Inquiry Project 1

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How students find, use, and evaluate Internet information.

How students find, use, and evaluate Internet information.

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  • 1. Inquiry Project: Finding and Using Internet Information Jamie A. Klausing CEP 806 Professor Wong September 23, 2007 What steps do scientists use to help them solve problems?
  • 2. Ideas, Predictions, and Explanations By uncovering what knowledge and experiences the student comes to us with, we can begin to provide learning activities that allow students to work toward becoming literate citizens. According to Bertram Bruce, in his article, “Digital Content: The Babel of Cyberspace,” we need to incorporate the opportunities and challenges of new technologies into our discourse about teaching and learning. Students need to be able to have participation, engagement, skills, availability, and accessibility if we are to meet these learner’s needs as literate citizen’s. www.readingonline.org/electronic/JAAL/Apri l_Column.html Students come to our classrooms with diverse learning experiences. It is important for us to find out what experiences students have had, what understandings or misunderstandings they have about a topic, and then tailor our instruction to build on those experiences and understandings and to provide them with new learning opportunities.
  • 3. Ideas, Predictions, and Explanations What is a literate citizen? What skills do they need to function in today’s world? According to Bertram Bruce, “Literacy means control over discourses that use and communicate complex forms of knowledge…that is embedded in our daily practices.” (Bertram Bruce, “Twenty-First Century Literacy.”) The Encyclopedia Americana refers to literacy as the ability to read and write. Because each student is a citizen within our classrooms and will eventually become a citizen within his/her broader community, state, and world, it is important that students not only be able to read and write, but also are able to find information, read the information, write about what they find, and then communicate and collaborate with others.
  • 4. So then where do we start? There are many things we need to consider prior to having our students jump into finding and using information on the Internet. It is important that we have thought about the question ahead of time, have a good understanding of how the web and searches work and are comfortable using those tools. (Bertram Bruce, “Searching the Web: New Domains for Inquiry.”)
    • What kind of information do we want our students to find?
    • What search strategies do we want them to use?
    • How will we incorporate technology or online research into what we are teaching?
    • Will students work alone or together?
    • What prior experiences have students had using the Internet?
    • How will we determine what they have learned?
    Ideas, Predictions, and Explanations
  • 5. Ideas, Predictions, and Explanations Within my classroom, I believed most students would have had some prior experience using the Internet. I thought some students probably had very limited experience, where as, others a great deal more. I was unsure as to how much research they had actually done using the Internet and wasn’t quite sure they understood how to use different search engines and search directories. I wasn’t comfortable, however, letting students do an open ended search especially, not knowing for sure what advertisements and inappropriate content might emerge as they began researching. I decided to focus on more of a guided inquiry. Students had been brainstorming steps that scientists use to help them solve problems. They generated a list of steps and presented them in class. I decided to have students use the Internet to find out what steps other people in our world thought scientists used to help them solve problems and compare them to the list they had generated.
  • 6. Description of Inquiry Plan
    • Each student was asked how much experience they had using the Internet.
    • Students were paired up; one who had a lot of experience with another who had very little experience.
    • I had already searched and found 8 sites that I wanted the students to use. Some sites were very difficult to find information in; others were very easy to find the information. Some of the sites were interactive; others were in black and white and straight forward. A few sites had vocabulary that was easy to understand; others had vocabulary that was very difficult.
    • Students were asked to search 3 of the 8 sites and find the steps at those sites that were listed as important steps scientists use to help them solve problems.
    • Students were also asked to do the following at each of the 3 sites:
      • Describe things they thought were distracting
      • Rate the reading difficulty- easy, medium, or hard
      • Tell things they liked and disliked about the site and
      • Whether they would recommend the site to someone else.
  • 7. Description of Inquiry Plan
    • I placed two documents on our shared drive at school.
      • A word document that students could open and then click on the link for the sites they wanted to search.
  • 8.
      • The second document was a word document that had the questions I wanted them to answer for each site.
    Description of Inquiry Plan
  • 9.
    • Students were provided the option to hand write out their answers or to complete the questions within the word document at the computer.
    • Students spent two class periods researching and completing the assignment.
    • After researching was complete, we used the television monitor to revisit the sites as a group since most students only visited 3 sites.
    • We discussed the positive and negative aspects of each site.
    • Student pairs met in groups of 4 to review the steps of the scientific method that they found at the sites they visited.
    • Students reviewed information from each site and generated a list of steps that consistently showed up on the sites that they visited.
    • Each group reported out their findings.
    • As a class we discussed how scientists use many different strategies to solve problems and although there are steps that are consistent, there is not only one way or method used to solve problems.
