Posted in attributing sources, digital learning, digital parenting, evaluating web site resources, parents and technology

10 Tips to Ensure that You Use Accurate Digital Information

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?

Continue reading “10 Tips to Ensure that You Use Accurate Digital Information”

Posted in attributing sources, digital learning, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, plagiarism, research on the web

In a Digital World: Always Attribute Sources! Back-to-School 2011

Old card catalog drawers at the Library of Congress

When I was in what we used to call junior high, working on my first bona-fide school research projects, mired down with things to read, and wishing to be finished, my father reminded me over and over again, “… you cannot attribute too much, only too little.” Even now, years later, with only a few words written on a page, I start thinking about Dad’s attribution credo.

Every parent of digital kids needs to share Dad’s strategy whenever children are working on school projects and papers. It is way too easy, in this age of Google, Wikipedia, and easy instant access to digitized scholarly articles, to write about another person’s ideas without giving credit.

I was reminded of my dad when I read the September 11, 2011 Washington Post Ombudsman column. In Plagiarism or Poor Attribution? Patrick B. Pexton writes about an op-ed piece on women and computer programming that appeared two weeks earlier, one that described how many woman used to be programmers. Pexton wonders if the author credited enough of her sources. Continue reading “In a Digital World: Always Attribute Sources! Back-to-School 2011”