Internet and multimedia resources have a growing presence in the day-to-day life of children and young adults who naturally and spontaneously move in digital surroundings. The more we learn and become familiar with these channels and electronic products, the easier we will find it to give sound advice on how they should be used to personal and academic ends.
We have never had so much information or so many reading materials within our reach, but we mustn’t forget that not everything has the same value. To choose amongst all the materials and resources on offer we must note:
- Its purpose: define the intention of the work, is it to entertain, inform, create awareness of a problem, sell a product, etc?
- What is its content: are we interested in the nature of the information, its reach, is it exact and trustworthy, clear, precise, what is its difficulty level and is it up-to-date?
- How is it structured? Recognise the order of contents, are the sections well organised and are the navigation instructions well marked: buttons, (menu and sound effects) and text (typology, hierarchy, clarity).
- Technical characteristics: know how it works, the ease of installing it or speed of downloading it. Is it intuitive or do we need a manual, do the internal and external links work adequately?
- The authors and producers: the people and institutions responsible for the contents, its maintenance and updates.
- What does it offer the reader: evaluate the appropriateness for its audience, in contents as much as form, and the degree of interaction it offers. It is positive if the child or teenager can manipulate it: go forwards, retreat, put the volume up, personalise it, etc.