Gardens need constant attention.
Internet activities also require your supervision.
Weeds can creep up in unexpected places.
Watch for weeds by carefully
evaluating the sites that students will use. Also,
monitor student activities.
Sex is everywhere and roses have thorns. These
are the basic truths of Internet and gardening. However, we don't
quit because things aren't perfect. We just have to be careful in
handling thorny roses. Some great sites
link to questionable sites. For example, the Pirates
Project was designed by a classroom
teacher. Some of her links go to Geocities sites that contain
advertising. Before using the activity with students, she always
reminds students that they may find inappropriate looking links.
These should be ignored in favor of the appropriate
Pests are a
problem. Some people buy a
pest-eating plant. With Internet, you can buy filtering
software, stick to "Safety Sites", or
simply focus activities to appropriate sites. The choice is up to
the teacher. Supervision is essential regardless of the
safe-guards used to prevent problems.
Weeding is critical.
Pull the weeds before they become a problem
by teaching students
evaluation skills. Go to the Evaluation
for some good starting points.
Avoid the glitz!
Beware of talking trees and other wild options. If
a site requires special utilities or plug-ins for Shockwaves,
Movies, MIDI files, ask yourself whether the information is work
the time needed to download and install the special program. Many
times it's faster to just use another source!
The key to effective weeding is a good set of
evaluation criteria. Both teachers and students need to be
critical evaluators of the Internet resources.
Use the CyberGuides
evaluation form to evaluate a website. Next, evaluate
the evaluation form. What other questions do you think
are important to ask?
Explore some other evaluation
guidelines and checklists. Use these to expand the