My 4th and 5th grade students will be discussing online safety and evaluating websites next quarter. I found a great site called CyberSmart.org that does a lot of the work for you. I’ve used some of the lesson plans and student resources in the past and it looks like they’ve been busy updating them so I need to take another look.
It just isn’t possible for me to think over the entire year so I didn’t tackle this earlier but I can think one quarter at a time.
K-1 The objective this quarter is to teach the basics about computer use and give them some practice time. They will learn vocabulary, how to log in, how to use the mouse, how to play alphabet and other educational games, and eventually how to use the online catalog to find books. The technology integration here is obvious.
Resources needed — 1/Computers (This is also the appropriate technology tool) 2/Projector (Permanently available in my story center)
Barriers — 1/Not enough computers (students will work 2 at a computer). 2/Not enough time (I need to think carefully about how much time is needed for modeling and instruction and how much time is needed for practice). 3/Technical difficulties like internet fails or load time is extremely slow
Preparation — Since this is a very beginning class I will be modeling each step
Question/Concern — 1st graders have more experience so how should I differentiate this lesson for them? We have new 1st graders who may not have had the same experiences.
2-3 Students are writing reports so they need to learn how to do effective online catalog searches, how to use an encyclopedia, how to search a database, how to find teacher selected websites for research.
Resources — Computers, books, encyclopedias
Barriers — Same as those for K-1
Technology Tools — How are students writing or publishing their work? What is the product? This is something I can discuss with the classroom teachers. Should we explore wikis? Is there some way for us to publish the reports on my website?
Preparation — I will model the search strategies. The search process is clear and can be taught in the library but I’m unsure about the products or publication. That will have to happen in the classroom and I’m not sure teachers are up to exploring technology solutions.
Question — Is there a free online encyclopedia available?
4-5 My objective is to teach them how to evaluate websites. One group is doing author studies so I can have them evaluate those websites. All the 4/5 students are studying human rights so I’m looking for websites that they can evaluate. I’m considering using Surveymonkey. They could view the site and fill out the survey. They could learn to have 2 windows open at the same time. They would have more fun doing the survey itself. I think they would better remember the experience. It would be a green activity (important in an environmental school). I need to explore Surveymonkey more but I think if they sign in I would be able to assess their work.
Resources — 1/Computers, 2/Projector, 3/I NEED to become very much more familiar with Surveymonkey if I’m going to do this, 4/Websites to evaluate
Barriers — Same as for the other grades with the following additions: What if I can’t find enough websites to evaluate?
Concerns — Will there be enough time? If they don’t complete the survey will they be able to go back and complete it next week?
Technology tools — Surveymonkey
Preparation — I have a ton of things to do. I think the modeling will go smoothly but I need to make sure I’m quick and concise but thorough. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble with the technology process. Will they have trouble with the actual content objective — evaluating websites?
I cried today when I watched these videos again. I’m not real sure why. Maybe I feel overwhelmed. One of my biggest concerns is the digital divide. In these videos it looks like everyone knows more about technology than I do but I know that’s not true for all my students. If we really want to teach students using all these technological tools we need money. Each student needs to have ready access to a computer. We all know that’s just not the case. How do we teach students who don’t have the resources available to them when we don’t have the resources either? Training and resources for all teachers and students is essential but I don’t see that happening any time soon, especially in the current economy.
It seems that I’m adding Web 2.0 stuff right and left. I joined Twitter, as everyone can probably see, and am still learning about it. So far it seems pretty easy to use but I haven’t done much yet. I looked for you Connie but it was not able to search by name. I’m still not real sure how useful this will be. Many of my online friends I talk to on AIM. I’m not sure how many, if any, have twitter accounts.
I’m in love with igoogle. I have been adding stuff to my page that I think will be helpful and some that is just interesting. I love the design I’m using which changes a little every day. I like the fractals and am saving them to possibly use as desktop designs. I can see the students really liking that.
So far this is all fun but how does it connect with any of my curriculum? I still need to work on my survey monkey stuff and I think I’ll take a look at pbwiki. I’m getting a little nervous about my lesson plans for next quarter. So far I’m not real sure where I’m headed. I guess I’ll say more about that in my next post.
I really like the idea of having my bookmarks available no matter where I’m at. More than once I’ve been frustrated not remembering what url is needed for a site I want to go to. Now I’m exploring and figuring out this new web 2.0 application.
My initial feeling is a sense of disorganization, ironic in that this is supposed to help me be more organized. On my browser my bookmarks are organized into folders. I can just click on those folders and know exactly where the bookmark is. The folders have disappeared on delicious so I need to figure out how to deal with that. It has also occurred to me that I imported my favorites from my personal computer not my work computer. I wonder if I can import my work bookmarks when I’m on that computer. No matter where I get the bookmarks from they need to be weeded. Some of those I don’t use anymore and some may not even lead to viable pages anymore. That takes time.
I’m sure that as I use this service I will better understand and appreciate it. Time, as usual, is the issue.
Edit: I’m busy adding tags to my delicious bookmarks and am seeing one organizational advantage that in the long run will save time. I can add tags, which I now see are like categories or folders. I can add as many as I want to each url and very quickly have a good list when I click on that tag. In addition, I can delete the ones that no longer apply. This will take a little time but once it’s done it will save time in the future.