Everyday, we hear about the benefits of the Internet and the resources available on the World Wide Web, but is the
information provided really all it's reported to be?
When students are asked to
do research for a paper or class project, the first place they look for information is the World Wide Web. Yet, anyone can
purchase a domain name and a server. This means that anyone--no matter how brilliant, how ignorant, how selfless, or self
serving--can post his or her message on the Web. As information consumers, we need to develop the critical thinking skills
necessary to sort through the glut of available information in order to find the chunks of gold that are, indeed, out there.
To begin this evaluation, take a few minutes to learn how to effectively
utilize search engines by reviewing the sites below. The information will help you learn how to conduct keyword searches to your best advantage. It will also give you information on evaluating Web Sites once you have the results of your search.
Next, learn what search engines are available, and read comparisons to
gain insight on their strengths and weaknesses.
After learning more about the search engines available, you will conduct
three comparisons. You will compare five general search engines, two child specific search engines, and two meta-search engines.
Choose ONE topic to investigate, for example: scuba diving in California,
Charles Lindbergh, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Sydney Olympics. You can choose any topic that interests
you, but you will want to use the same topic
on each search engine evaluated in order to make a comparison. After you run your search, take some time to look at
the "matches" the Search Engine has come up with. Then, answer the following questions:
- Name of the Search Engine
- Keyword(s) Used
- Was the Search Engine site well organized?
- Was the search completed in a reasonable amount
- Were the results of the search displayed in a
well organized manner? How many "matches" or "hits" did the Search Engine provide?
- Was the information for the matches you looked
- Overall, how would you rate this search engine?