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Saturday, September 10, 2011

GLEAN Information Literacy Tools

From the same folks who bring us the Boolify Project comes two other useful tools for teaching information literacy skills. The GLEAN Comparison Search engine is a tool that allows users to compare search results for "positive" and "negative" perspectives side-by-side. For example, if I search using the term "Libya" I will be presented with lists of positive and negative terms. Clicking on those terms will change my results and give me quick comparison options.

Another neat tool from GLEAN is their WhoIs search tool. The WhoIs search tool is designed to help students evaluate the source of the information on a particular website. I'm not as impressed by GLEAN's WhoIs search as I am with their other information literacy tool for two reasons. First, they seem to be implying that .org domains have more validity than .com domains. Second, under "what can you learn from its ownership" they simply direct to the WhoIs registry which often takes you to a domain by proxy registry that masks the real ownership of a domain. (I use one of those myself so that my home address isn't public). Overall though, the intent of GLEAN's WhoIs search tool is good and worth showing to students as long as you clarify those two points that I made for them. 

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