Presentation on theme: "Should I Believe It? A Practical Guide to Evaluating the Quality of Internet Websites RAH 10/08."— Presentation transcript:
Should I Believe It? A Practical Guide to Evaluating the Quality of Internet Websites RAH 10/08
The Internet has put a world of information at your fingertips! But can you “trust” the information you find on the Internet? How do you know if a website is reliable? How can you tell a good website from a bad one?
When browsing through Internet Websites, you need to be suspicious! Virtually anyone can post a website on the Internet. Anyone can claim to be an expert. Some people will dishonestly try to cheat or misinform you.
And just because you found it on Google or Yahoo, don’t jump to any conclusions! These Search Engines are “For Profit” organizations. Companies pay big $ to have their websites placed in prime positions. No Search Engine can guarantee the quality of its “Finds.”
But what about Wikipedia? Wikipedia is an “open source” encyclopedia. It does contain a lot of current information – but much of the information has not been documented or verified as correct! Almost anyone can edit or add information to an article. These “editors” may or may not be trustworthy.
But It’s Not as Difficult as You Might Think! In this presentation, you are going to learn the steps necessary to help you better evaluate the quality of information you find on the Web.
What’s in an Address? One of the first things you should look at when evaluating a website is the website’s address – better known as its URL. One of the first things to examine is the Domain type of the Website.
Common Domain Codes Government sites use codes such as.gov,.mil, or.us Educational sites include.edu Nonprofit sites include.org *These three types of sites are usually considered reliable sources of information!
.com or.net websites These websites can be created by almost anyone, so it’s time to dig a bit deeper! URLs that contain personal names, %, or ~ are usually personal pages, and may be very unreliable. URLs that contain terms like “aol.com” or “geocities.com” are also personal pages, so proceed with caution.
Other URL Types Look for the name that located between http:// and the first / in the web address line. Have you ever heard of that name? Is it a company or organization you have heard of or trust? Is it a name that seems to fit the topic and website title? *This would indicate that the website is reliable.
Now Take a Closer Look at the Page Itself. Who created the Web Page or claims responsibility for its content? a person? an organization? a publisher? *Is it a person or group you can trust? *Are these people “experts” in their field?
Is the Information on the page current? When was the page last updated? Is the information or statistics old or out of date? * Out-of-date info is sometimes worse than nothing at all!
Other Indicators Are links provided to other reliable sources of information? Are footnotes or documentation provided to back up their facts and figures?
Finally, do all the pieces seem to “add up”? Do all the facts seem to fit? Are you sure someone isn’t trying to cheat you or sell you something dishonestly? Was this site created by an “angry” person or hate group? Are you sure this website isn’t a parody or a joke?
By following these simple steps… …you’ll be well on your way towards making your own decisions about what are “good” or “bad” sources of information. *But if you are not sure, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher or another trusted adult for a second opinion!
Now it’s your turn to be the judge! You are now going to investigate 8 Internet Websites and … Record your observations about each site. Decide whether this is a good or bad source of information. *If you do not have a worksheet provided by your teacher, you can print one out by opening the link below and selecting print from the file options
Investigate Each of the Following Links Now using what you’ve learned, click on each of the following links to investigate these websites. Answer the questions on your worksheet. Then make your decision if this is a RELABLE or UNRELIABE source of information. A. http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/ http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/ B. http://www.fema.gov/ http://www.fema.gov/ C. http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html D. http://www.mcwhortle.com/index.htm http://www.mcwhortle.com/index.htm E. http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ F. http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html G. http://www.cnn.com http://www.cnn.com H. http://www.defenselink.mil/ http://www.defenselink.mil/
What did you find? You should have determined that 4 of these websites were reliable sources of information. And 4 of these websites were very unreliable sources of information! This time it should have been easy. But next time it will be harder. Remember to investigate each website with a critical eye. Just because it looks is no guarantee that it’s reliable.
Works Cited Baker, Joe (2006 December 12). Evaluating web pages: techniques to apply & questions to ask. Retrieved March 02, 2007, from UC Berkley Library Web site: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html. Kral, Steve (2007).The necessity of website evaluation. School Library Media Activities Monthly. XXIII, 12 - 15. *Artwork courtesy of Microsoft ClipArt.