Seeing a presentation planned about an online resource "All About Explorers" on this site for Wed. evening, I perused the site to see if it met the needs of my students with "world explorers" type topics. The front page is lovely and the subtopics seemed on point, although sourcing was absent on the pages I saw. The "copyright notice" page made a generic claim that all the content was the authors' own, although I am not familiar with any webmasters who traveled with Jacques Cartier, Christopher Columbus, et al., so I'm interested in hearing how this content was obtained without reference to any research records.
When I turned to the "Site Authors" page, the names, degrees, and areas of expertise cited for the authors has caused me to revise my original plans for this resource. The "for teachers" page conveniently provides a "Web Site Evaluation" form that approaches some of the concerns raised on this site. Thus, if I use this site with my students, it will be as an exemplar of sites unsuitable for academic study.
As a newbie on Classroom 2.0 (although not with academic research and internet tools), I'm looking forward to other presentations and discussions on this site. Based on the "Real Story" biographies of the site authors, I expect that future revisions of this site will add the elements needed to demonstrate basic source attribution (i.e. citations, bibliography, etc.) which we should be modeling for the "digital natives" we are teaching. Few realize that information that is paraphrased from another's work isn't "original" and still requires acknowledgment; and it's all too common to find online images, maps, and text copied and pasted as is.
I hope that our discussions can incorporate ideas for conveying respect for intellectual property and the value of scholarly research standards (leaving a "breadcrumb trail" to show our readers how we built up our final project).

Tags: Copyright, Education, Methods, Online, Research

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