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Teaching with Web Sites

Copyright © Adam Waxler

In her article, “Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators”, Schrock provides just that, a guide for teachers to use for themselves and with their students to evaluate web sites.

As the Internet continues to grow and with web sites based on anything from commercial advertising to personal opinions to simply doling out incorrect information, Schrock stresses the importance of both teacher and student to be able to critically evaluate web sites.  Schrock suggests three basic areas of evaluation.  The first area of evaluation is navigation and usability.  To put simply, the web site should be easy to use.  The site should have a site map as well as links to other sites.  The second area is authorship.  The site user should be able to find out information about the author and what makes him or her a credible authority on the particular subject.  Schrock’s third area of evaluating web sites is content validity. The emphasis in this third area involves not just the legitimacy of the content, but being able to decipher between commercial, opinion, and fact.

Based on her three areas of evaluating web sites, Kathy Schrock has put together evaluation instruments for the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels.  The evaluation process involves students working in groups with each group receiving edited versions of the same web site.  Students then work together to point out the plusses and minuses of the edited versions.  As Schrock points out, this evaluation process not only teaches students how to evaluate web sites, but also teaches them higher-order thinking skills that carry over into other lessons and projects.

While Kathy Schrock’s purpose of the article is to stress the importance of teachers and students to critically evaluate web sites, she emphasizes that her intent is not for them to exclude certain sites, but rather to be aware of what the purpose of a particular site is and therefore be able to use it wisely.


     Schrock, K. (1998. March). Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators. Internet Trend Watch for Libraries.

Adam Waxler is a middle school social studies teacher, teacher mentor, and the author of eTeach: A Teacher Resource for Learning the Strategies of Master Teachers. Adam is also the editor and publisher of The Teaching Teacher’s Newsletter. For more information about his ebook or to sign up for your free monthly newsletter log onto: