Welcome to a this seventh in a series that is must read for any educator wanting to facilitate web page evaluation by students. It includes a new step in web evaluation information along with a poster for that step you can use in the classroom Best of all, it supports students becoming scholarly digital citizens. First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)
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Visit the four prior website evaluation posts: A if for Author … B is for Bias … C is for Currency… D is for Domain Anatomy… E is for Effectiveness For Purpose… F is for Facts and Content (Just click on the letter)
The Seven Steps to Web Site Evaluation – Step G
Welcome to the web site evaluation page evaluation series of posts. As I speak with educators across the nation I find there is a need for all teachers to emphasize proper web site evaluation by students. As part of my Digital Native/Digital Immigrant Presentation I call on Digital Immigrants (You and Me) to use their life long experience and education to show Digit ital Natives (Our students), how to make the best use of information they find on the web. In fact finding the information is a whole other topic and you can learn in some future posts.
I believe that web evaluation must be a simple process that can also be applied to memory. Thus the reason for my (A-G) approach. This series is devoted to teaching these skills and I have spent hours preparing resources that you are free to use. I have divided this series using my A-G approach. Please, if you ever have the opportunity, visit me at one of my conference presentations, check out one of my webinars, or invite me to your school district to help inform your entire faculty. It really is time to help kids understand that there are no whales in Lake Michigan, the Southwest Tree Octopus is nonexistent, study of cats and bearded men did not really happen, moon creatures failed to film the lunar landing, and Columbus was not born in Australia. Please enjoy, share, and use!
G Is For Good Links
In order to evaluate a web page it is useful to know a little bit about web links. Web pages usually have incoming links (links going to the page), outgoing links (links the website is choosing to send the reader to), and broken links (links that no longer work). Take a moment to discover what story a link can tell in the usefulness of a web site for research.
1. Incoming Links – Defined as links going to a page. People choose to link to a site for various reasons. Sometimes it is a vote of confidence towards a page, or to point to a page as an example of something, or possibly a mutual belief that needs to be checked for bias. For this reason it is prudent to check out a web site to see who is linking to, what type of sites are linking to, and how many sites are linking to. In order to do this it is helpful to use the Google search engine. In the Google basic search one must type in the word link, followed by a colon, followed by the web address.Do not use spaces.An example is (link: http://www.talkingnorthernseapuppies.com) Google will return the number of linking sites and who they are. Now it is time to investigate. This will give an idea of a site’s popularity and also who is linking to that site. One may find that thousands of websites are linking to www.talkingnorthernseapuppies.comw. This could mean it is a great site because of popularity. Taking a closer look,the researcher may see that most of the sites linking to it are sites that list web site hoaxes and jokes. Not a good idea to use this site if the researcher’s purpose is to publish a scientific article on what was thought to be the discovery of a newly found animal.
2. Outgoing Links – Just as important as links going to a page, outgoing links point to web pages that the author or sponsor of the web site wants to lead the web reader to. A good researcher will study these sites. They could consist of excellent sites that allow for further research on the subject of interest. On the other hand, they may show a pattern that should make one cautious. It may be possible that most links are going to opinionated or biased sites that support a belief or movement desired by the author of sponsor. They may even be going to money generating sites which may make a researcher question the original site where their investigation began. Understanding outgoing links will either assist in discovering moregreat sites to use for research, or suggest that the originating site may not be the best to include.
3. Broken Links – These are the links that one may click on that lead nowhere, or to the wrong place. Having a few broken links can happen in any site, considering the ever changing nature of the web. Having numerous broken links, however, may point out that the site is not being cared for or updated.
Download Poster Here: g1_poster_info
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cross-posted at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com
Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com.