Internet Detectives

Internet Detectives

The purpose of this lab is to familiarize the student with Internet terms and common top-level domains. It also will help the student determine whether a web site contains valid content or not.

Form a group of 3 - 4 people.

Choose one person in your group to record your “investigations”.

Part 1: Definitions

1. Use the following two links and other internet sources (it is OK to use Wikipedia)
to define the following terms and top level domain names:
(These links were “borrowed” from the following Webquest: Internet Detectives)

    • IP address
    • domain name
    • top level domain
    • folder
    • http
    • URL
    • .com
    • .edu
    • .gov
    • .net
    • .org
    • .mil
    • .biz
    • .coop
    • .info
    • .museum
    • .pro
    • .name
    • .aero
    • .la

Assign one person to take the notes and then print a copy for each person in the group. This will go into your portfolio.


Part two: Investigating a web site

1. As a class, we will investigate the following two websites and decide whether or not the information presented is valid.  The links found on the Useful Links page may help us with this investigation.

2. Each group will choose one website from the list below. You will have the rest of class period to evaluate the website. At the beginning of the next class period your group will report back to the rest of the class on what you found. Use the links found on the “Useful Links” page to help you.

(This list was “borrowed” from the website: which also contains useful and interesting material about evaluating websites.)

Fair Cell Phone Use in Schools
Who is the author of this article and what are her credentials?
How do people get articles published on this site?
Under what circumstances would you use this article? Under what circumstances do you think it would be better to use another source (like a database)?

Chocolate at Heart: The Anti-Inflammatory Impact of Cocoa Flavanols
Whose site is this? What is the mission of the organization?
Do you think this site is an authoritative source of information on the nutritional value of chocolate?

The Institute for Historical Review
What is the purpose of this site?
What clues might make you think it is an authoritative source of information?
What clues might make you think it is not an authoritative source of information?
What is your conclusion? Is the site an authoritative source or not?

Nicotine: A Physical Challenge
Whose site is this?
What is the mission of the organization?
What persuasion techniques do you see in action here?
Where else might you look to find information about nicotine addiction?

Teaching creationism in public schools
Who (or what) is responsible for authoring this site?
Where does this section of the site actually start?
What is the purpose of the organization?
What type of website is this?
Who is the author of this entry?
Where did this information originally come from?
And where did those people get the information?
If you wanted to cite original research information, which source would you actually cite?
What kind of document is this?
What publication does this document appear in?
What type of publication is it (website, journal, book, newspaper...)?
Who publishes it and what is the mission (including bias or point of view) of this publisher?

Part Three: Just for fun:

Here is a list of websites you may want to “investigate”:

Which one of these is the “real” Mankato?
Mankato Minnesota Home Page
City of Mankato, Minnesota
What is the purpose of the “faked” page?