The Internet can be a powerful aide
for helping children maximize their learning potential. This
can only happen if children are exposed to developmentally appropriate
sites. Due to the fact that publishing an Internet site has become
increasingly easier over the past few years, just about anybody can create a website. This
is great because the number of resources available quadruples
everyday. On the flip side, this is very frightening, as not all
sites are valuable and child friendly. There are currently no
standards for web publication.
is very important that we use quality Internet
sites with our children. To ensure that the sites you are using
with children are age-appropriate and meaningful, it is recommended that
you carefully evaluate the site(s) before your children engage in any
to consider when evaluating sites for children:
~Speed-does it load quickly?
~First Impression/Appearance- does it catch your interest? Will it catch
your students' interest?
~What is the reading level required to find the site useful? Match
reading levels with your students' reading abilities. A frustrated user
will not gain a thing from the Internet! Try pairing students up for
~Ease of Navigation for Intended User-clear instructions for getting from
page to page
~Use of graphics/sounds- appropriate? Do they load in a timely manner?
~Content and Information Value-fact or opinion?
~Is the author an expert?
Do they give their credentials? Is there a way to contact the
~Advertisements? Check the entire site for the types of ads it may
~Are the links provided current and relevant to your topic of study?
~Currency- how well is the site maintained? Are links current and in
~Are there any special programs that are needed to run the site
efficiently? If yes, is it easy to download these programs?
a more comprehensive checklist please check out
MacDonald Website Evaluation and Guidelines for finding quality,
developmentally appropriate websites for young children. Over the years
as a Technology Educator, I have evaluated thousands of sites for my own
students. I have created a checklist that helps me evaluate these sites
and maintain a sense of order for my findings.