Become a Savvy Web Researcher

 

After a student asked me to unblock web pages for her research of Pre-WWII Nazi Germany, I realized how much we need to teach our students how to tell if a web site is valid or not.  The top two full pages of google results on her topic were only illegitimate sites made to warp her point of view about Nazi’s.  Here are some very useful, and fun sites I’ve found – with hand outs – to help our students to get useful and valid information from the web.

Web Site Evaluation
Before you even start searching for data, you need to understand some web site name basics…

Truncate parts of a long URL to see if it works by itself.  May show the organization that is hosting the site.

Try this:
http://www.sandiegozoo.org/teachers/classroom_activities.html
http://bigredhair.com/robots/index.html

Be familiar with ‘root extensions’
.com .co.uk  .edu .ac.uk .org .gov .net .mil

http://www.echeat.com/essay.php?t=25746 commercial cite to buy essays

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/ commercial site in Great Britian – British Broadcasting Company

http://clarke.cmich.edu/homecoming/prewar.htm Michigan University

http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521474078 Cambridge University

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_World_War_II wikipedia is an organizaiton

http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/history/worldwar.htm Government Agency

http://msencarta.net/encyclopedia_761563737/World_War_II.html MSN is an internet service network – .net

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1323 military site
to see what 2 character abbreviation you need for your country : http://www.crayne.com/country.html

Choose the right Search Engine and know how to use it!

Don’t just go to Google and click on the top link – may be a ‘sponsored’ link – deep pockets go to the top.  Not necessarily the best link.  The search engine will be paid for each time the link is clicked, so the search engine puts them at the top.

Optional search engines:
NoodleTools Http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html
NoodleQuest Http://www.noodletools.com/noodlequest
Ivy’s Search Engine Resource http://www.ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html

What is your favorite search engine and why?

http://www.scholar.google.com
http://www.kidsclick.org/
http://www.ipl.org/div/kidspace/
http://www.dibdabdoo.com/
http://search.creativecommons.org
http://clusty.com/ Site suggested by audience at NETA

http://www.wolframalpha.com/ site suggested at NETA 201o

http://www.goodsearch.com/ Raise money for your school for every search

http://www.sweetsearch.com/ site suggested by TIE in Colorado 2011

http://duckduckgo.com/ elementary level search built off of wolframalpha ideas – TIE 2011

http://www.quintura.com/ visual search engine – TIE 2011

 

Be specific when searching

The search tool below will help be as specific as possible.

http://21cif.com/tools/locate/ wizard to help with searching

(note – you can see what sites link to another site by using the link operator field)

Have students use the same search phrase on several

different search engines…  Compare and contrast the results.

I found a site that looks good, now what?

down loadable ppt contained here: http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic32.htm

Search, Evaluate, Citation tools http://21cif.com/tools/ use the ‘evaluate’ link on the left side

While we are here, I used the Citation Wizard to build a MLA style citation for a book I am using as a resource for this session.  Pretty Cool!
November, Alan. Web Literacy for Educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2008.

http://secondary.oslis.org/resources/cm/mlacitationss Additional citation wizard suggested by a NETA attendee 2010

http://www.bibme.org/ Fast & Easy Bibliography Maker added May, 2011

http://www.sourceaid.com/ Bibliography and citation builder Suggested by NETA 2011 attendee for scientific citations

http://www.calvin.edu/library/knightcite/ Calvin College Citation Resource

http://easybib.com/ Will grab information from another page open and populate fields for you

Having problems finding the author of the site?

www.martinlutherking.org – looks like a good resource at first

Try to find the author? – links on bottom mention stormfront.org.  Find a name of person behind stormfront.org or martinlutherking.org

(Copy one of the sites above, Note: don’t include the http: or the www)

http://easywhois.com

Both mention Don Black

 

Use the search engine of you choice to research ISP backgrounds if you aren’t familiar with them.
  • What groups are Don Black associated with?
  • Should we use this site as an impartial resource?

My students didn’t know “Berkeley” is a valid host.

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html

also to note on above link  – .lib is a library
pubweb in the beginning is a public web server – personal postings
~, %, and words users, people, or members appearing anywhere in the address – are also personal posting indicators

Good use of the school filter!

Some sites are blocked at school, but are available at home. This link will help find the site’s filter categorization from home or when a site is allowed at school:

 

Have some fun with obvious Hoaxes!

http://www.philb.com/fakesites2.htm

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/C49/

 

 

Full Lesson Plans

All About Explorers – Elementary level http://allaboutexplorers.com/teachers From TIE 2011

Hoax Lesson Plans  http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=1135

Site Evaluation Lesson Plan http://kathyschrock.net/eval/index.htm

Another collection of information if you still want more to do! http://exworthy.tripod.com/teachreswebeval.htm

Info
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2009 @ 9:57 AM
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2012 @ 08:48 AM
Posted By: Darci Lindgren
 

Responses to this post » (4 Total)

 
  1. Cassidy Chohon says:

    I love all of these searches and I can not wait to use it at home.

  2. zmidler says:

    http://duckduckgo.com/

    Uses Wolfram|Alpha algorithm to fuel some results pages.
    Check out Goodies
    http://duckduckgo.com/goodies.html

    twitter: zmidler

  3. zmidler says:

    Search Credible

    http://www.searchcredible.com/

    Really like this meta search engine because you can see exactly where they are pulling data

  4. zmidler says:

    Boolean operator lessons

    http://www.boolify.org

    From about page:
    This interactive model presents Boolean logic as a puzzle of interconnected search term and operator pieces. While fitting these pieces together, Boolify provides real-time feedback to the learner about the efficacy of their search

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