Tips for online research in the classroom

Many teachers use websites for a range of purposes with pupils in the classroom and this practice has many positives as it can be an effective way to integrate technology into lessons covering a range of subjects. Pupils are usually highly motivated when using computers in their lessons and it is useful to be able to use this motivation to build on their learning.

It is important that in these lessons like in any other the teacher has planned the lesson and knows exactly which websites will be used and has looked at them previously to check their suitability for the age of pupils using them. If the website has been designed well and is working correctly the pupils will have a positive experience and have minimal frustration in their searches.

Pupils should be taught search techniques so that the websites they use are relevant and useful to them and provide them with the information they are looking for. There are child safe search engines that pupils can be directed to use so that the search results are appropriate to the age of the child.

An important skill that pupils will need to gain when using any website for research effectively is to know how to use the links on the home page so that they do not need to trudge through the whole website to find the information they want.