    Description of Inquiry Plan
  • 10. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • Since students were provided with the links to the 8 sites, I thought they would start at the top of the list and pick the top three sites first. The data showed that initially, but the last three sites also had several visits.
  • 11. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • I decided to ask a few of my students how they selected the sites that they visited.
      • Jordan’s response:
      • Trevor’s response:
      • Kayla’s response:
      • Aubrey’s response :
  • 12. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • After reviewing the students responses for each site they visited, I compiled their data on what they found distracting, reading level rating, what they liked and disliked about each site and whether they would recommend the site to someone else.
  • 13. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://biology.clc.us.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
    • What students found distracting:
      • Some students didn’t find anything at this site distracting.
      • Others found the following things distracting:
        • Pictures
        • The interactive portion of the site
        • Too many examples
        • Too many paragraphs clumped together
        • When you scroll up or down, it looks like lines on it.
        • Hard to sort through the information to locate the steps.
  • 14. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://biology.clc.us.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
    • Many students rated the reading difficulty at this site in the medium range.
  • 15. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://biology.clc.us.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
    • Things students liked about the site:
      • Pictures and examples
      • Organization
      • The site provided a lot of information that was easy to read
      • It was colorful
      • Important words were bolded.
      • It was fun
    • Things students disliked about the site:
      • Too many distractions
      • Hard to find what information was important
      • It was kind of confusing
      • Difficulty finding what the scientific method was
  • 16. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • Overwhelmingly students said they would recommend this site to someone else.
    • http://biology.clc.us.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
    • It gives a lot of useful information.
    • For someone with a good attention span.
    • In spots it can be challenging and fun.
    • It had some interesting and good information on it.
  • 17. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/Appendix E.html
    • What students found distracting:
      • Words were confusing
      • Site was confusing
      • There were words we didn’t understand
      • Some felt there was nothing distracting about the site.
    Students rated the reading difficulty in the medium to hard range.
  • 18. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • What students liked about the site:
      • Everything was right there and easy to find
      • Listed the steps right away
      • There were no advertisements
      • A lot of important information
    • What students disliked about the site:
      • There were many words I did not understand
      • Boring
      • Too hard
      • Difficult to read
    • http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/Appendix E.html
  • 19. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html
    Interestingly, even though the site had difficult vocabulary, some students said they would still recommend the site to someone else.
    • To a college student
    • Depends on how scientific they are
    • If they can read big words
    • Only if they were looking for the scientific method
  • 20. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_scimethod.html
    • What students found distracting:
      • Pictures
      • Too many advertisements
      • The spider
      • Colors were sometimes distracting
    • Students rated the reading difficulty in the easy to medium range.
  • 21. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_scimethod.html
    • What students liked about the site:
      • Good explanations
      • Listed the steps
      • Bolded words
      • Easy to read
      • Colorful, a lot of neat information, neat pictures
      • Very informational
    • What students disliked about the site:
      • Advertisements on the site
      • Picture of the spider
      • Too much information
      • A little complicated
      • Hard to find information
  • 22. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_scimethod.html
    Students would definitely recommend this site to someone else.
    • The answers were right there.
    • You learn a lot.
  • 23. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.1dolphin.org/SciMeth2.html
    • What students found distracting:
      • Words were too small
      • Distracting boxes and shapes
      • A lot of information
      • Vocabulary was very hard to understand and change into our own words.
    • Most students felt the reading was difficult.
  • 24. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.1dolphin.org/SciMeth2.html
    • What students liked about the site:
      • Showed each step
      • Diagram
      • Gives you a lot of the information
    • What students disliked about the site:
      • Confusing
      • Words were too small to read
      • The words were hard
      • Impossible to read
  • 25. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.1dolphin.org/SciMeth2.html
    Surprisingly, even with the difficult vocabulary, students would still recommend this site to someone else.
  • 26. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/scientific_method/sci_method_main.html
    • What students found distracting:
      • Some of the questions
      • The pictures
    Students rated the reading difficulty in the easy range.
  • 27. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/scientific_method/sci_method_main.html
    • What students liked about the site:
      • It was interactive
      • The stories were interesting
      • Easy to follow
      • Very descriptive and easy to understand
    • What students disliked:
      • Random things went with the subject
      • Too much clicking, too many pictures
      • The set up was confusing
      • Sometimes distracted by the pictures
  • 28. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/scientific_method/sci_method_main.html
    Students would highly recommend this site to someone else.
    • It was very interesting
    • It was helpful, descriptive, and fun
    • I really liked it.
    • It was a good site.
  • 29. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/nceas-web/kids/experiments/scimethod/scimethod.html
    Students did not find anything distracting at this site. Students also found the reading very easy at this site.
