Validating web sites 3 4


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  • My presentation today is based on the validation strategy offered by Alan November, who is a senior partner of November Learning. November Learning is dedicated towards supporting and challenging teachers and students to expand the boundaries of learning. This strategy uses the acronym REAL! We will cover this strategy shortly.
  • Today’s students live in a high tech environment and it is important that we teachers TEACH them practical & usable methods as they “surf” the Internet. Students need to be taught the “How to’s” of evaluating a site on the Internet. They should ask themselves these questions: Does this site make sense? Is this site written in simple and clear language? Is the tone of the site calm and logical Is the site perhaps manipulating me in regards to its message?
  • HS/MS student—researching the Holocaust— Came upon an interesting site written by Professor Arthur Butz of Northwestern University His website suggests that concentration camps were an attempt by German gov’t to help Jews fight typhus carried by lice Death camps were really medical clinics Doesn’t deny shaving and showers, canisters of Zyklon gas, the crematoria and death. Explains these as necessary actions for the eradication of lice. Web page was simple/clear/written in calm, logical tone From students perspective, page was intended for experts in field/professor from a premiere university. Therefore, must be ok. Student was untrained to think critically about Web information. So what should teachers do? Try the REAL Strategy!
  • Your ability to master this four step strategy is critical for the future success of your students. These tools and techniques should be passed along to your students if we are to have successful graduates of Amherst Central Schools.
  • Step 1 READ!!! Start with the URL. How many of you know what URL means? Universal Resource Locator. YOUR GOAL: To make judgments about web site information based on what the URL will tell you.
  • Domain names have to be paid for and registered. Network Solutions is the original domain name registrar and the leading provider of Internet services including: Web hosting, Web site design, online marketing, e-mail and more. Amherst is registered through School World in Rochester, NY. They also host our website.
  • We cannot say that these sites with these extensions can never by trusted, but it is good to know whether you are on a commercial or special interest-type site if you are trying to access academic-type information.
  • This site describes the Holocaust as an historic myth is no longer available at the original address. It is no longer available at the original address but it is available if you know how to research the history of a website.
  • Unlike print material, it is sometimes difficult to know if you are reading fiction, non-fiction, editorials or advertisements on the Internet. Therefore, you should teach your student to ask questions and think critically about the information on the computer screen
  • At first glance looks like it might be a good site for students to find information about him. The URL contains his name. Do a Google search on Martin Luther King and this site appears in the top five or six results, claiming it to be a “valuable resource for students and teachers.” However, read the material on the site and you will quickly find very negative and misleading information about Dr. King. It is published by a White Pride organization called Stormfront. In fact, it is a hate site and probably be blocked by many schools’ Internet filters. Ours are open today so we can research. Follow link!
  • If you study the site using the Wayback Machine, it is interesting to note that this site has become geared more and more toward students.
  • What types of sites the forward links are taking the student to. Are they academic, commercial or personal pages? READ THE EXTENSIONS!
  • Many credible authors will offer links to sites dealing with the same topic. Try for balance! If forward links lead to questionable information, you probably are reading biased info.
  • Validating web sites 3 4

    1. 1. <ul><li>Warning: </li></ul><ul><li>Some portions of this presentation may contain material used under the Fair Use Exemption of US Copyright Law. </li></ul><ul><li>Further use is prohibited. </li></ul>
    2. 2. Validating Web Sites By Cecile Webster
    3. 3. <ul><li>Why Do We Need to Validate? </li></ul><ul><li>Students need to be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use practical and usable methods while exploring the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sense of sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain a proper prospective on what they can encounter on the net </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sites should be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple and clear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written in calm, logical tone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sites should not be manipulative in its actual message </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Guide to checking the quality of information </li></ul><ul><li>on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can publish </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Web Masters </li></ul><ul><li>Over 156 million sites (85+ billion web pages) including blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Quantity vs. Quality </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>A Strategy to Validate a Web Site! </li></ul><ul><li>REAL Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>R Read the URL </li></ul><ul><li>E Examine the site’s content </li></ul><ul><li>A Ask about the author/publisher </li></ul><ul><li>L Look at the links </li></ul><ul><li>*Alan November/November Learning </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>R is for Reading the URL </li></ul><ul><li>What is the domain name? </li></ul><ul><li>Is found after the http:// and the www. to </li></ul><ul><li>the first forward slash/ </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> is the domain name </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A domain name can provide clues about the quality of information of a site or tell you what a site is about </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>R is for reading the URL </li></ul><ul><li>What is the extension in the domain name? </li></ul><ul><li>An extension is preceded by a . (dot) </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: .com and .net </li></ul><ul><li>Intended to show type of establishment that owns and publishes the domain . </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>R is for Reading the URL </li></ul><ul><li>Extensions </li></ul><ul><li>More reliable ones: </li></ul><ul><li>.edu, .gov, .k12 </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for: </li></ul><ul><li>.com, .org, .net </li></ul><ul><li>Can be purchased by anyone </li></ul><ul><li>no guarantees </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>R is for Reading the URL </li></ul><ul><li>Check this list: </li></ul><ul><li>. edu Educational organization (most US universities) </li></ul><ul><li>.k12 US school site (not all US schools use this) </li></ul><ul><li>.ac Academic institution (outside of US) </li></ul><ul><li>.sch School site (some schools outside of US use) </li></ul><ul><li>.com Company (usually .co in the UK) </li></ul><ul><li>.org Any organization </li></ul><ul><li>.gov Government agency </li></ul><ul><li>.net Network </li></ul><ul><li>.mil Military institution </li></ul><ul><li>.biz commercial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>.name commercial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>.pro commercial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>.info commercial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Computer User Dictionary </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>R is for Reading the URL </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t recognize the domain name or extension </li></ul><ul><li>Look past the first forward slash </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. /~abutz/di/intro.html </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of a name or the tilde ~ or % usually means it is a personal web site. