When I teach my research unit, I like to devote an entire nine weeks to the process, since it's important to break up the process into manageable bite-size pieces or "chunks."
After first distinguishing among the subtle differences of copyright, public domain, and fair use, we then move on to learning how to properly cite resources. Of course, after that, the students think it's necessarily time to start researching and note-taking, and in the past that would be the next logical step. I mention the past (well, my past) because, back in the day, the only thing we had were books. (Remember those?) Now, as you know, students immediately start Googling for information...and of course grabbing everything they find.
What I most remember from those long ago nights secluded in my college library, is sitting cross-legged on the floor of a dank and dusty aisle, surrounded by a tower of books, scanning indexes and tables of contents, evaluating whether or not each book in the pile would be useful for my research, discarding some and keeping others.
I repeat this scenario to my students when it comes time to teach them how to evaluate websites. In this respect, I point out to them, the printed word isn't that different when it comes to the Internet. It's all about taking a good look at the information presented and determining if it's useful, relevant, and truthful.
Teaching kids how to research on the Internet is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things to do, precisely because of our students' belief that the Internet has everything they need (which it does), and that everything is truthful (which it isn't isn't).
Which is exactly why I feel the need to teach my students how to evaluate websites for their accuracy and relevancy.
Research Chunk #3
How to Evaluate Websites
Usually, that's enough for one day. It's a lot for the kids to process, recognizing that everything on the Internet isn't always what it seems. I always feel like Toto after I teach this lesson, pulling back the curtain to expose the great and powerful Oz as a hoax.
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Digital Learning Coach in Cleveland, Ohio, sharing innovative technology ideas.