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Evaluating and Using Online Resources in the Classroom

It's easy to visit websites, but how do you assess them and put them to use in the classroom? The following sections give suggestions on using online resources.


Evaluating Websites

Anyone can create a website for almost any purpose, from an individual sharing family photos to a company selling computers. Few websites, including those containing educational material, undergo formal review or inspection. Educators using the Internet in developing curricula, therefore, must themselves determine the legitimacy of information presented.

To evaluate a website, use the CRAAP test, developed by librarians from the Meriam Library, California State University-Chico. 

CRAAP stands for:

  • Currency
  • Relevancy
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

More information on this test:

http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf

https://libguides.cmich.edu/web_research/craap

For more information on evaluating Internet sources, click on the following links:

Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators: Teacher Helpers: Critical Evaluation Information 
http://www.schrockguide.net/critical-evaluation.html 
DiscoverySchool.com hosts this compendium of information on website evaluation specifically for educators, including evaluation forms and a tutorial for students (complete with Spanish translation), links to many articles, and sites to use for demonstrating critical evaluation. 

National Education Association

http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/60375.htm

The NEA provides lesson plans and resources for students in grades 5-12 to learn about website evaluation for research.

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