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Introduction To Internet Research


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In this class, you will learn to: Use A Web Browser; Use The Free Library’s Website; Search The World Wide Web; Evaluate Web Resources; Stay Safe Online

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Introduction To Internet Research

  1. 1. Parkway central library <br />computer classes<br />Introduction to Internet Research<br />
  2. 2. In this class, you will learn to…<br />Use A Web Browser<br />Use The Free Library’s Website<br />Search The World Wide Web<br />Evaluate Web Resources<br />Stay Safe Online<br />
  3. 3. But First, Some Useful Terms...<br />Internet - Global network connecting millions of computers worldwide. Communication types include e-mail, discussion groups, and information from the World Wide Web. The terms Internet and WorldWide Web are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. <br />World Wide Web- One component of the Internet; a collection of documents and applications residing on Internet servers around the world.<br />Website - A collection of linked documents that contains text and other media elements, such as graphics, animation, video, and audio.<br />Webpage - A single document or ‘page’ on a website.<br />Homepage - Main page or ‘front door’ of a website; typically provides a table of contents or a site map for the rest of the site.<br />
  4. 4. Some More Useful Terms...<br />Web address- The unique address of any Web page. Also called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).<br />Hyperlink - An element in an electronic document (i.e. a webpage) that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. Typically, you click on the hyperlink to follow the link. Links usually appear as blue underlined text. <br />Web browser- Software programs that let you view Web pages and other documents on the Internet. They "translate" Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) files into the text, images, sounds, and other features you see online. The a few of the most commonly used browsers are Opera, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and Google’s Chrome.<br />Internet Service Provider (ISP)- A company that provides an individual or organization with access to the Internet, usually for a fee. The most common methods of providing this service are dial-up, cable, and digital subscriber line (DSL). Service providers include Comcast, Verizon, AOL, EarthLink and NetZero.<br />
  5. 5. How To Use a Web Browser<br />
  6. 6. How To Use a Web Browser<br />Getting started:The Web browser we use here at the Free Library is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, symbolized by this icon: <br />When you first launch the web browser, a preset web page appears. This page is your start page. At the Free Library, the start page is the library’s homepage, located at<br />
  7. 7. How To Use a Web Browser<br />The Toolbar: The buttons and boxes at the top of your browser help you travel through the Web, keeping track of where you've been. Most browsers have a few of these controls in common. <br />The Back button (the arrow pointing to the left) returns you the previous Web page you've visited. <br />Use the Forward button (the arrow pointing to the right) to return to the page you just came from. <br />TheAddress Bar is the long box on the toolbar. This is where you type the address of a website you want to visit. After you type it, press the Enter key or click on the blue arrow on the right to access the site.<br />
  8. 8. How To Use a Web Browser<br />Home takes you to whichever page the PC’s admin has chosen. <br />Reload or Refresh does just that, loads the webpage again. Sometimes all of the elements of a webpage haven't loaded the first time because the file transfer was interrupted.<br />The Stop button stops the browser from loading the current page. There's a good reason why the Web is sometimes referred to as the “World Wide Wait” especially if you don't have a speedy broadband Internet connection. If you can't connect to a site or if the page is loading very slowly, use the Stopbutton and try again later.<br />Print lets you make a hard copy of the current page loaded in your browser. <br />
  9. 9. How To Use a Web Browser<br />Internet Explorer’s Page button/menu<br />This button makes a pull-down menu appear, which contains useful functions, most notably New Window, Cut, Copy and Paste, Save As... and Zoom.<br />
  10. 10. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />
  11. 11. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />
  12. 12. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />Find<br />Find a Location – Find one of our 55 libraries in the City of Philadelphia<br />Events,Programs & Services – Find great stuff to do at our libraries<br />Catalog – Find books, journals & movies owned by the Free Library<br />Databases – Find reliable information in our vast library of databases<br />
  13. 13. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />Explore<br />What To Read – Links to the bestseller lists online… and so much more <br />Timely Topics – From Recession Tools to Swine Flu, this is the info you need, when you need it – right at your fingertips<br />
