Friday, November 07, 2003

High School Students and Their Use of the Web for Research

High School Students and Their Use of the Web for Research Wonder how high school students are using the Web for research? If you are a school library media specialist at the high school level, you probably already know. If you work in academia, you will find out soon.

The blogged site today discusses a study on high school students and their use fo the Web for research. It reads:

"The emergence of the World Wide Web has created another information resource for conducting research. The World Wide Web is a wonderful tool for individuals and organizations that want to reach large numbers of people. It is also a great resource for finding information on current events. However, the lack of traditional gate keeping that print material has used to filter information, such as editors and peer reviewing, is for the most part missing on the World Wide Web. This puts the users of the Web in the position of having to be their own gatekeepers of information. This has presented challenges in particular to students who are trying to find scholarly or factual information on the Web who are not necessarily able to evaluate the information they find. More bothersome is the fact that many students are not aware of proper methods of evaluating the Web and may not be aware that they need to do so.

A study was conducted in the Spring of 2000 of a group of high school students. The study consisted of interviewing students about how they used the World Wide Web to find information for school assignments. In particular, the students were asked how they went about finding information and how they knew if the information they found on the Web was scholarly or factual. It was hoped that the results of this study would help school, public and academic librarians understand how high school students use the Web in research. School and public librarians are dealing with this group now. Within a few years, all of the high school students in the United States will be of college age. This means that academic librarians will be dealing with Web evaluation skills of these students soon. By understanding how high school students evaluate the Web, it will help academic librarians prepare to deal with the research needs of the students. The results of the study indicated that while high school students are still using libraries, they are also using the Web and their ability to evaluate the information they find on the Web is weak." Full article at: http://www.libraryinstruction.com/confusion.html.