accurate information
is called "information literacy." If you and your students are to benefit
from the vast opportunities the Internet offers, then information literacy skills
The first step is to recognize that not everything you read
on the Internet is true, even if the Web site you are viewing looks great. Learn
how to doubt. Question everything you read. Talk to experts. Supplement
your research with material from other sources, online as well as off.
consider the source of the information. Is it hosted on a free domain? Be wary
of sites with URLs with "user" or "userpages" in the title.
These sites are published by individuals using free hosting services and often
contain personal opinions rather than actual facts. Is the author an expert
in his or her field? It is always a good idea to investigate the background of
the author or sponsoring organization before you accept the information as true.
Examine the motivation of the source. Does it seem that the Web site you are viewing
is available for the sole purpose of disseminating information? Is the site trying
to sell something? Is the site sponsored by a group with a particular bias toward
the subject matter?
And finally, check for the date of publication. Very often,
sites contain obsolete information. How recently was the information put online?
Is the content relevant in the current context? How often is the Web site updated?
You will usually be able to find a note telling you when the site was last updated.
If it looks as if it has been abandoned, you may want to look elsewhere for corroboration.
As you become more familiar with the Internet, you'll find that separating the
wheat from the chaff will become an easier task. Make information literacy a priority,
and you'll discover a richer, more rewarding educational experience.
Ways to Take Charge of the Web
1. Use your hobbies and passions as points
of entry to the World Wide Web. If you love auctions, check out ebay: www.ebay.com,
the on-line auction house. Join literary-minded folds at Salon: www.salon.com
to discuss the classics or the latest best sellers on-line.
by teaching basic Internet safety rules and discuss the importance of observing
them. Rules you might include in your policy: students may access
only those Web sites that you, the teacher, have approved; never give out yourour
students loose with a set of encyclopedias or a stack of Ranger Rick magazines,
you shouldn't expect them to find information on-line without a framework.
3. Search engines are indispensable tools for Web-based research. Most,
however, are too indiscriminate to be useful to young users. For example,
searching for "White House" on the search engine Alta Vista returns
over a half-million hits, most of which will be irrelevant or inappropriate for
elementary-school students. To prevent frustration and inefficiency, experiment
beforehand with search engines designed specifically for children. Bookmark
the ones you like best and organize them into a "search engine folder"
on your Web browser. Limit your students to these as they explore specific
topics you have researched in advance.
Use the World Wide Web to lighten your load. If you know where to look,
you can find ready-to-use lesson plans, reproducible, and activities to support
curriculum and standards.
7. Teach kids to navigate a Web site effectively. One good way to do this
is to model for students how they can get the most out of a site. We have
an LCD projector so you can conduct a class lesson on a popular site. Discuss
how you would be selective about clicking on the site's links, opting for ones
that are most relevant to your interests.
8. Use the Web as a
professional development tool. Go on-line to network with other teachers,
exchange ideas, and learn about the latest research findings in your field.
For example, Reading Online: www.readingonline.org,
an electronic journal developed by the International Reading Association, offers
the latest research findings in literacy as well as news about professional conferences
and literacy-related events. Instructor's Teacher Forum at Scholastic: www.scholastic.com invites teacher input
on a different professional development issue each month.
9. Teach children how to avoid plagiarism. The
availability of digital texts and graphics makes it all too easy for youngsters
to cut and paste information and photographs into their reports and projects without
considering ownership. Just as you teach students appropriate use and citation
of printed reference materials, do the same with respect to on-line resources.
Post examples of correct citations in your computer area.
10. For advanced
users, create on-line writers' portfolios for your students. Consider creating
a class Web site and using it to extend your portfolio management system.
By hyperlinking individual Web pages for each of your students to your class's
site, you can offer a far-reaching forum in which to discuss their progress as
writers and to display their final products. By using this electronic medium,
you'll add a new dimension to traditional student portfolios, one that can have
a profound impact on student's motivation to develop their writing skills and
become published authors.