Updated: 29th June 2018
One of the main benefits of the internet is the availability of a vast amount of information from many sources that has accumulated over the past 20 years. These sources include academic institutions, governments, political parties, medical institutions, support groups, private companies, interest groups, individuals and hobbyists etc
So, for someone doing research for an assignment for college or for a report in a company, they are able to access a significant amount of information which is freely available to them. Unlike in the past before the internet, when someone doing research would have had to go to a library and take notes from books.
Usually the first port of call for many people is to use a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing or Ask. These search engines are very well known and enable someone to easily find articles related to their chosen topic. It might also be worth noting, that these search engines are not comprehensive, so it might also be necessary to explore the search facility of each selected website. Additionally, it may be necessary to purchase online books or course to achieve a more in-depth understanding.
|Watch RTE TV Player||www.rte.ie/player/ie|
|Browse a news website to get the latest news.||www.independent.ie|
|Book a Coach/Rail Trip||www.buseireann.ie|
|Play online Radio Stations from Ireland or abroad.||www.liveradio.ie|
|Check Youtube for Interesting videos||www.youtube.com|
|Use government websites to answer a query or download a form.||www.gov.ie|
|Renew a book in library or check catalogue in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Area. Search internet for other areas.||libraries.dlrcoco.ie|
|Check music or theatre events and book a ticket online.||www.entertainment.ie|
|Check out know-how websites to find out how to convert CD to MP3.||www.howstuffworks.com|
|Book an online course to develop a leisure area of interest.||www.udemy.com|
The most important factor when evaluating web sites is your search requirements. What kind of information are you looking for? Are you using the web for entertainment, academic, career or medical information? Look carefully at the content, tone & style of the website.
Evaluate the page/content for:
- Check for the source of the information: Who is the author?
- What are his/her credentials? Does he/she provide an email or contact address/phone number?
- Look at the domain name. Is it a preferred .ie, .com or .gov?
- Make sure that the website is not just advertisement disguised as information.
- Is the information unbiased and detailed with limited advertisement?
- Check the date when the webpage was last updated.
- Are there any dead links on the website?
- Is the information presented detailed, comprehensive and free?
- Note any supplemental information, print or electronic, that is provided.
Types of Websites
When you're looking for information online, it's a good idea to be aware of what types of websites are available and what kind of information they contain. Depending on what you're looking for, you may find that certain types are more relevant to your search than others.
|Type of Website||Description||Example|
|Commercial Site||Most companies have websites to promote or give information about their product or services. Although these sites often have relevant information they are sometimes biased. If the site makes claim that seem to be too good to be true, see whether other sites support or refute the claims.||www.did.ie|
|Organisations||Organisations, like other companies, usually have websites to promote their operations and provide information to public. They are also likely to be biased in favour of their own products or services.||www.rte.ie|
|News Sites||Many people these days pick up the main news stories online. It is also possible to subscribe to news sites to get premium content in an online version of the printed paper.||www.independent.ie|
|Blog||Blogs are usually written by individuals who have views to express or are experts in a particular value. There are many different types of blogs such as news, hobbies, humour, photography and more.||Photography Blog - www.foxglovelane.com|
|Wiki||A Wiki is a site which lets users add or modify content. The quality of articles in a Wiki can vary widely, but well- written ones always provide links to sources for further reading.||www.wikipedia.com|
|Colleges and Universities||These websites usually provide general information for current and prospective students about courses provided, facilities on campus and guidelines for students to follow.||www.ucd.ie|
|Databases||Databases are collections of information often from a variety of sources, which have been compiled and presented in a structured and easy-to-navigate format.||www.imdb.com|
|Portal Site||Website that serves as a gateway or a main entry point on the internet to a specific topic-of-interest or an industry.||www.irishhealth.ie|
|Forum||A forum is a website where people can have discussions, known as a thread. The threads will usually stay on the site when the discussion is over and will come up in Google searches.||www.boards.ie|
|Question and Answer Site||Similar to a forum but there is more emphasis on answering an original question maybe put forward by someone who is new to a particular topic like say photography or maybe a more technical question by someone trying to find some specific help.||www.answers.com|
Activity 2a - Check out entertainment events occurring next month
Search the Tickemaster or Eventbrite website and check out events that are occurring next month.
Activity 2b - Identify training needs and search for suitable courses
Identify training needs to progress with your career or hobby and search an online course provider like Udemy.com for suitable online courses to do.