Identifying High Quality Sites

A Digital Citizenship Lesson

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to ...

  • understand how the ease of publishing on the Internet might affect
  • how much they can trust the content of some sites.
  • learn criteria that will help them evaluate website.
  • apply the criteria to a site to determine how trustworthy and useful it is.

Essential Question

When can you trust what you find on the Internet?


What kind of role do you think the Internet played in helping people learn about Hurricane Sandy?

The Internet played a big role in helping people stay informed about Hurricane Sandy. Many people posted photos online (like the ones in this slideshow) to help illustrate the impact that the hurricane had on the Northeast. Others turned to online news sources to help learn about the hurricane’s status and the damage it had done. People who were affected by the hurricane also used sites like Facebook and Twitter to update others on how they were doing.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Photo/Tweet

Someone tweeted this photo during the hurricane with the caption: (“AMAZING PHOTO: Even a hurricane won’t keep the honor guard from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier this morning.”)
Big image


This photo was actually taken in September, a month before the hurricane hit.

Other Fake Photos

How is the process of publishing printed material (newspapers, magazines, books) different from publishing on the Internet?

Although many websites are written by people with expertise on a particular topic, this isn’t always the case throughout the Internet. Sometimes people who create or post on blogs do not have a background in the subject matter, and there is no editor to hold them to a high standard. By contrast, most respected book publishers and newspaper editors look for authors who know a lot about their subjects. They also have skilled editors and fact checkers who review the information in these publications for mistakes.

People who create or post on blogs and other websites are not necessarily experts in the subject. Their “facts” may not be true. They often don’t fix errors when some are found. They may pretend that their opinions are facts. They may even choose to include unkind or harmful statements.

Activity: Test Before You Trust

  • Take out 1 sheet of paper per group and number from 1-30.
  • Write the names of the group members on the paper.
  • Each group will receive a list of website evaluation questions and a qr code that leads to an assigned website on "Year-Round Schooling.".
  • Use your QR Code Reader App on the iPad to scan the barcode and navigate to your assigned website.
  • Your group will evaluate your assigned website based on a 30-point test, then score your site and discuss the results.

Digital Literacy & Citizenship Student Workbook Instructions

  1. Open the iBooks app on your iPad.
  2. Tap My Books.
  3. Tap the the Digital Literacy & Citizenship Student Workbook to open it.
  4. Navigate to the Table of Contents and then to the Overview. Tap Introduction.
  5. Scroll left until you reach the "Submitting Work" page.
  6. Tap "Set Up Submit Work".
  7. Enter the following information: your full name, my name (Whitt), my email (
  8. Tap Save info.
  9. If you are sharing iPads across multiple class periods or groups: At the conclusion of the lesson, you may want to have students go back to this page and reset the program in order to clear all the submissions. You could also have the next group of students reset the program at the beginning of the lesson.
  10. Go back to the Table of Contents and swipe left until you reach Unit 3.
  11. Tap the link: "Identifying High Quality Sites". Follow along with me as we go through the lesson together.

Other REQUiRED Activities

Sample PSA
How to Know If a Source Is Reliable by Shmoop