Developing student independence in learning is incredibly important. The promotion of this early within Key Stage 4 help students bridge the gap between their skill sets in Year 10 and Year 11 into the appropriate different learning styles of Key Stage 5. Getting students to review learning and teaching materials and resources online is of particular importance. The internet is a valuable research tool and many students will use it when preparing home study and for various projects. I often encourage the use of the World Wide Web as a fantastic resource but also make students further aware of issues such as plagiarism, inaccuracies and cheating.
For a student to be a competent user of the internet it is more than simply taking material from websites, but actually using it as a means to develop the best piece of work that they can produce. There are some really great websites out there that are exciting, and stimulate enquiring minds and curiosity. With my GCSE groups I encourage students to become independent learners who take an increasing responsibility for their own progress with all work in and outside of school. I make it clear that any information gleaned from the internet must have the source acknowledged.
Often with their work they will be using quotations, citations and a bibliography, for instance. Students will slowly become more analytical and critical in their use of the internet as a tool as they use certain business sites more often. It is wrong to assume that the most truthful search results are shown first. The following are my favorite websites that develop web literacy within the subject and help with the all-important revision for the public exams:
Web Literacy Tips for students:
- Is the information accurate?
- Can I verify the information through another source?
- Is the publisher reputable? (i.e. BBC, Guardian)
- Is the author actually qualified to write on this topic? Be objective. Do you think the website has commercial interests?
- Are you seeking a balanced opinion? How will this affect your work?
- Is the information up-to-date? Are you researching a topic that changes frequently?
- Is there real depth to the information? Does the content appear to be complete and above all relevant?
Top 10 Websites:
Trinity Catholic High School