MultiMedia Schools, September/October 1998, p. 50

An Oregon middle school teacher has found that students face several difficulties when they try to use the Web for serious research and information gathering. Students are pretty good at clicking around through pages, but without guidance they will come away with nothing meaningful. The teacher recommends focusing on three areas of skill-acquisition when students go online:

  1. Navigation skills. Students first need to become effective surfers. Let them know that the slightest typo or misspelling in a Web address won’t work. Also, students need to learn how to recognize links and keep track of Internet resources they find.

  2. Evaluation skills. Students need to learn how to rate the credibility of a Web site. Just because something is in print or online doesn’t mean it’s automatically factual. Teach students to look for a page’s author and any hidden agendas the Web page may have.

  3. Comprehension skills. Once students find and evaluate the value of a site, they must understand and retain the information they find online. Develop worksheets that require students to fully understand a site and read all of the material it contains.