Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trailblazers Internet Reliability Chat

So Monday I got to talk to a couple of classes about how to tell if a web site on the internet is a reliable source of information or not.  The kids asked a lot of questions, especially about the use of Wikipedia.  According to the teacher they loved to go there to start their searches or to find a source to cite when they forgot where they got a piece of information.  So I thought I would tell them why Wikipedia wasn't the best reliable source, and how they should be using it.

The teacher had already showed them how you could edit content and make it inaccurate in Wikipedia, so when I told them it is best not to risk it they seemed to agree.  But then I told them about the cited sources at the bottom.  They were thrilled to learn they could go to their favorite information web site and still use it to a degree.  I made sure to emphasize that they still need to check those sources for credibility.  A lot can be outdated, purely for commercial use, or heavily biased.

I know a lot of people have issues with using Wikipedia and frankly, kids love it.  Adults love it.  Even if we give them better sites they will still flock there.  We might as well show them how to use it in a safe and proper manner while getting the best information and not just settling for less.  So that is what I did, as well as show them several information databases for kids.

Unfortunately I didn't get to the other classes because the internet over there cut out, and then Skype was not working properly.  However, next Monday we will inform the other two classes, and I may get to introduce more useful websites.


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