Tag: effective searching

Inquiry and Technology

Introduction, Agenda

Inquiry – KWL (modelling  Inspiration)

  • What we know?
  • What we want to know?
  • What we learned?

Why is Inquiry important?

  • Saskatchewan Curriculum – Links to the most updated curriculum documents
  • Pick a renewed curriculum – Do a search for the term “Inquiry”
  • Look at Aims and Goals from a  renewed curriculm document; Read and think about the “Big Idea”.
  • Use Wordle  to generate word cloud (TELI-Wordle)

Why we need to change.

 Four stages of Inquiry

  • Chart of the four stages (p.61-62)
  • View DVD clips
    • Share Curiosity and Model Your Own Inquiry
    • Develop Questions and Form Inquiry Circles
    • Create Ground Rules of Collaboration
    • Work in Small Groups
    • Make and Use a Work Plan
    • Take Thinking Public
    • Take Learning Public and Teach Others
  • Using TodaysMeet: respond to:
    • What is the teacher doing?
    • What are the students doing?
    • What learning is taking place?
    • How could you incorporate technology?
    • TELI-TodaysMeet

 Surfing and Searching: Internet Research in School 

  • Students need support and skills in order to navigate the Internet.
  • Provide younger students with preselected websites and media to ensure that they can make choices within a manageable collection of information
  • only2clicks.com and Jogtheweb.com are great websites for bookmarking websites for younger students because they are more visual.
    (Sample Jogtheweb: http://www.jogtheweb.com/run/fAYDfZhtDu8g/K-2-Leading-the-Way—21st-Century-Learners)
  • Delicious or Diigo– social booking tool that stores bookmarks on the web.
  • Students in higher grades can learn more advanced search skills to be able to conduct full-on searches using various search engines.
  • Resources to help in this area: Effective Search Strategies
  • Evaluating Information – three key questions
    • Is this source accurate and authoritative?
    • Is it up to date?
    • Can I identify bias in this source?
  • Resources: Website Evaluation

 Assessments and Evaluation Considerations

  • Observations – Inquiry Circles Rubric ( p.281)
  • Conversations
  • Products

Growing Better Inquiry Groups

  • What Kids Can Do During Inquiry time (p.286)

Reflection – Refer Back to KWL

We will be using the book, Comprehension & Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels along with their companion DVD’s.

September 22, 2010

Effective Searching

Finding what is needed on the Internet is sometimes the greatest mystery. How do you search to find what you need from the vast amount of information that is on the World Wide Web?


Effective Searching Practices

Alan November describes Effective Search Practices in his handout – I have cut that section out so you can print just that section. effectivesearching-november_0.pdf. Please note: Alta Vista was purchased by Yahoo so some things have changed in the searching handout. For a Saskatchewan version, please download: effectivesearchin-skversion

If you are interested in the full 45 page document, please visit http://www.novemberlearning.com/ or download  http://novemberlearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/nl-workshop-workbook.pdf)

1. Have a search plan!

Have students think critically about their research problem. What is it that they need to find out? What format will best meet student needs (videos, images, text, interviews)? What search tools will help them find the type of information they need (database, primary documents, regualr search engines)?

2. Use advanced search techniques.

Use SPECIFIC key words correctly in a query string. Make sure students understand Boolena Operators (AND, OR, NOT – must be used in ALL CAPS with space on each side) as well as addtional operators such as +, -, ” “. Google has lessons to help develop students’ ability to search effectively.

Help students use extensions and country codes to develop their ability to find information that is accurate and from a variety of viewpoints.   To see a list of country codes, please visit http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/text/web_country_codes.html.


.org – organization
.com – company
.sch – school (used outside of US)
.k12 – most but not all US schools
.edu – US higher education (http://www.usask.edu/ is redirected to http://www.usask.ca/)
.gov – US government (add country code for outside US)
.ac – academic (higher ed outside US, usually used with country code, i.e. “ac.uk”
.net – network

You can search using the host: command within Google (i.e. “cancer research” + host:gov) and you can extend that to search and narrow results for a particular domain name, country, and so forth. Going global with host: command searches enables your students to see the difference in search results based on the “perspective of that country” and not just the top ten results that they might get from a simple Google search! 

How would you search for a list of of websites of all academic insitutions in South Africa? Go to Google and then type host:ac.za.  What about engineering in South African academic institutions (host:ac.za + engineering)?

3. Use advanced and more specialized search engines.

What is the difference between a search engine  and a directory? What role do real humans play in directories?  When should one use Mashepedia instead of Google? Consider using the same search query in two search engines or directories to see what is different about the results.

For a list of search engines, directories, meta-search engines and their functions please refer to: http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2156221

April 21, 2010

Website Evaluation

The Internet offers access to many resources but some of them can be of questionable quality. You and your students should learn critical evaluation skills to assess the quality of an Internet resource.

Why teach Information Literacy?  Read this true story called “Teaching Zack to Think” – http://novemberlearning.com/resources/archive-of-articles/teaching-zack-to-think/

Key Steps:


Alan November offers a list of websites that your students could evaluate – http://novemberlearning.com/resources/information-literacy-resources/iii-websites-to-validate/

An Educator’s Guide to Evaluating Web Sites” is a self-guided tutorial to help refine your skills.

Media Awareness Network offers a range of media education and Internet literacy resources for the classroom and also for Professional Development at their page called: Internet Learning Resources for Teachers

April 21, 2010


ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (Nets)

ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, had developed a set of educational technology standards.

Nets for Teachers

Effective teachers should be modeling and apply these technology standards as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning:

  • Faciltate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
  • Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
  • Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
  • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
  • Nets for Teachers 2008   


Nets for Students

These new NETS identify several higher-order thinking skills and digital citizenship as critical for students to learn effectively for a lifetime and live productively in our emerging global society.

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

April 21, 2010




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