In an attempt to stem the tide of disreputable sites that students have access to, one school district in Santa Cruz, Calif., has launched a web portal of research and on-line education sites, reports the Santa Cruz Sentinel Called Ed1Stop, the site is a clearinghouse for students and teachers to have access to subscription encyclopedia sites and other research sites that are aligned with California state education standards. The portal is designed to keep students from accessing sites that disseminate wrong information when performing a general Internet search.
For example, when searching for information on Google, typing Martin Luther King Jr. pulls up www.martinlutherking.org, a white supremacist site.
"The great myth is that if it's on the Internet, it must be true," said Thom Dunks, director of technology for the county office. People think of porn and that which is harmful for kids, but there's also a whole minefield of ideas out there."
Educators hope that Ed1Stop will provide a one-stop research site that will help students raise test scores and give students the tools to do accurate online research.
"Kids don't separate technology from learning and everyday life. It's so embedded for them," said Kelly Wade, a former English teacher who helped develop the program for the county Office of Education. "We're creating a learning community for teachers, students and parents, and it's pretty exciting to say that learning doesn't stop at three o'clock."