Using the net wisely

Like it or not, the internet is here to stay.

And there are an amazing array of resources out there to support learning, and to provide information that has never before been accessible at such a simple click of the mouse.

Nowadays, students are more likely to go to google for their assignment research as the library, and they are able to access so much information, that not only could they be overwhelmed, they are likely to decide that if someone else has already done the work, why should they??

However, unlike textbooks and other published resources, the internet has no editor, and anyone can publish whatever they like. And as this blog will testify, even those with very little knowledge of html, programming etc can create a very professional looking site, the authority of which can for all intents and purposes look very credible.

However as adults, we all know that is not true, and that critical literacy is more vital than ever before. There are so many great resources out there for teaching critical literacy and the skills required to be websavvy, but below are some particular gems that I have recently come across:

‘I’m working on a history paper about how the Holocaust never happened. I read about it on a Web page at Northwestern University.’ What would you tell 14-year-old Zack if he came to you with this? Written by Alan November in September 1998 for High School Principal Magazine : click on link below:

How Do I Know Stuff on the Internet is True? or How to Evaluate and Validate Information from the Internet: click on link below:

Grazing the Net: Raising a Generation of Free Range Students by Jamie McKenzie:

The theme of this article is the value of raising young people to think, explore and make meaning for themselves. Click on the link below:

On a slightly different tangent, we know that children accessing the internet may be vulnerable to risks from predators and scams – a second part of critical literacy is awareness of what we as publishers place on the internet – the following links may help in this regard:

Australia’s Internet Safety Advisory Body: Practical advice on Internet safety, parental control and filters for the protection of children, students and families.

Discover the risks for children online such as chatting online, cyber bullying, online predators or online scams and find solutions to these problems and more. Click on the link below:

Internet Safety Education for Primary Students:

A number of materials have been developed to assist you with teaching and learning about online safety. To complement the CyberQuoll interactive learning program, NetAlert has a suite of materials to help you teach internet safety. Click on the link below:


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