Knowing how to use a search engine and follow hyperlinks is not the same as knowing how to use the Internet for research. Serious research requires authoritative sources, and since anyone can publish a Web page, it is important to be able to evaluate what you find online. Today's selections take a look at the whole research process: finding useful sites, evaluating them, and creating bibliographic citations.
This tutorial to teach middle-school students to research, evaluate and cite Web sites starts with a quiz to evaluate how much you already know about using the Internet. Next, you'll find five lessons, starting with an exploration of the Internet versus the Library. "Why use both? Because each has resources, benefits, and limitations that the other does not." The Teacher Guide provides a short overview of the site, along with a single-page glossary of terms used throughout the tutorial.
To help even the youngest of students to think critically about Web sites, Kathy Schrock has designed three grade-appropriate site evaluation forms. The first is for elementary grades ("Do the pictures and photographs on the page help you learn?"); the second for middle school ("Is the information on the page useful for your project?"); and the third for high-school students ("Would it have been easier to get the information somewhere else?") All three are also available in Spanish and in Acrobat Adobe PDF (for ease of printing.)
Wow! This amazing research tool actually answers the inevitable first question: "Where do I start?" Just answer the seven multiple-choice questions starting with "Are you a kid, pretty new to the Internet, or an Internet wizard?" and click "Show Me a Research Strategy." This is my pick of the day because of the variety and quality of the research sites it unearths. Book mark Noodle Quest now.
The free PowerPoint viewer is required to view this Purdue University Writing Lab workshop. Windows users can get one from Microsoft ; Mac users can download theirs from Microsoft PowerPoint 98 Viewer for Macintosh. Once the slide show is opened, use a single mouse click anywhere on a slide to proceed to the next slide. A right-mouse click will open a navigational menu with additional selections such as full-screen or reverse. For your efforts, you'll be rewarded with a nice introduction to online research and criteria for Web site evaluation.