Evaluating Websites ULearn 09

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Presentation by Jenny Armitage and Penny Harrison at ULearn ICT conference in Christchurch New Zealand 09 on how to critically evaluate websites. Useful for teachers to use for classroom ideas and professional development.

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  • Evaluating Websites A Guide for Teachers Jenny Armitage and Penny Harrison /2009
  • Links for this Powerpoint
    • Please enter this address:
    • http://delicious.com/Rm4/
    • Keyword = uLearn09
  • Why teach it?
    • The web is full of information that may or may not be true. Seeing is believing ?
    • Anyone, of any age, experience, qualification and learning can upload information.
    • While web address extensions might give you some assurance, these cannot always be taken at face value.
  • Why teach it?(cont.)
    • Sometimes, information is copied from one website to another, without being checked or verified.
    • This can lead to the fact being accepted as true, because its on so many sites.
    • An example of this is the myth that people swallow up to 8 spiders a year.
    • Go check the facts behind this here: http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/spiders.asp
  • Defining A Good Website
    • What makes a site good, bad or indifferent?
    • There are various criteria which can be used to judge a website, as well as numerous articles telling you what to look for in a website.
  • Good Website Sites
    • Heres a great site that gives many sites and ideas for classroom use. Click on the Springfield link to have a look.
    • Another great guide is Kathy Schrocks ABCs of Evaluation .
    • There are also sites with more advanced content and vocabulary. Heres another university (Cornell) site.
  • Camper the Website
      • C = Consequences / Constancy
      • What are the consequences of believing this?
      • How consistent is this information (can you find other sites or sources to confirm)?
  • Camper the Website/2
      • A = Assumptions / Accuracy
      • What assumptions have been made here?
      • How accurate is the data / information? (whos the author? what credentials?)
  • Camper the Website/3
      • M = Meaning / Main Points
      • Whats the meaning of this?
      • What is the main point here?
  • Camper the Website/4
      • P = Prejudice / Point of View
      • What prejudice is being shown here?
      • What other points of view could be expressed?
      • Whose side is being presented?
  • Camper the Website/5
      • E = Evidence / Examples
      • What evidence is given to support the claims?
      • What examples are given to back up claims?
  • Camper the Website/6
      • R = Relevance / Reliability
      • How relevant are the claims?
      • How reliable is the source, writer, information?
  • Camper the Website (detail)
      • C = Consequences / Consistency / Currency
      • Critical questions to ask yourself:
      • What are the consequences of me believing all of this as it is presented?
      • How consistent is the information compared to other sources?
      • Is there a bibliography?
      • Does the site link to other sources of information about my topic?
      • How current is the information?
      • Is the site updated regularly?
  • Consequences, consistency, currency
      • Well check out this site:
      • http://www.zapatopi.net/cascadia/
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper C terms. How would you rate it?
      • (What are the consequences of believing this? How consistent is this information?)
  • Assumptions, Accuracy, Authorship, Audience (detail)
      • What assumptions have been made here?
      • How accurate is the information?
      • Who is the author?
      • What are the authors credentials?
      • Who is the intended audience?
      • http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper A terms. How would you rate it?
      • How about if you combined this rating with the Cs criteria?
  • Meaning, Main Points (detail)
      • What are the main points?
      • What isnt here?
      • http://www.thedogisland.com/
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper M terms. How would you rate it?
      • How about if you combined this rating with the A and C criteria?
  • Prejudice, Point of View, Provider, Purpose (detail)
      • Who is the provider of the information? Is the site edu? com? org? gov?
      • What is the authors point of view or bias?
      • What is the other point of view?
      • What is the purpose of the site - to inform, persuade, explain?
      • http://www.newtechusa.com/ppi/main.asp
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper P terms. How would you rate it?
      • How about if you combined this rating with the CAM criteria?
  • Evidence, Examples (detail)
      • What is the evidence to support the claim?
      • What examples are provided?
      • http://www.ovaprima.org/
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper E terms. How would you rate it?
      • How about if you combined this rating with the C, A, M and P criteria?
  • Relevance, Reliability (detail)
      • How relevant is this site to my research / key question?
      • Is the site reliable - easy to navigate, clear and quick to download?
      • Your key question is: Does blonde hair give you a disadvantage in terms of health, appearance or intelligence? Explain.
      • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2284783.stm
      • Whizz through this site and check it out in Camper R terms. How would you rate it?
      • How about if you combined this rating with the C, A, M, P and E criteria?
  • Other Ways of Evaluating : Hats
      • You can also use some of de Bonos Six Thinking Hats for this:
      • White Hat: What facts are listed on this site? Check for things like:
        • are they verifiable?
        • are they relevant to what Im looking for?
      • Green Hat: What new ideas am I being introduced to? Check for things like:
        • how do I know that theyre relevant or real?
        • why has no-one else listed them?
      • Black Hat: what are the weaknesses of this site? Check for:
        • do links work?
        • are there errors of grammar or spelling?
        • when as it last updated?
        • is the author listed and contactable?
      • Try these on this site: Boilerplate
  • Defining A Good Website
    • What makes a site good, bad or indifferent?
    • There are various criteria which weve already introduced you to which can be used to judge a website (links given earlier)
    • Therere numerous articles on the web (just type in good websites into Google for hundreds of ideas. Heres one: 7Points (Vanderlay)
    • Heres the BBCs take on it: www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/askbruce/articles/browse/goodsites_1.shtml (please note that one of their links - the BBC webguide - no longer works! - not sure what that says!)
  • Website Addresses
    • Make sure that the children understand at least the basics, for example:
    • gov or govt = government site
    • cri = crown institute
    • iwi ; school
    • edu = educational institution
    • com or co = commercial site
    • org = non profit
  • Teaching Website Evaluation
    • Website Addresses
    • Website Authors
    • Trusted Sites
    • Phishing Sites
    • Hoax Sites
    • What makes a site good?
  • BBCs Definition
    • Heres a link to how the BBC chooses sites for their Non-BBC recommended sites:
    • http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/recommended.shtml
  • Other Sites
    • You are more than welcome to go to Rm 4s delicious tags and look there for more information (tag keyword = website_evaluation) : http://delicious.com/Rm4/
    • Listed there are webquests, background reading, methods of evaluating, matrices to evaluate, etc.
  • Remember
    • Seeing is believing.
    • Penguins .