Friday, February 10, 2012 Useful Tool for Web Research and Evaluation

In the past few weeks, I have been using with a couple of classes, including Holly Hamm's AP Langauge and Comp classes and Melenie McBrayer's Environmental Science classes.  This is a site that allows students to access up to the minute news and information about topics that interest them.  They can then choose the information they want to "scoop" and add to their topic page. Other members of the site can view their topic page, read articles, their comments, and make suggestions for new information. 

To create a topic, students add a title, description, and key words for the site to use to search.  The key words the students use are important in finding relevant information.  This gives us the opportunity to teach necessary searching skills and ways to narrow results, so they aren't looking at a lot of information that isn't relevant to them. crawls the web using Google News, Google Blogs, Twitter, Youtube, and Digg to find information based on those key words.  It then lists articles as suggested content.   The suggested content will look like this:

Students then have the opportunity to evaluate the article and source, and decide whether or not it is credible.  They can discard the source, or scoop it.  A completed topic page looks like this:

So, why should you use with your students?  If you require students to gather articles or current events, or research current topics,  then is a tool that can help them do that. It can also help teach them how to navigate the web intelligently and evaluate and manage the sources they find.  They can also create beautiful and creative topic pages and keep up with their notes by typing them on the page.  Lastly, they can search other topic pages and "follow" other topics that interest them.  If you are interested in using this tool with your class, let the library know today!

Go to their site for more information:

Here is the link to the Libguide we created to instruct students how to use it: