Is it reliable?
Ask your child to choose a topic they are interested in learning more about and help them research the topic online. It could be a specific animal, an event in history, another country, or anything that sparks your child’s interest.
Before beginning their internet research, remind your child about the difference between reliable and unreliable sources. Reliable sources are websites where you can find accurate and trustworthy information. Examples of potentially reliable online sources include:
- Official government websites with .gov domains like NASA and educational sites with .edu domains like universities or the Smithsonian museums
- National newspaper and newsmagazine websites
- Sites from authoritative authors—people who are known to be experts in their field who are published in multiple places and include links and documentation to support their research.
Guide your child to think critically about their research using some of the tenets of media literacy by asking these questions:
- Who created the site?
- Why was the site created? Who is the target audience?
- What would someone learn from this site? What has been left out of the content?
- When was the site created? Has it been updated recently?
- Does the website list the sources it uses? Does it provide links to those sources?
- Can I trust this site to tell me the truth?
Finally, when in doubt, remind your child to ask a trusted adult for help.