I always ask kids, “What do people use computers for?” Playing games, sending messages, doing work (and, more recently, Zooming with friends and family). But probably one of the most important uses these days is searching for information. As we know, just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true! How do we go about searching and finding reliable information?
Younger Kids get started by using their developing keyboard skills to type words into a search engine (we use a kid-safe one called Kiddle.co). Then the get to find information on topics like animals. They also searched for information on countries in Europe, the current topic unit.
Middle and Older Kids learn how to refine a search to turn up the specific info they are looking for. They also learn to check clues for the source of the information. Can they determine who wrote it, and when? Check the URL–is it a known or trustworthy site? Is the information corroborated elsewhere?
The internet is a great place to find information, but it takes skill and critical thought to make sure you get information you want, and information you can trust.