[PW] Websites for kids

Timothy Cotsford tcotsford at acpe.edu.au
Thu Nov 12 17:51:35 PST 2015

We tell our students to look for things like .edu or .gov and to be aware that .com is a commercial site that may want to sell you something and even if .org is supposed to be non-profit, it isn't always or it may be funded by a party with a vested interest.
We also tell our students that if it is full of spelling and grammatical errors or has no date (or last updated 10 years ago) or if many of the urls  it links to are broken or go nowhere, it may not be the most reliable.

We direct our students to eg fifa.com when they want stuff about rules and governance and things about football (soccer). Oh hang on, possibly not the best example, they are currently being hit for all sorts of corruption and double dealing....

Common sense is still the best guide.



Timothy Cotsford
Information Services Librarian
Australian College of Physical Education

Phone +61 2 9739 3367

tcotsford at acpe.edu.au

1 Figtree Drive
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

-----Original Message-----
From: Project-Wombat-Open [mailto:project-wombat-open-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:27 PM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] Websites for kids

Sylvia Milne scripsit:

> What I really want is "When I am searching the Internet, how can I 
> tell if a website is reputable?"

This is like asking, "When I am searching the Yellow Pages, how can I tell if a plumber is reputable?"  If you live in a big city (and Internet City is the biggest), you probably can't, at least not directly.
One approach is to check the sites you trust already, and whether they link (in a positive way) to the site in question.  Google PageRank is a simplified version of this.  Another is to ask savvy people (most of us know some) for personal recommendations about specific sites.
In the area of Internet rumors, I recommend snopes.com.  Wikipedia has errors and biases, but the list of cited sources in a given article is usually excellent.  Yahoo Answers is not to be trusted.

Otherwise, you can only fall back on common sense.  If a site provides a quotation like "The trouble with the Internet is that there are so many unreliable sources on it" and attributes it to Abraham Lincoln, you can pretty much write off at least that part of the site as a joke.
Sites filled with spelling and grammar errors, unless they are about non-English-speaking countries or the like, are probably not reliable.
Just employ the same sense of ordinary commercial prudence that you would employ when hiring a plumber, and you may be occasionally misled but will probably not be too woefully befooled.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
But that, he realized, was a foolish thought; as no one knew better than he that the Wall had no other side.
        --Arthur C. Clarke, "The Wall of Darkness"
Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
list at project-wombat.org

More information about the Project-wombat mailing list