Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Website Evaluation Criteria

School librarians evaluate curriculum based and developmentally appropriate books, magazines, newspapers, AV materials and learning resources for their students. Online resources are not spared from such scrutiny since this format is a favorite among today's youngsters. Apart from TV and mobile phones, Filipino children are also captive audiences of the WWW.

I find it disappointing though, how many of them perceive Internet technology as something for pure pleasure. In my years as Reference and IT Librarian, I seldom meet a student whose answer to the question, "What is the Internet for?", is "for learning and school work". Yeah, consider me kill joy (KJ), but really, there's more to these electronic resources than games and entertainment. Now this is one reason why school librarians must pursue Information Literacy classes or Library instruction periods in their libraries. Likewise, teachers must effectively model the use of technology to their students.

It is important that children understand the facets of the technology of their generation. What they learn in basic education, they carry on for LIFE. Who else must campaign for the responsible and ethical use of the WWW but school librarians. Teachers and parents are our natural allies. So to start with, here are websites on selection/evaluation criteria for teachers, librarians and parents who guide children in the proper use of the WWW. It is my pleasure to share my finds with you.

ALA Great Websites for kids gives a very brief but substantial set of criteria. Tips on how to maximize the WWW in the classroom are also included.

Kid's Selection Criteria identifies four simple criterion that children can use. Emphasizing on the evaluation of both content and design for better projects and reports help the student appreciate the value of assessing a website independently.

Kathy Schrock's website is teeming with resources for online teaching. She has different web evaluation worksheets for students across grade levels. I'm using the elementary level and this has proven to be an easy exercise for my grade 6 and 7 boys.

In this age of IT, it is not enough that we provide our students with learning materials. Teaching them the skill to intelligently use the technology and resources available is just as necessary. Let me know of your experiences too. Then we can learn from each other!

Happy surfing!

1 comment:

Susie Deasis said...

I have 6 kids of my own and, I agree with you Ms. Zarah, both as a parent and as a librarian.

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