Expanding the Classroom to the Internet
The Internet is a great resource for students to find information in the classroom.
Ensuring Accurate Information
Although the Internet is a great resource, students need to be able to find factual information because anyone can put information online. You can address this need in a number of ways. One is to preselect resources for students to use for specific lessons and projects. You can provide students with a list of sites through a class or project website. You can even encourage students to search for additional information that can be added to that site after you’re comfortable that the source is accurate.
Teaching Critical Thinking and Reading Habits
The fact that there is inaccurate information online can actually help to teach students to verify the facts that they read. You could, for example, provide multiple sites on a subject and ask students to determine which one is most or least accurate. This skill might be one of the most valuable that kids can learn about the Internet and media in general. If you allow students to use online references, they can then explain why a particular online reference is a solid choice.
Create a Class Blog
Blogs have exploded across the Internet and they can present a great way to get kids interested in subjects. With programs such as iWeb and iBlog, and sites such as Blogger, creating a blog for your classes can be extremely easy. You can post class assignments and reminders, but you can also go much farther by posting interesting news stories, links, pictures, and a wide range of collateral content relating to a class’s subject matter. A blog can also provide a vehicle for engaging parents in the material that a child is learning.
Use a Class iDisk
Apple’s iDisk (or a similar tool such as a sharepoint on your school’s network) can be a great way to exchange information with students or for students working on projects together to share information with each other. The iDisk’s advantage is that it can be accessed from home as well as school, which enables students to retrieve files or to submit projects and homework.