  14. 14. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />Ask<br />Email – Email us a question and get an answer in 48 hours<br />Chat – Live chat with a librarian on Ask Here PA, a 24/7 reference service<br />Text – Text us a question from your cell phone and we’ll text you the answer<br />
  15. 15. How To Use The Free Library’s Website<br />Online Account Access<br />With your Library card number and PIN, you can: <br />see the items you have checked out.<br />renew items that can be renewed without Library staff assistance.<br />cancel any outstanding requests you have.<br />view any fines or fees owed to the Library.<br />
  16. 16. How To Search the Web<br />
  17. 17. How To Search the Web<br />Searching the Web can be overwhelming to beginners who don't know where to start or how to navigate the Web successfully. The Web is huge and contains vast amounts of information, and finding information about anything is easy if you know where and how to look. <br />Search Engines are services on the Web where you can go to retrieve this information. Search engines are basically huge databases of indexed information. They don't contain the information, but they have the Web addresses where you can find it. <br />
  18. 18. How To Search the Web<br />Google is the largest and most popular search engine. Its address is For the sake of keeping things simple, we will focus on using Google.<br />
  19. 19. How To Search the Web<br />Google search basics<br />Type a few keywords describing your research topic in the search box, hit the Enter key or click on the Google Search button, and Google will find webpages that are relevant.<br />Usually you will find exactly what you’re looking for with just a basic search. However, these tips will help you make the most of your searches:<br />Keep it simple. If you're looking for a certain company, concept, place, or product, just type its name, or as much of its name as you can recall. If you're looking for a pizza place, just type pizza and your zip code. Simple is good. <br />Describe what you need with as few terms as possible.If you don't get what you need, the results should give you an idea of what additional words are needed to refine your results on the next search.<br />Choose descriptive words.The more unique the words, the more likely you are to get relevant results. Words that are not very descriptive, such as ‘document,’ ‘website,’ ‘company,’ or ‘info,’ are usually not needed.<br />
  20. 20. How To Search the Web<br />How to read search results<br />Google's goal is to provide you with results that are clear and easy to read. There are three features that are important to understanding the search results page:<br />The title: The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage. This is also a hyperlink to the page itself.<br />The snippet: A description of or an excerpt from the webpage. <br />The URL: The webpage's address. This is always green text in a Google search.<br />
  21. 21. How To Search the Web<br />Visit Google’s Web Search Help pages for more information on searching the Web with Google:<br />
  22. 22. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />
  23. 23. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />Who wrote or published the information on the site?<br />Because anyone can publish on the Web and say anything they want – even if it isn’t true – it is very important that you first identify the author of the information on the site. Ask yourself: <br />Who is the author? Is that source clearly identified?<br />Can I contact the author through an e-mail, phone number, or mailing address, or is there a Feedback Form on the site?<br />What are the author's credentials? Is he or she an expert in the subject I am researching?<br />Is the site created or sponsored by a reputable organization? If so, is the organization is a credible, authoritative source of information? <br />
  24. 24. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />What information and resources does the site provide?<br />The information you find on a website does not necessarily pass through the hands of editors or librarians, so it's up to you to determine the value of the site's content and presentation. Ask yourself:<br />What is the site's purpose: To persuade, inform, or entertain? Does the site achieve its purpose?<br />Is the information on the site objective or biased? <br />Does the site provide thorough coverage of the topic? Does it reference or link to other in-depth resources?<br />Is the information on the site well written? Are there misspellings or grammatical errors?<br />Does the site provide a Works Cited page or a bibliography? Are the resources the author consulted reliable, thorough, and objective?<br />Does the site feature graphics, video and audio clips, or animations? If so, do these elements help explain or clarify the site's topic? <br />
  25. 25. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />Navigation and Presentation<br />The ability to move around in a website (navigation) and the way it looks and feels (presentation) are important elements to consider when evaluating a site. Ask yourself: <br />Is the site well organized and easy to navigate? Can I find the information I am looking for within a few clicks?<br />Is the site visually appealing? Does the design suit the purpose?<br />Are multimedia elements such as sound and video used sparingly and for a specific purpose or are they distracting?<br />Does the site have any advertisements, banners or pop-ups that might distract me from my purpose for visiting?<br />Does the site take a long time to load? <br />
