How much is enough?

I try to put out a newsletter to my staff every month highlighting certain websites, mobile apps, thoughtful reads and more. Usually, I like to throw in a short paragraph or two discussing research, information literacy, and such. This last newsletter I decided to tackle the idea of putting more than just a website down for a bibliography or works cited page. I’ve noted in several projects or research papers outside of the English/Language Arts classes that most teachers don’t require anything more than a URL or web address for a listing of research sources. To me this is appalling so I’ve asked teachers why they don’t require a more formal bibliography. Usually, the standard response is “I don’t want to have to teach them how to create one” or “I don’t want to have to grade them.” I usually respond to the first comment by telling them several sites where students can go to create a bibliography without much effort. That is usually when I get the second comment. Even giving them the answer that they don’t have to grade it for accuracy but rather that they did it, usually doesn’t get the teacher to give in. Knowing these to be the usual pat responses for this topic, I thought how can I get teachers to see that a URL just isn’t enough. Then it dawned on me…Evaluation of a website. If students have to list the author and a last updated or copyright date of a website, then at least they will have looked for authority and currency of the website. So, this is what I presented to my teachers. We’ll see if it changes anything…

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