Part of being a responsible digital citizen is understanding how to find reputable digital resources. The domain name system (DNS) is a way for computers to communicate with networks using IP addresses, numerical addresses of which domain names represent. There are reliable addresses which registrars (owners) use that contain top-level domain names such as .com, .net, .edu, .gov, and .org.
Web of Trust (WOT) is a browser add-on for chrome application that offers reputation ratings for websites that you visit. Stop Badware is a database to block harmful websites and is used by Google and Mozilla. The United Nations lists five criteria used in evaluating web resources: accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage. The additional links provided by the UN on this subject are no longer up to date.
As a way of collecting digital resources and websites, participants can use a host of apps such as Google Bookmarks, Pocket, and Delicious. Note that Google Bookmarks is a personal tool and not available to share publicly. I use Pinterest for most of my saving and storing of digital resources. I've installed a Pinterest bookmarklet into my chrome web browser to make this process easy. For the purposes of this class, I've decided to create an additional account with Pocket (Pocket Profile) to see how it works and what benefits it has compared to Pinterest.
The last piece to this is how to educate our youth on evaluating resources for use in research. I've included a video that provides a good overview on evaluating resources that parents, educators, students, and digital citizens will find useful. Educating our students on responsible digital citizenship is a must as part of early childhood education and as they enter secondary education.
What policies or procedures might need to be in place to make the maximum student learning possible?
I think it is important to review with students what makes a resource reputable using the 5 criteria: accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage. As part of students' use of computers and the internet to participate in learning activities and research, they should engage in a digital citizenship course appropriate for their age. Teachers need to help students navigate appropriate resources and use platforms that help guide students to safe sites and collaborative environments. Our school as utilized GoGuardian to help create and encourage a healthy and safe tech environment. Technology contracts should be standard as part of the class syllabus and school policies and procedures.