Vetting a Web Site

Educational Web Site Selection

It is very important that a teacher evaluate web sites that will be used by learners in the classroom and while working on classroom exercises. The first and most important criterion for evaluating the validity of a web site is determining the purpose and how the site will be used by the learner.  If the site is not properly reviewed for its purpose the lesson may not be achieved. Worse it is possible that the student would be directed to inappropriate content.

Teachers must be aware of the content that the learner will be reviewing. Proper follow-up assessments should be done to make sure that the material is interpreted properly and that the intended use is achieved.

Finally, a teacher should evaluate web sites that they recommend in classroom exercises to avoid situations that could be deemed inappropriate or even offensive to parents. It is the responsibility of the teacher to vet all resources used by students in the classroom.

I found the following items particularly useful in vetting a web site for educational purposes:

Dates – Material needs to be reviewed for Date sensitivity. In some cases if information isn’t current the experience may not lead to a valuable outcome.

Misinformation – Opinion may be provocative; however, there needs to be a balance of sited facts and counter arguments for the information presented.

Pertinent – There is so much information available it seem prudent to assure that the data used will meet the intended learning outcome.

Scholastic Reviews – Awards are useful. Nevertheless, teachers should be familiar with the evaluator and note that the awards and reviewer is respected.

Keeping the learners and lesson objectives in mind and combining them with Schrock’s evaluation outline will be a great asset. I see where all the stakeholders in the classroom will benefit from well reviewed web resources.

Kathy Schrock's Guide

http://discoveryschool.com/schrockguide/

Tammy Payton’s Evaluation Rubrics

http://www.siec.k12.in.us/west/edu/evaltr.htm

Joys Valenza’s Evaluating Web Pages

http://mciunix.mciu.k12.pa.us/~spjvweb/evalwebteach.html