  26. 26. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />When was the site first created and last updated?<br />Is your research topic time-sensitive? Is it important that you locate the most current, up-to-date resources? Even if you answered ‘No’ to both of these questions, you should still take note of when the site was created and last updated. Ask yourself: <br />Does the site indicate when it was first created and last updated?<br />Do the links work or do they lead to error messages such as ‘Page Not Found’? Sites that are not up-to-date are more likely to have expired or ‘broken’ links.<br />
  27. 27. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />Where does the site live?<br />Look closely at the site's URL, specifically at the three-letter suffix known as an extension. This provides clues about the source of the site you are viewing. <br />Some common extensions are...<br />.edu = Educational institution<br />.com = Commercial business or personal website<br />.gov = Government agency<br />.org = Organization (usually, though not always, nonprofit)<br />.mil = Military<br />Watch Out! A site with the .govextension signals a government agency and probably has reliable and trustworthy information. However, it is harder to determine whether sites with the .edu, .org, or .comextensions are quality ones. For example, the .eduextension indicates that a site is associated with an educational institution, but it doesn't tell you whether it's the official site of the history department – or a site created by a student with a C minus grade average. <br />
  28. 28. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />Why should I use this site?<br />Evaluating the credibility, thoroughness, accuracy, currency, and presentation of a website will help you determine whether to use that site for your research. Ask yourself: <br />Do the resources on this site meet all my needs? Is the information verifiable, in-depth, and up to date?<br />Why is this website a better research source than some of the other sites I've already visited? <br />
  29. 29. How To Evaluate Web Resources<br />Focus on URLs<br />Just as a ‘snail mail’ address is made up of several components — a house or building number, street, city, state, zip code, etc. — the address or URL of a website has components, each separated by a slash (/). <br />Let's look closely at the following URL: <br /><br /> <br />http://- The http notation means that this is a hypertext document. It is not necessary to type this in the address bar before the URL; the browser will add it.<br /> The second part of the URL is called the domain name. This is the part of the URL that identifies and calls up the specific computer on the Web that stores the information you requested. In the example, is the home page of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). <br />exhibit_hall/american_originals/original.html - The last parts of the URL indicate exactly where on the host computer the webpage can be found. These parts are typically referred to as the directories and subdirectories of the site. Within the NARA website, the requested webpage lives in the Exhibit Hall section of the site, within the American Originals collection. The .html notation indicates that the page is written in hypertext markup language. <br />
  30. 30. How To Stay Safe Online<br />
  31. 31. How To Stay Safe Online<br />Protecting Personal Information<br />In our increasingly networked world, protecting sensitive personal data is more important than ever. Guard personal information carefully, and be picky about what you share and with whom. Here are some good tips:<br />Don't give personal information to everyone who asks.You have a right to ask why your information is needed and how it’s going to be used. The more sensitive the data, like your Social Security Number (SSN), the more careful you should be. <br />Don't open unsolicited email messages.Email scams are among the most common schemes criminals use to commit identity theft. Be leery of any messages that ask you to provide personal information,even if they appear to come from a bank or company you've done business with.<br />Surf carefully.Just as you don't wander into sketchy neighborhoods in the real world, you need to be careful where you surf online. Disreputable sites can be loaded with spyware and viruses intended to crash your computer and steal personal information. <br />Read Privacy Policies.It may not be the most compelling reading, but it's good to know how a website intends to use personal information before you hand it to them. Never give information to any website that does not have a clearly posted Privacy Policy. <br />Protect your home computer.Make sure you're doing everything you can to secure your personal computer and your Internet connection at home, such as using anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and firewalls to make sure you're protected from attackers. <br />If you fear that you have become the victim of identity theft, go to guidance on what to do next.<br />
  32. 32. Resources Used<br />The following Web resources were used to create the content for this presentation:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />All were accessed between Dec 2009 and Jan 2010.<br />