What are hyperlinks? What is the world wide web(www)? How can I relate all I’ve been reading to my second graders? I really didn’t know where to start and even as I read various articles I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. But this evening I got my daily update from Diigo in Education and followed one of the links. I was interested in learning more about Warren McCullough’s Web Stuff – ICT Supporting the Curriculum. From there I looked at School intranets. I did some exploring on a student page and teacher page and then went to Intranet K-6. (This also reminded me to ask our tech staff about electronic portfolios.) I continued to explore and look at the library page where I found Interlace. I continued my quest when I saw Dinosaurs, a topic my second graders are presently learning about. I already was familiar with Zoom Dinosaurs but found some other great links. One that I plan on using with my second graders this coming week is Dinosaur Database from the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Not only can this be a resource about dinosaurs but I can use it to help explain to the students what is the www and what is a hyperlink.
So, here is the beginning of my lesson for this week. Today we are going to be looking at a new internet site about dinosaurs. But before we look at the site, I want to tell you a story. As you know I am taking a class about technology.(I leave school early once a month for the class.) I do a lot of reading and the other night I was looking on the internet for information that would help me as your teacher trying to use technology in our class. I get daily updates about articles that other teachers around the world find interesting. I look at some of them, read some and ignore some. One of those articles caught my eye and sent me on a delightful path. The article sent me to a site from Australia. When I got to the site, I started to click on some of the links that were there. When you click on some words that are highlighted, they take you to a different page, that is called a hyperlink. I eventually came to this page.
Since we are studying dinosaurs I am always on the lookout for some new and interesting websites. We already use Zoom dinosaurs so I knew I didn’t have to look there. But the Dinosaur Database looked interesting so I clicked on it. This hyperlink took me here, where we will be spending some time today.
But, before we look at those “terrible lizards” I want you to think about this. We live in Japan, I was looking at information someone in Australia wrote, that led me to a Children’s Museum in Indianapolis, USA. All of this information is collected in various databases where anyone can search for it. Knowing how to search and where to search are important skills we will continue to work on this year and every year. Now, let’s find out about Bucky the teenage t-rex.
There will be some discussion involved during this presentation, but obviously this is just the beginning and I know my students will be anxious to see the dinosaurs.
There were various other tidbits I gleaned this week in the reading. 20 Things I Learned About Browser and the Web had me checking my privacy settings on my browser and learning about some of the apps available for my browser. I am not sure that I agree with one of the statements from the article, “The movement of many of our daily tasks online enables us to live more fully in the real world.” I have to wonder how often we become so engrossed in a game, texting, a search or what we are doing online we forget to live in the real world. I remember a few years ago sitting at a McDonald’s restaurant watching a “couple” who were obviously on a date, but were both texting other people on their phones. Overall the article gave a lot of interesting and easy to digest information about what is the web.
A book, not on our reading this week, that I would highly recommend is Web Literacy for Educators by Alan November. It is easy to read (I read the entire book this weekend and also attended a concert, church and a council meeting. I wasn’t just reading!) and has easy to follow lessons/activities for the reader and for students. We can either prepare students to tap into the most powerful tool yet created or allow them free reign without the necessary resources to understand or interpret what they find on the web. I hope that I am able to challenge the students who I work with to be responsible learners, discerning thinkers, productive collaborators,effective communicators and faithful caretakers who can use the tools available to learn and share their learning with others.