Posted by Marti Weston on February 10, 2013
Part of becoming a strong 21st Century digital learner is mastering the art of writing and sharing comments online.
If you read comments at the end of articles or blog postings, you have surely discovered more than a few inappropriate and sometimes distasteful remarks. Sometimes people leave these comments anonymously. Posted by folks who do not understand why websites invite visitors to share thoughts and ideas, many unfiltered remarks are permanently attached to websites — personal indiscretions waiting for the whole world to discover. Even leaving an anonymous comment is not particularly secure.
Read a short post and watch a video on newspaper comments, uploaded by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. Some newspapers sites, such as the Boston Globe, post a short and succinct comment policy with a link to a more detailed document.
Helping children avoid public website blunders is one reason to discuss commenting etiquette. Children don’t know or they forget that all comments leave digital footprint trails, little paths of information that last much longer than a child’s pre-adolescent and even teenage years.
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Posted in conversations on commenting, digital footprints, digital learning, digital parenting, digital world conversations, family conversations, parents and technology | Tagged: Boston Globe, commenting, comments, conversations on commenting, digital common sense, digital footprints, digital kids, digital life, digital parenting, online comments, websites | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on December 30, 2012
Although I am a big fan of encouraging students to begin any research project with curated resources such as the online databases at a school or public library, I know that many learners head straight for Google.
When students make garden-variety searches on Google, teach them to investigate and ask questions about what they find, especially if they are planning to use a website to learn more about a topic. The strongest 21st Century learners will make the process of asking evaluative questions second nature — examining each and every site before deciding whether or not to use the information.
Questions to Ask About Any Digital Resource Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital learning, digital parenting, evaluating web site resources, online research, parents and technology, research on the web | Tagged: 21st century learning, accuracy, digital kids, digital learning, digital parenting, evaluating resources, online databases, websites | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on December 2, 2011
Even in today’s fast-paced virtual world, these tips never seem to age. Help kids learn to make good choices.
1. Who made the site? Is it from a university or other institution? Is it for-profit or non-profit. Corporate? Look for an “about” link that describes the site.
2. When was the site made and how often is the site updated? Somewhere, usually at top or bottom it should tell. Is this site updated recently? If not this may be a reason to check out another website on your topic.
3. Is it possible to contact the webmaster or the sponsor of the site? Is there a “contact us” link somewhere on the page?
4. How much advertising is on the page, and how aggressive is it? Good sites that use advertising are careful to keep it from being “in your face.”
5. Does the site state its mission? Why was it set up?
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Posted in attributing sources, digital learning, digital parenting, evaluating web site resources, parents and technology | Tagged: attribution, digital parenting, evaluating websites, homework, searching, web resources, websites | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on October 5, 2011
Do you know how to help your children evaluate sites and make good quality choices?
Below are four links to university library websites where parents learn more about how to judge the quality of a website. Following the separate resources is a small collection of links that can help middle and elementary school students learn how to evaluate the quality of a website.
Web Evaluation Resources for Parents
Web Evaluation Resources for Students
Posted in attributing sources, digital parenting, Evaluating Web Resources, online research, parents and technology, web research | Tagged: digital parenting, digital resources, evaluating resources, using the web, websites | 1 Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on September 17, 2011
When we adults were students, we learned to write content-filled essays and reports, introducing the important facts about a subject. We discovered these facts by using quality reference materials, often at a library.
With today’s digitized resources and websites a student follows roughly the same routine, but resource reliability is a significant issue. While it’s easy to find sites with information about a topic, identifying reliable and significant information is more of a challenge. The trick is to discover whether or not a site is a reliable resource.
Help your child determine the quality and reliability of a site before using it as a digital resource. The University of Maryland posts this short handout that explains how to go about evaluating a website.
Many sites appear to be real as well as reliable, but they are bogus. An entertaining website for you and your child to explore is based at the Western Australia Province Department of Education and features bogus websites designed to look accurate and authoritative. Except that they aren’t. Take a few minutes to explore these bogus sites.
Better yet, explore them with your children.
Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, digital learning, Evaluating Web Resources, online research, parents and technology, supervising kids | Tagged: bogus websites, digital resources, evaluating sites, online research, website reilability, websites | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on November 12, 2010
I often write about parent-child conversations. We parents initiate these chats all the time, concentrating on this issue or that, and encouraging our children to participate, respond, or even disagree. When the talks focus on digital issues they can be enjoyable or arduous, or anything in-between. The fun but still educational conversations, however, only come along from time-to-time.
So the other day, when I read a posting by Linda Criddle over at the I look Both Ways blog, I became excited because kids will love the discussion on this topic — whether at home or school — and they will learn a lot in the process.
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