Internet Evaluations

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.

It 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 on-line experience.

Things 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 more success.
~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 creator?
~Advertisements? Check the entire site for the types of ads it may display!
~Are the links provided current and relevant to your topic of study?
~Currency- how well is the site maintained?  Are links current and in working order?
~Are there any special programs that are needed to run the site efficiently? If yes, is it easy to download these programs?

For a more comprehensive checklist please check out The 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.

 

Here are some additional evaluation tools.   For the most part, they contain very similar areas of criteria. It is the presentation that differs. I have found it helpful to look at many and find one I feel comfortable with.


The ABCs of Web Evaluations- from A to Z learn how to evaluate web resources

Cyberbee Excellent site to help you use technology in your classroom- specifically
     the Internet. Includes a section on Web Evaluations:
http://www.cyberbee.com/guides.html

Five Criteria For Evaluating the Web

Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators -- Elementary School Critical Web Page Evaluation Tool- a great resource to use with your students.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- a great source for separating the good from the bad- just as the title says.

The MacDonald Website Evaluation and Guidelines for finding quality, developmentally appropriate websites for young children

Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources- from the UCLA College Library

Web Evaluation Guide- a pdf file

A WebQuest on How to Evaluate Internet Sites

What Makes A Website Good?

Yahooligans' 4A's Of Website Evaluations- Accessible, Accurate, Appropriate, and Appealing



Internet Safety For Teachers, Parents and Students

 
 
 


~Graphics Created For The Teachers' Mouse Pad~

2005
Do Not Copy These Graphics!