Sunday, February 24, 2013

Internet Searches - Developing Web Literacy

I was recently asked about internet search tips teachers might integrate into their lessons so students might become more effective at internet research. There is quite a bit written about understanding URLs as a method of weeding through search results, an important skill needed by those who don't quite have the web literacy to specifically search for information on the internet. Teaching web literacy - the ability to discern how and why you are getting the results in which you search, provides students the tools needed to research topics from all points of view and retrieve requested information specific to a query.

I'm a HUGE fan of Alan November. His website, November Learning, is chock full of resources on web literacy. Take the quiz yourself and see how you do before teaching to students.

Below is a Tricia Campbell's slideshare related to November's most recent book - Web Literacy. You could share this with your kids and not have to recreate the wheel.

Another excellent resource for google search tips is Teach Hub.  This links to 100+ Google Search Tips for Teachers.  Note this page suggests a method for getting around blocked sites, so be mindful when sharing with students. Not that they couldn't get that information on their own.

A list of web country codes is useful to find websites, etc... on similar topics from other countries.  This gives students different perspectives on topics and moves us beyond US bias.

Research Beyond Google - Vicki Davis recently shared a link to a post on her blog along these lines titled Researching Byoned Google.  This post lists alternative search sites to Google.

A few years ago I created a lesson for my students on internet search basics.  The premise of this lesson is to provide an explanation of the differences between search engines, directories and meta-search engines.

Lastly, because I am a big advocate of Alan November's Digital Learning Farm, (I've written about it before,) and feel we would do well to incorporate the concept into our classrooms.

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