Informationssökning på Internet

AnnBritt Enochsson


This is an educational case study trying to show what children (ages 10-12) think about searching for information on the Internet. In the guidelines for primary (and secondary) school it is said among other things that the students should learn how to evaluate facts from different sources. Since Internet came into our schools this has been the subject of many discussions. To what extent are these young children able to search for information on the Internet? Some teachers don't let the children even try and others think that Internet is a fantastic tool to use in training the students to evaluate facts.

There have been observations, interviews, less formal talks and analysis of children's written work in three different schools/classes. These schools/classes were chosen because it was known that the teachers let the students use the Internet for information searches of their choice (within reason). All the students used AltaVista, MegaCrawler and similar search engines.

The findings are that the children appreciate that Internet is a fast way to find current information and they all want to find "good" information. What "good" is differ from student to student. It can be anything from short texts (in Swedish) to "non-commercials", but they all had the ambition to do a good job and not just take the first hit available. They were also aware of the fact that there could be "lies" on the Internet. If the children are to succeed with this type of work they have to have the opportunity to practice.

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