Secondary ICT – Web Literacy

A guidance on the use of the internet as a research tool This fascinating programme reveals the results of an experiment of critical importance to teachers who give guidance to pupils on the use of the internet as a research tool. A group of Year 9s at Wortley High School in Leeds are asked to look at three websites. The subjects are Martin Luther King, the Holocaust, and ‘Victorian robots’. None of the sites are what they seem. The first two are fronts for racists and holocaust deniers. The last is a good-natured spoof. None of the pupils spotted any problems with the validity, reliability or authority of the sites and many said they would cut and paste information from the sites for use in homework or other projects.

ICT expert James Green leads a lesson revealing the truth to the pupils and passing on valuable tips on how to cross-check websites and find out who may be behind them. Experts point out the importance of reminding pupils that the internet is not as reliable as, for instance, books in a school or other library.

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