Supporting Information Literacy and Online Inquiry in the Classroom
As we approach a new school year, I have attended several conferences, trainings and meetings. Throughout this course, and in all of the above staff developments, there has been one major focus. Educators of 21st Century students face an obstacle that has never been present before. We must educate, motivate and prepare students for a future that is uncertain. Educators are challenged to teach technologically savvy students academic concepts in addition to new literacies. In addition, we must prepare children to socially interact with members of a group and colleagues. The basic concept of teaching children how to read and do math is long past.
The most shocking thing that I encountered throughout this course was vas majority of unreliable information that appears to be valid on the Internet. Teaching children good evaluating techniques is quite a difficult concept; however, I did not quite understand how challenging it was until I evaluated seemingly valid websites myself. I was disappointed to see that many websites create a layout and domain names that appear to be valid. Evaluation techniques such as the ABCs and using checklists are vital to identifying and deducing valid information. This knowledge and experience have caused me to develop direct instruction times specifically to cover Internet evaluations. In addition, I have created several “checklists” to use with my 2nd grade students.
For this new school year I have developed two personal goals. The first is to go paperless with all classroom info. Newsletters etc. The second is to conduct at least 2 major Internet Inquiry projects each 9 weeks following the Internet Inquiry lesson template that we utilized in this class.