Helping my child to become an effective digital citizen - online research.

posted Feb 17, 2014, 3:25 PM by Nicky Ryan   [ updated Feb 18, 2014, 12:32 AM ]
Kia ora e tu whanau

Back to school with homework and the inevitable research that goes with it. Most of us hop on the internet and hit search. How do you help your child with homework and guide them with their research?

The internet is bursting with information but remember some of it is current and correct. Some information is questionable and some is absolutely WRONG! Not everything on the web can be trusted. As a parent you need your child to learn skills for research and evaluation at primary school level so that they are already critical thinkers.

We know as adults that anything can be published on the internet, even teens are more skeptical but primary aged children are more inclined to believe what they read and accept is as the TRUTH. You can support your child so they don't get part of a story or accept incorrect information and instead help them to learn as much as possible about a subject. 

There are ways to evaluate the trustworthiness of a website:

  • Firstly chose one with a good design and that is at the appropriate reading level for your child.
  • Help your child to evaluate the content and reliability by asking questions:
    • Who do you think wrote this? Look at the author's expertise, title and background.
    • What is the source of information? Does the site come from a well known organisation or news source?
    • How does this compare with other information? When looking for information it is important to evaluate multiple sites to compare information.
    • When was the information/site updated? Has the site been updated recently? If not move on! What links does the site have? If it is linked to other sites you think are trustworthy then that is a good sign.
    • Lastly are advertisers targeting you? Help your child to notice if advertisers are trying to get their attention as they search. Teach your child to question what the ads are saying.
Nga mihi