Posted by: Kris Woods | February 10, 2008

Web evaluation: Reflections on MediA21 @ TMS

Each nine weeks I collaborate with our Computer Applications teacher on a website evaluation unit with our seventh graders.  I have a PowerPoint that I made into a webpage.  The students follow along on the laptops while we work on answering the essential question: How do I critically evaluate a website?

This week we tried something new and I am happy with the result.  I had been using The Dog Island website as the model for working through the Five W’s of Website Evaluation.  This is a great hoax site to show the value of critically evaluating a website and being a cautious consumer of information.  However, I wanted to emphasize the questioning aspect of the lesson more so than is possible with Dog Island.

This time, we used the DHMO website.  A colleague pointed me toward a DHMO video on TeacherTube that is a teen talking about the website and how upset she is with the state of contamination by this chemical, DHMO.  The video is a great hook for the students as I explained that I wanted us to examine this website to see if we should join this girl in her crusade against DHMO contamination.  After we worked through the Five W’s of the website ( Who, What, Where, When,  Why) we determined that the chemical must be a hazard.  I then had the students discover and realize what compound DHMO is by working through the chemical formula.

They were blown away by the result.  I think the lesson shook them up a bit about Internet research.  The point I made was that all the information on the website is accurate, but the premise behind the information is completely misleading.  A great teachable moment for information literacy.

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Responses

  1. This is awesome! It just shows that if we (teachers and media specialists) can put in the time upfront in these kinds of lessons that the payoff is huge!

    Awesome! 🙂
    Buffy


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