Monday, October 30, 2006

From the classroom - Student Work

As promised, I am also posting about student work. I have been team teaching in the 8th grade and we are working on search techniques and the validity of web site information in preparation for a social studies project. ( There are some nice resources at Kidz Online)
Even though the technology of IMs, music downloads and My space are used frequently at home, the students do not have a grasp of how to make a search engine work for them or how to separate fact from fiction when doing research. We started with the basic exercises to prepare them to do some research for our current election propositions.

About two weeks ago now we went into the computer lab to apply the ideas we had learned about validating a web site. The students were put in groups and given random topics. Their task was not to write about the topic but to find three websites with information about their topic and make a decision about the validity of the information. Then they had to write a short paragraph for each site and explain whether it was a reliable source and explain how they checked its validity.

Well as with many lessons it did not go quite as planned. their search techniques were still a little primitive aand so most groups only were able to evaluate one or two sites. BUT the moment we all long for came from one corner of the room where a student tentativley raised their hand. "Mrs Barreda we found this site ( they had stumbled on Wikipedia) and we were wonder about it because it says anybody can sign in an edit it! Well from this point I will let their words speak for themselves...Following is thier paragraph...

"For our researdh we used wikipedia. We thought that this website was useful in some situations, but in others it was not. The reason we thought that was because if you have an account you can write what you think and change what the information is saying. We thought that the website was useful because it gave us links to other websites of where they got their information. Wikipedia is a type of encyclopedia that helps you find information on a lot of subjects that you want to research about. We also learned more about wikipedia and what it was all about. We found out other pages to research about and how wikipedia is used and what it is used for."

This is what it is all about.....

This morning I caught up with some more blogline reading and Clarence also has a post about website validity with a link to a nice worksheet he used.

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