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    Test Before You Trust Activity
     A Lesson from Common Sense Media
     
     
    It is very important to know how to evaluate information online to make sure that it is trustworthy. This activity will give you some criteria for evaluating websites and help you determine which sites are high quality, and which ones you should avoid. This is especially helpful for research projects in school.
     
     
    Click the image below to learn more about internet searches.
    Username: mumslib  Pw: student 
     
    Online Sources  
     
     
    In this activity you will be working with a partner to evaluate and grade a specific site. You will use the "Website Test" worksheet to grade your website on specific criteria. You must answer all the questions on the worksheet by looking over the site. Make notes in the far right column to help explain your evaluation.
     
    Criteria to be addressed...
     
    1) Purpose of the Site - There are 8 questions that need to be answered in this section. The purpose is to identify the reason this particular site was created. Circle Yes or No after each question and write your observations in the blank column to provide some details or explanation of why you answered this way.
     
     
    2) Trustworthiness of the Author - There are 8 questions that need to be answered in this section. The purpose to get to know more about the person or group posting the information on the site. Circle Yes or No after each question and write your observations in the blank column to provide some details or explanation of why you answered this way.
     
     
    3) Usefulness of the Information - There are only 2 questions in this section. The purpose is to identify if the site has what you need.
     
     
    4) Up to Date Information - There are only 3 questions in this section. The purpose is to determine if the information is current and accurate for your research. Many websites are left online forever and contain outdated information that is no longer true.
     
     
    5) Ease of Use - There are 9 questions listed in this section that might give some indication on how much work is going into the website. Is the site easy for you to find the information you are looking for?  Is the information presented clearly?
     
     
    Every answer is scored based on your impression of the site. The final score will help you to determine if the site is trustworthy or not. Your notes will help you understand why or why not, based on your research. 
     
     
    Subject for research: YEAR ROUND SCHOOL
     
     
    The topic to research is year-round education, also known as year round schooling. In most schools in the United States, students go to school for ten months in a row, then they two months off for summer. There is much debate on whether or not this system should change.
     
     
    Some schools now operate on a different schedule: Students attend school for two or three months, and then get a short break. They return to school for another two or three months, followed by another short break year round. Kids don't have summers off.
     
     
    Some people think this is a great idea and has a lot of advantages; some think it's a terrible idea, with many more disadvantages. The following links to websites take a closer look at the debate over year-round schooling.
     
     
    REMINDER: When you look at the websites, you will probably find lots of opinions about the issue, along with some facts. Your job is to figure out whether the website you are looking at is a reliable and useful source of information on the subject. 
     
     
    You are not writing an essay on the topic, you are simply grading the website using the "Website Test" document.
     
    Website Articles
     
    1.  Wikipedia: Year-round School
     
    2.  PBS NewsHour: Year-Round School Commits to Students from Middle School to Last Day of College 
     
    3.  About.com: Year-Round Education: Pros and Cons
     
    4.  Family Education: Year-Round Schooling
     
    5.  The National Association of Year-Round Education
     
    6.  The New York Times: "Classes the Year Round Pass the Test for Many"
     
    7. Summer Matters: Some Talking Points on Year Round Schools
     
     
     ( source © 2012 Common Sense Media )  www.commonsense.org 
Last Modified on May 11, 2015