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LESSON PLAN web domain names

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LESSON PLAN web domain names Powered By Docstoc
					LESSON PLAN
  Target audience:                  Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  8-14 year-olds
  Lesson Aims: to encourage learners to be more discerning in their use of websites and to
  think about issues of reliability, validity and bias.

  Skills:
  Learners will:                                                          Desirable Outcomes:
        Use a range of sources in order to check the validity
         of websites and other online resources.
        Understand that a wiki has many authors and that the             Learners will be able to use the
         contents have not always been verified.                           internet as an effective research tool
                                                                           to support their learning.
        Recognise that content found online should always be
         checked and verified with other sources.                         Learners will understand that they
                                                                           cannot trust everything that they find
        Be able to use tools which will provide with additional
                                                                           online and will be able to question the
         information about a specific website. (such as
                                                                           validity of sources.
         link:www.**************** which will provide a list of
         search results showing which websites link to the                Learners will understand the issues
         main site.                                                        of plagiarism and copyright at an
                                                                           appropriate level.
        Be able to look critically at a URL to determine what it
         tells us about the author or the reliability of the site.
         (e.g the use of the tilde ~ to signify that the site is a
         personal subdirectory). See below for an overview




  Technical Vocabulary: URL, hyperlink,
  Preparation:
  This lesson relies on pupils being able to access a range of websites. They need specifically to be able to
  access sites that are biased, provide false or misleading information or are spoof sites. Spoof sites can
  be particularly useful with younger children. Some examples are given below.
  1. All about explorers – www.allaboutexplorers.com
  2. Dog Island and others www.thedogisland.com


  Activity:
  1. All about explorers – tell the class that they are going to use the internet to carry out some research
  into famous explorers. They must use the site www.allaboutexplorers.com and one other site. Ask them
  to produce 2 paragraphs about their chosen explorer. This is a good time to emphasise that it is not
  acceptable simply to cut and paste the information from the website and to talk about copyright.

  The website allaboutexplorers is a spoof site, purposely set up to educate children about the dangers of
  trusting everything that they find online. The site contains some real factual information about the
  explorers, but this is interspersed with false information which careful reading of the text will reveal. (This
  is particularly useful as many children simply copy what they find without actually reading it for meaning.

  When the children have produced their two paragraphs, it will be immediately apparent who has only
  used allaboutexplorers and nothing else.

  2. Dog Island and other websites that can be used to make students think about validity and bias – this

                                               -1-
activity presents the class with a range of websites, some spoof and some genuine. They need to use
their own skills to try to assess which are safe to use. Provide your students with a table to record their
results and ask them to be prepared to say why they think a particular site is either genuine or not. (see
list below). The students need to use their own existing knowledge and web search skills to determine
this.
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus:
http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus.html

A useful worksheet to go with the tree octopus lesson can be found here:
http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/staff/MorganCox/octopus.htm

Dog Island Free Forever:
www.thedogisland.com
World’s Largest Liger:
http://www.myinterestingfiles.com/2007/04/world-largest-liger.html
Do Dolphins Sleep With One Eye Open?
http://www.ehow.com/about_4587005_do-dolphins-sleep.html
Disappearing Car Doors
http://www.disappearing-car-door.com/

The following information provides a more detailed look at how a web address is made up.

Understanding a URL:

Every single web page has a unique address which is called a URL (uniform resource locator). This
identifies where the page can be found on the internet or web.

The different sections of a URL can often provide useful clues about where a website has originated and
who might be responsible for it.

URLs can have 5 main parts:

http://www.saferinternet.org/safetyissues

       the protocol (which is usually HTTP)
       the service – www in this case – this is the service to be used on the internet – it could be other
        things such as mail
      the domain name (which is basically where the web page is located) saferinternet in this case, this
        will identify which company or organisation might be responsible for the information or it may
        indicate that an organisation is simply providing the space for the information to be stored. There
        are a range of endings for domain names.
             o .com a company or commercial site
             o .ac or .edu      an educational or academic site
             o .org      non-profit sites
             o .gov a government site
      A domain name which ends with 2 letters signifies the country where it is hosted
             o .fr       France
             o .de       Germany
             o .uk       United Kingdom
      The resource ID comes after the domain name and defines any subfolders or directories. If this
        ends with htm or html, this simply tells the computer how to interpret the information that it finds –
        html is a type of language – hypertext mark up language. Typing in this extension will take you to
        a precise page (safetyissues in this case)
A tilde ~ used in a web address signifies that the page is part of a personal directory

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For older students, visit www.searchenginewatch.com which provides more information about how search
engines rank their results.

www.register.com allows users to search to find out who has registered a particular domain

link: www.saferinternet.org – will tell you about all of the sites that link to saferinternet.org


3. Martin Luther King – this is a well documented site which at first glance appears to contain information
about Martin Luther King. However, further investigation reveals that the site is actually a white
supremacist site and is both biased and misleading. The site can be found at
http://www.martinlutherking.org/ and appears high up on searches for Martin Luther King. It claims to be
“A true historical examination” of MLK. This site provides a good platform for debate with students about
some of the things that they ought to do when using the web for research purposes.
     Check who the site is written by
     Search for the website using link: before the search term – this will provide links to all sites that
        link to your site. When used with www.martinlutherking.org there are a number of clues that
        immediately make it clear that this site is not quite what it seems.
     Put the whole of the web address into a search engine and see what the results are. Again, this
        will provide a wealth of information about the actual site.




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