Reference Shelf: Helping Students Learn about the Internet and the World Wide Web

By Reese, Jean | Multimedia Schools, May-June 1999 | Go to article overview

Reference Shelf: Helping Students Learn about the Internet and the World Wide Web


Reese, Jean, Multimedia Schools


by Jean Reese, Associate Director

Education Library, Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

With summer approaching, this month's column takes a look at some materials for students to learn how to explore and even creating Web pages. There's also a video to teach high school students about the necessary research skills to get started writing papers.

300 Incredible Things for Kids on the Internet by Ken Leebow. VIP Publishing, 660 Village Trace, Building 18, Marietta, GA, 30067. 1998 (http://surf.to/300Incredible). 128 pp. ISBN: 0-9658668-1-5. Softcover, $7.95.

This is a little book with a lot of Web sites for kids--300 to be exact. The author's intent is to provide children with selected sites that are interesting and of value for educational as well as fun purposes. The sites are divided into 12 chapters on topics that range from sites of interest to parents, to subject-specific ones such as language, literature, geography, history, politics, and reference sources in the educational genre. For entertainment there are listings for pets, hobbies, sports, music, movies, holidays, and fun and games. Each chapter's subject contains sub-categories. For example in the chapter for parents, there are listings under "Trash on the Net," which features safety and filtering information, "Parent Time," on how to be a better parent, "Be Safe," safety tips for children and parents, and "Web Novice" for beginners to the Internet.

Interspersed throughout are some cute cartoons, but other than that there are no illustrations or photos. Each entry has a Web address and a sentence or two about the site.

This little guide is a handy reference for parents and teachers who want some "safe" sites on the Internet. For those needing more help getting started, it will be necessary to check on some other titles that offer more information about the Internet and World Wide Web.

Home Page: An Introduction to Web Page Design (A First Book) by Christopher Lampton. Franklin Watts, 90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT, 06816. 1997 (http://publishing.grolier.com/). 64 pp. ISBN: 0-531-20255-0. Library Binding, $6.95.

HTML or HyperText Markup Language sounds much more complex that it really is. Creating Web pages is a pretty simple process with HTML. To prove it, here's a book written for kids to learn to be Web authors. The author begins with a simple HTML document explaining the concept of tags and demonstrating how it looks. With some colorful screen shots, he shows what it would look like when viewed in a browser.

The book uses a step-by-step tutorial approach, making it easy for kids to follow and to begin creating their very own pages. The language is simple yet not condescending. Only the basics are covered. There is nothing about sound or animation, but images and hyperlinks are included so kids can spruce up their design.

While written for children, there's no reason why parents can't sit down with their kids and learn to create Web pages as well. Includes a glossary and an index.

Navigating the Sea of Information by the University of Pittsburgh. Media Inc., Box 496, Media, PA, 19063. 1998. 18 minutes. ISBN: 0-924580-94-1. VHS, $225 Sale; $50 Rent.

This 18-minute video from the University of Pittsburgh tackles the question of library research through a little scenario that takes place in a library. Zana, a student in need of help on a research paper, finds her way to the library where Nick, a helpful librarian, gives her a short course on library research skills.

Zana is clueless about where to begin or how to start her paper. Nick finds her staring at a computer terminal with thousands of hits on her topic of pollution. This sets the stage for an introduction on how to get started doing library research. Nick, takes her to the reference collection to explain how specialized encyclopedias and handbooks can help with background material for a paper. …

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