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How to Help Your Child Search the Internet

Words to Know

Internet - A network of computers connected together through wires and satellite transmissions.

  • World Wide Web - Part of the Internet. Kind of like a huge encyclopedia with lots of pages full of all kinds of information, but not in any special order.
  • Web site - A group of pages (screens) connected together, often about one topic, like a chapter of a book. Sometimes a web site has only one page.
  • Browser - The screen that appears when you open the Internet. This is the program that helps you use the Internet. Examples are Netscape and Internet Explorer.
  • Search Engine - A program that looks up information on the web after you have typed words in the search box.

How to Search the Internet

Make sure you understand your topic. Use an encyclopedia or textbook to help you.

Think of important words or groups of words that have to do with your topic. Use words that are more general, and words that are more specific. For example, if you are researching Columbus, also include explorers (more general) and Christopher Columbus (more specific).

To begin your search, open the Internet and find the long white box near the top of the screen. If you are using the Internet at the library, at the left of the box it will say 'Address.' When you search at home it may say 'Address,' or 'Go To.' 'URL,' 'Location,' or something similar.

Click the mouse in the 'Address' box and type: www.rcls.org/ksearch.htm

A web page called 'Kid's Search Tools' will come up on the screen. Read the titles and the descriptions for each one to find a site that may be helpful.

When you find a site that sounds helpful, click on the heading. (You can click when the mouse pointer becomes a hand.) Click on the BACK button in the top left corner of the screen to return to the list.

If nothing looks helpful, click the BACK button to return to 'Kid's Search Tools' and search using another box. Check your spelling. Try another word or phrase.

How to Decide if a Website is Useful

  • A site should be easy to navigate and all the links should work.
  • The site should load without a long wait.
  • The information should come from a knowledgeable source. It should present facts without trying to sway your views.
  • The author's name or the organization should be listed on the site. It should have a current date.
  • There should be enough information about the subject to make the site useful for your project.
  • You should be able to understand the information on the site. If not, it may be written for experts.
  • After looking at this site, decide if it will really help you with your project, and if it is helpful enough to recommend to a friend.

How to be Safe While Using the Internet

  • Do not give out personal information such as your full name, address, phone number or school name anywhere on the Internet.
  • Never give out a credit card number or a password online.
  • Never arrange to meet in person someone you've met online.
  • Don't respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Always tell your parents or a librarian right away if you find information on the computer that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable or that you don't understand.

Other Search Engines for Kids

Google - www.google.com

Yahoo - www.yahoo.com

Other Web Sites to Help With Homework

Fact Monster - www.factmonster.com

Internet Public Library Kid's Page - www.ipl.org/youth

LA Times Launch Point - www.latimes.com/news/learning/

Los Angeles Public Library - www.lapl.org/kidsweb/index.html

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