Monday, April 23, 2012

10 days to being a professional web evaluator and web searcher

Building a positive digital footprint is an important objective that every teachers should teacher. Likewise, effective search and web evaluation strategies are equally important. In order to understand how a digital reputation is created, we must comprehend how to search and evaluate what is on the Web and implement those strategies. Perhaps, then, this series should have come before the digital footprint. Now, though, the importance of online citizenship is clearly understood.

Over the next ten days, I will showcase some tools and strategies to becoming a professional searcher and evaluator.

A great starting place is the 21st Century Information Fluency Project (21CIF). This site began as a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2001 and, in 2009, became a business that offers free tools for classroom and (paid) workshops. Rather than reinvent the wheel, try out these tools that are sound and free. The site provides great search and evaluation wizards that will walk your students through the appropriate questioning techniques. It also has a citation wizard. Check it out now. I'll give more details on it tomorrow.

In the meantime, begin testing your knowledge of searching and evaluation techniques. When I was in high school over 10 years ago, we were told that .org sites were good and .com sites were bad. Sadly, when I taught HS English, I still had students coming to me with the same, outdated rules. The .org/.com philosophy of years past needs to be revised. Instead, it must be replaced by critical thinking and analyzing of the author, domain, dates, links to and links from. It is not as simple as .com vs. .org anymore. A great way to show this to your students is through the following Glog I created for my staff:

Stay tuned for 10 days to becoming a professional evaluator and searcher. It's time to start thinking critically in a whole new light. 

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