The internet is a vast and ever-changing resource of information. It gives us access to a wide range of information on any topic imaginable so of course it’s going to be a benefit to staff and students. However, it can also be a challenge, as it can be difficult to know which information is reliable and which is not.
As a school staff member, it is important to help students learn how to evaluate the reliability of online information. This will help them to be critical thinkers and to avoid being misled by false or misleading information. It’s also a useful tool to educate ourselves on.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for evaluating the reliability of online information.
Consider the source.
When evaluating a website, look at the domain name. Is it a .edu, .gov, or .org website? These websites are typically more reliable than .com websites, which can be owned by anyone.
Look for author credentials.
Is the author an expert on the topic? Do they have any qualifications or experience? If they are, ask yourself are you looking at work from the author or someone pretending to be the author? Be careful, use official websites and links from reputable organisations. Do not trust someone claiming to be the author on social media or a third-party site.
Check the date.
When was the information last updated? Make sure you are using the most up-to-date information.
Consider the purpose of the website.
Is the website trying to sell you something? Is it trying to promote a particular point of view? Be aware of the website's purpose and how it might affect the information it contains.
Use multiple sources.
Don't rely on just one source of information. Look for information from a variety of sources to get a well-rounded view of the topic.
If we can educate the children we teach and ourselves in these skills we can help create a more well informed society and protect everyone from unreliable information and sources