Middle school offers students more freedom in reviewing and accessing Internet Web sites to locate information for classroom discussions and reports. With this freedom comes the necessity to learn how to evaluate the Web sites that you access.
Not all Web sites are created equally. Not all sites are created by authorities in the field they address. The first Web site that you may locate may not be the best one. If you do not think the Web site is a quality site after using evaluative techniques that you have learned in these lessons, continue your search, and move on to a better site.
In Lesson 1, you are provided with five examples of spoof Web Sites. Open a word document on your computer and create a work page to take notes on. For each Web site, list your evidence or what made you realize the Web site did not contain all true information. Print a copy of your word document for your binder. Make sure your paper has your name on it!
Did you find it difficult to evaluate the Web links in lesson one? Most of these links were obviously spoofs. Other Web sites you may access may not be spoofs, but instead are more personal opinion or provide biased information. The next lesson will help you distinguish between good and bad Web sites. You will be
working in groups of four to evaluate a group of Web pages on
Each person in your group will be responsible for completing an evaluation chart based upon your perspective chosen from the following roles: 1) Content specialist, 2) Authority/credibility specialist, 3) Purpose specialist or 4) Design specialist.
Your group will review all six of the following South Carolina Web sites:
Decide amongst yourselves which role each of you will take first in evaluating the first Web site. You will change roles with each different Web site evaluation.
1. CONTENT SPECIALIST – Print out the worksheet and answer the following questions:
2. AUTHORITY/CREDIBILITY SPECIALIST – Print out the worksheet and answer the following questions:
3. PURPOSE SPECIALIST – Print out the worksheet and answer the following questions:
4. DESIGN SPECIALIST – Print out the worksheet and answer the following questions:
Remember to do the following:
1. Each student will label his organizer with his name and role.
2. Each student will complete his organizer answering the questions from the role assigned.
3. As you examine each site, record any information in your chart/organizer. Begin to rank the sites 1 through 6, with 1 being the best.
4. Chose a different group leader to conduct a review of each Web site. He/she should see that each specialist discusses his findings and ratings.
5. Assign a rank to all 6 of the Web sites with 1 being the best and 6 being the worse.
Your work will be placed in your binder. You will be evaluated on your group work, your completed organizer, and your participation in large group discussion. Make sure your group is able to defend its choices in the discussion ranking the sites.
ConclusionYou will find yourself using the Internet for more information now that you are in Middle School. Remember that the Internet is only one of a variety of resources that are available when you are given an assignment. Books, journals, video, and other sources are available as well. Evaluating information is a skill you will be using throughout your life.
Special thanks to Ms. Valenza, librarian at Springfield High School for her suggested list of questions and Internet links on evaluating Web sites.