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. http:/ </li></ul><ul><li>Even though northwestern and .edu should be a trusted site, the ~and name indicate a personal web page . </li></ul><ul><li>This site is no longer available at the original address! </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>E is for Examining the Content </li></ul><ul><li>Look for information that: </li></ul><ul><li>is correct -- contradict info found elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>is up-to date -- ? when last updated </li></ul><ul><li>is right for their topic </li></ul><ul><li>is useful for your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Are resources and links provided and do they work? </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>E is for Examining the Content </li></ul><ul><li>Look at its history: </li></ul><ul><li>The Wayback Machine -- </li></ul><ul><li>--has web pages archived from 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>--check </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>A is for Ask About the Author/Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>Who owns the site? </li></ul><ul><li>EasyWhois gives you </li></ul><ul><li>Date site was created </li></ul><ul><li>Specific contact names </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses at which organization is based. </li></ul><ul><li>try the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enter domain name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>A is for Ask About the Author/Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing the author/publisher, you can now: </li></ul><ul><li>Do a Google search on both the organization and the individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In this case Stormfront and Don Black </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After checking this out, we definitely do not want our students reading and researching information on this site. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>L is for Look at the Links </li></ul><ul><li>Forward Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links an author puts on website to other information on the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>author has full control over inclusion of forward links. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Students should ask these questions about forward links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the URLs of the forward links? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can help you judge quality of link and see patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Domain name on link same as on original site, chances are likely same person wrote them all. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>L is for Look at the Links </li></ul><ul><li>Forward Links-con’t </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do domain names change? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check URLs of forward links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who wrote them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chance of bias in info if same person wrote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is information biased? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Judge the quality of a website by the company it keeps. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Any opposing viewpoints included in links? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If so, shows a balanced and unbiased approach </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>L is for Look at the Links </li></ul><ul><li>External Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are not controlled by a website’s author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could be made by anyone in the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is linked to this site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are they universities, schools, or commercial sites? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check URLs, titles, descriptions carefully </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of the link? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why have groups or individuals chose to link to this site ? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><ul><li>L is for Look at the Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do other sites say about the information on the site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-reference information and look for hidden bias. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to Find External Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go to Alta Vista </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type in the following: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Link: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scan the list of sites </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to the three questions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who is linked to this site? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of the link? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What do other sites say about the information on this site </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can you make any generalizations? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>L is for Look at the Links </li></ul><ul><li>The link: command will work in Google as well, but with more limited results. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of websites: </li></ul><ul><li>Check spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Check grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Check syntax errors </li></ul><ul><li>Check for any awards given </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Recommendations: </li></ul><ul><li>Use WorldBook or Grolier instead of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia or any of its offshoots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncyclopedia </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Trusted Websites used by AMS teachers in the Computer Center: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some connection to NYS, used by Career & Life Skills teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>online edition of Occupational Outlook Handbook , used by Career & Life Skills teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><ul><li>about tornadoes (and other storms), used by Grade 8 Earth Science teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tenement Museum on Orchard St. in NYC, used by Grade 8 SS teachers </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive site on earthquakes using Richter scale, etc., Grade 8 Earth Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>seismic monitoring site, Grade 8 Earth Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ellis Island tour, Grade 8 SS </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spanish & French conjugation practice </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>WebSites </li></ul><ul><li>We will look at and evaluate using Alan November’s REAL method: </li></ul><ul><li>Fun Phones: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Street Gang Dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>http://   </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Island Free Forever </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>McWhortle Enterprises </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>All About Explorers </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Ova Prima Foundation </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Victorian Robots: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Hemp Nuts </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>Carnival in Quebec </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>The Pacific Northwest Tree octopus </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Worm Man’s Worm Farm </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Feline Reactions to Bearded Men </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Fuhrer Putz Nuclear Submarine Docks </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>