Truth or fiction?

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Introduction: Computers in New Zealand Schools - online journal has an article, Children's Internet Searching:Where do they go wrong? "Search skills are those necessary to search for information using the Internet or any other media. They include the ability to identify research questions (e.g., Eagleton & Guinee, 2002; Schacter et al., 1998), formulate queries and conduct searches, revising where and as necessary (e.g., Bilal, 2001; Large & Beheshti, 2000), and knowing how and when to expand or narrow topics of interest (e.g., Eagleton & Guinee, 2002). They also encompasses the knowledge necessary to synthesise and evaluate the information found, taking into account such factors as the author of the work and their credibility (e.g., Eagleton & Guinee, 2002; Schacter et al., 1998)."

As teachers, we need to enable our students to be critically savvy users of the web. We need to teach them ways to critically evaluate any information provided on websites. We could ask questions like, How do we know if the websites we access are from a reliable source? and Is the material true and can it be verified as a reliable information?

Suggestion: Sharing strategies with children on how to evaluate whether material is truthful or not. Using hoax sites such as "Tree Octopus" and DHMO are a great way to illustrate to students how easy it is to be deceived.

Reflection: What other strategies, resources or web links have you used with students to help make them more critically aware online?Leave a message in the DISCUSSION tab above (this will appear in the thread below).


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Additional resources to consider:

Internet Research Skills - Toolkit
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/education/008-3040-e.html

ICT Learning experience - Introduction to Web Research
http://www.tki.org.nz/r/ict/ictpd/web_research_e.php

Museum of Hoaxes
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

Evaluating Websites
http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/curriculum/ict/webeval/index.htm

Doing Research: An Introduction to the Concepts of Online Searching
Great flash presentation tutorial which walks you through search strategies (keywords, synonyms, citations) and pulls it all together.