Unit 5: Refine the web

I found this unit particularly interesting. I am of a generation where, for as long as I can remember, we have always been able to ‘Google it’.

I decided to use Google, Bing and InstaGrok to search for information on World War Two. I tried to use DuckDuckGo but my school has blocked the site.

Wikipedia was the first result that Google and Bing both presented. Google then followed with news articles associated with World War Two. Including apologies from Japan, a hero from Canberra and pardoned soldiers in Ireland. Bing did not present such articles in its search. Google then presents state and federal government websites, as well as websites from the BBC and ABC. Bing however, only shows a few government websites and then begins to show websites from random sources. This is all on page 1 of Google and Bing.

I found InstaGrok to be quite interesting. I absolutely loved how it presented the information in a mind map, fantastic for visual learners! It presented information on key topics associated with World War Two, such as Pearl Harbour, Adolf Hitler and Poland, however I am not convinced that this information can be completely trusted. It’s a lot like Wikipedia, anyone can add information to a topic. It could be useful, if cross checking and cross referencing skills were taught to students prior to using the search engine.

If I had to make a choice between the 3 search engines I would go with Google. It presents a range of trusted websites as well as news articles.

When searching for a reliable source on World War Two I only looked at government websites. I found the link for the Australian War Memorial and decided to read that. I believe it to be a reliable source for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Australian War Memorial is a non-for profit organisation dedicated to educating Australians about the history of war. Secondly, at the bottom of the webpage there was a list of primary and secondary sources that were used to put the webpage together. Finally, the site only gives facts, not opinions.

In regards to tagging… I have always tagged my blog posts, as well as placed them into categories. I love to be organised and using tags and categories is just another way I can do this. I suppose this came to me very easily, as I use tags on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, apps that I use every day. When tagging my posts I try and limit my tags to a maximum of 10 and think about what I would get from the post if it weren’t my own when selecting these tags.

2 Comments on Unit 5: Refine the web

  1. Jess Gallagher
    May 14, 2013 at 4:59 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Catherine,

    I did look at Andy Spink’s CARS checklist. Found it really helpful!

    Thanks for your comment.

    Jess :)

  2. Catherine Hainstock
    May 14, 2013 at 3:56 am (4 years ago)

    Most of us find Google the easy comfortable option, but luckily we don’t have to make a choice about search engines (although it is too bad that DDG is blocked at so many schools). While none are perfect, they each have benefits for different circumstances. It’s great to explore them with students.

    Did you try out any of the ‘crap detection’ tools as you evaluated the Australian War memorial?

    All the best,
    Catherine
    (for the PLN team)

Leave a Reply