Posted in great sites for students, homework, parents and technology, web research

Evaluating Websites: Be Sure of the Quality

When we were students we learned to write content-filled essays and reports. Our teachers taught us to introduce the important facts, facts we discovered using quality reference materials. With today’s websites a student follows the same rules, but reliability is a significant issue. While it is easy to find sites with information about a topic, identifying reliable and significant information is more of a challenge. The trick is to identify information that indicates whether or not a site is a reliable resource. Do not let your child use a site as a resource unless it is possible to determine its quality.

Many websites look both real and reliable, but they are bogus. A fun website to explore is at based at the Western Australia Province Department of Education. It features bogus websites designed to look accurate and authoritative. Except that they are not accurate or authoritative. Take a few minutes to explore. Better yet, explore them with your children.

Evaluate the Web Sites that You Use

Be sure you use sites with accurate and reliable information. If you have a research project or your child has a homework assignment plan to evaluate each website to ensure its quality. Also please read the following tips describing how to evaluate web-based information.

Ten Tips to Ensure that the Information is Useful and Accurate

Continue reading “Evaluating Websites: Be Sure of the Quality”

Posted in great sites for students, homework time, parents and technology

The Library of Congress Website: Go Exploring with Primary Sources – Bookmark-It

The United States Library of Congress started with Thomas Jefferson’s personal library – 6,487 books. Now it’s an enormous collection of information on almost any topic a person wants to study. The library’s history page notes that “… it has become the largest repository of recorded knowledge  in the world and a symbol of the vital connection between knowledge and democracy.”

The resourceful staff at the Library have a finger on the cultural pulse of the country, so not only do the collections include books, papers, music, film, historical documents, and images, but now the library is digitizing its collection. As of February 2009 there were 15.3 million digitized items and anyone can access and download this information to a computer. According to the Library of Congress blog (subscribers welcomed), if all of those digitized items could be saved to CD-ROM disks, the pile would be a mile high, and that was more than a year ago.

The Library of Congress website is just the right place to get started with research for a class project or homework assignment. Start by going the section for kids and families, with features that are mostly, but not exclusively, useful to elementary and middle school students. Some of the searchable features in this section include: Continue reading “The Library of Congress Website: Go Exploring with Primary Sources – Bookmark-It”

Posted in great sites for students, parents and technology

Kids Explore the U.S. Government – Bookmark It!

When children ask questions about the United States Government, two sites provide online access to kid-friendly explanations, data, and legal responsibilities at a range of government agencies. Each site has advantages and disadvantages, but the two sites combined offer young students access to all sorts information, written expressly for kids. Continue reading “Kids Explore the U.S. Government – Bookmark It!”