Reading on the web is a critical skill for engaging with content online. Just as traditional reading requires knowledge of the text and concepts of print, reading online requires a basic understanding of web mechanics. Good online readers know the tools and strategies that can be used to search for and locate people, resources, and information. They then know how to judge the credibility of these sources. The web literacy skills and competencies identified as necessary for correctly reading on the web are as follows.
- Search --Using questions and keywords most efficiently to find the information you need.
- Navigate-- Understanding the basic structure of the web and being able to understand how this affects reading online.
- Validate-- Comparing and evaluating information from a number of sources online to test credibility and relevance. Making judgments about the “usefulness” or relevance of a web source based on the content presented. Making judgments about the “truthfulness” or credibility of a web source based on the content presented. Identifying and investigating the author or publisher of web resources.
The following instructions will provide the relevant information and exercises to help in understanding web mechanics and improve student digital skills.
List 4 major search engines. Commonly used search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Creative Commons Search. For a list of search engines, directories, meta-search engines and all their functions, check https://searchenginewatch.com/.
If you are looking for “kidcentric” type of search tools, try Noodle Tools: http://www.noodletools.com/educators/.
Follow-up Activities for Teachers and Students:
Try to find a subject specific database in your area of expertise.
Give students sample research problems from which they access Noodle Tools to help them select appropriate search tools.