Leading Innovation 2012 Bootcamp

leadinginnovation2012 - Evaluating sources



There is just SO MUCH!

As the Internet has grown, so have the number of resources, and it is essential to be able to locate those that have content value for classroom instruction. It is important that staff and students focus on locating high quality resources for unit development, research, instruction, and to build the skills of independent life-long learners.

There is no easy way to establish the value of an online source. When you find a resource you really like, changes in that resource may make it undesirable. What makes a resource valuable is the ability you have to use it to teach and/or learn.

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Check out this video from The Teaching Channel and how one English class discusses how to critically think about what they look for online, aligned with Common Core Standards.
If you are having trouble viewing video, click HERE.

While viewing, consider:
  • How do the three activities appropriately scaffold student understanding of precision and specificity?
  • In what ways does each activity help students improve their vocabulary use?
  • How does the use of an internet search increase student interest and engagement?


It is important to S-E-A-R-C-H! Another way to Critically Search the Internet!

This mnemonic device lays out the five steps in a search plan, and the steps spell out SEARCH.

SELECT research questions and search tools. (Explain to students that they should have one or more questions that get to the core of what they want to find out in their search.
They should also choose search engines and tools that are most relevant to what they are looking for.)

EXTRACT keywords and terms. (Students should understand that they can find effective keywords by highlighting the key terms from their research questions.)
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APPLY search strategies. (Students should apply some of the search strategies they learned – for example, adding quotation marks or a minus sign, or specifying what type of information they need.)

RUN your search. (Students should run a search on the terms they have chosen and review the results. Remind students that they should check out multiple sources.)

CHART your search.(Student can avoid repeating work they have already done by jotting down what they’ve searched for and where they’ve searched for it.)

And, of course, always remember to cite your sources!

Creative Commons http://search.creativecommons.org/. Creative Commons. Licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

Son of Citation Machine http://citationmachine.net/. David Warlick. Web 2.0 Tool for citing resources


Additional Resources To Explore:

Information Literacy: Not Just for Students: Good Internet research skills are important for teachers, too. This article provides an introduction to "information literacy" concepts and a list of references for teachers and media specialists.

Five Tips to Improve Students' Information Evaluation: Teach your students how to separate the good online information from the bad with these five strategies.

Instructional Strategies for Critically Evaluating Online Information: Dr. Julie Coiro has created a dynamic website that leads you through definitions and activities associated with the online critical evaluation tasks that are particularly challenging for students who read information to learn on the Internet. The website provides outstanding instructional strategies and activities that you can begin to use with your students.

The TICA Research Project: Before teachers can begin helping their students meet the outcomes and goals addressed above, they must assess where their students are in relation to their computer and Internet skills. Scroll half down this website to download the PDF version of an incredibly valuable assessment tool.


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Media Resources:
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
Video courtesy of CommonSenseMedia and The Teacher Channel