Your child is writing a report for school. She wants to use the Internet to gather information. While she’s searching, she discovers two sources with exactly opposite views. Here are suggestions on evaluating information from the World Wide Web:

  • Know where your facts are coming from. Anyone with a computer and a modem can create a home page. Be sure your child checks to see where the information is coming from. For example, the Smithsonian Institution’s web site is probably a pretty good source of information about U.S. history.

  • Help your child think about whether the source might be biased. Information that comes from a company might be designed to encourage people to buy their product. Information from an organization might reflect a political agenda. This doesn’t mean the information is wrong, but your child needs to take biases into account.

  • Do you know the source? If information comes from a group or organization you’ve never heard of, encourage your child to do some more research.

  • If experts disagree, try to find out why. In science, for example, an older study may become out-of-date when a newer piece of research is completed.

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