  • 30. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/nceas-web/kids/experiments/scimethod/scimethod.html
    • What students liked about this site:
      • Everything was easy to see
      • It was simple
      • Easy to get the information
      • Organized and neatly written
      • It gives you some examples
    • What students disliked:
      • It just said the step without really explaining it.
      • Did not give enough information
  • 31. Interesting Patterns in Data
    • http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/nceas-web/kids/experiments/scimethod/scimethod.html
    Most students would recommend this site to someone else.
    • It is an easy site.
    • Easy to find the information quickly.
  • 32. Interesting Patterns in Data http:// sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/scientific_method.htm
    • Students really didn’t find many things distracting at this site.
      • There were some extra steps that didn’t make sense.
    Students also rated the reading difficulty at this site easy.
  • 33. Interesting Patterns in Data http:// sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/scientific_method.htm
    • What students liked about the site:
      • Gave information right away
      • Words were right there
      • There were no distractions
      • The steps were in order
      • Easy to find the information
      • It had different sections that told what they were about
    • What students disliked about the site:
      • Too many unneeded steps
      • It was a little confusing
      • Too long
  • 34. Interesting Patterns in Data http:// sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/scientific_method.htm Students would highly recommend this site to someone else.
    • It has very detailed information.
    • It has everything right there.
  • 35. Interesting Patterns in Data http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/scientificmethod.html
    • Students did not find much distracting at this site:
      • Advertisements
    • Students also rated the reading difficulty pretty easy at this site.
  • 36. Interesting Patterns in Data http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/scientificmethod.html
    • What students liked about this site:
      • Scientific steps were the names of the headings
      • Information was right there and easy to find
      • It was organized
      • You could click on the steps to explain what they were
      • Gave steps, definitions and examples
    • What students disliked about this site:
      • Information was all on one page
      • It was trying to sell products
      • Some words were difficult to understand
  • 37. Interesting Patterns in Data http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/scientificmethod.html Students would also recommend this site to someone else.
  • 38. Emergent Ideas, Questions, Lessons In providing the 8 sites to students, it was interesting to see what sites they chose to go to and why they selected those sites. Most students just randomly clicked on a site and recorded information about that site while they were there. Others looked through the sites to see which sites had the steps visible so that it was easier to complete the worksheet for each site they visited. Most students liked the sites that had the steps listed clearly when they arrived to the site. It made the task of finding the information easier for them. The sites that had vocabulary that was easy to read and understand were also sites the students liked.
  • 39. Emergent Ideas, Questions, Lessons I was very surprised to find that many of the students did not like the interactive components of a few of the sites. Some felt they were distracting and took too long to find the information. They preferred sites where the information was clearly visible. Many students did not care for the advertisements on some of the sites. They felt they didn’t need to be there when they were just trying to get information. I was very surprised how focused and on task all of the students were. Each pair of students took turns and worked together to visit the sites, discuss the steps they felt were important to list, and took turns completing the worksheets.
  • 40. Emergent Ideas, Questions, Lessons I was very curious to see if the students who used the word document on the computer would copy and paste information from the site. We had talked about borrowing information prior to going to the computer lab, however, I wanted to see if some students would still just take the text instead of putting it into their own words. I was pleasantly surprised to see only one or two groups did and the others did not. Only small portions of texts were taken, not entire selections.
  • 41. Emergent Ideas, Questions, Lessons Allowing the students to work in pairs, provided an opportunity among them for dialogue, analysis of the site and a partnership in in the task. Even though students were working, they enjoyed the opportunity to work with others, to work at the computer, and to find and discuss the information. They also liked evaluating the site. It would have been interesting to see if the task wasn’t specifically asking for steps of the scientific method, if students would have evaluated the sites differently. Possibly they would have enjoyed the interactive components more for some of the sites if they would not have been focused on finding information.
  • 42. Emergent Ideas, Questions, Lessons Bertram Bruce, in all of his articles, provided some helpful guidelines and strategies for using the Internet effectively. It was important that I took the time to think about what I wanted students to do, researched the sites that I wanted students to visit, and prepared a lesson in which students were able to work together to find information, read and write about the information and then discuss it and collaborate. It was also important that the task was done within the context of what we were studying. Students could then use the information they collected to see what steps other people within our world thought were important in helping them solve problems in science and comparing those steps to the list they generated before researching. Hopefully, through activities like these, we can help students develop skills that allow them to become literate citizens.
  • 43. Works Cited
    • Bruce, B. “Credibility of the Web: Why We Need Dialectical Reading.” Journal of Philosophy of Education (special issue), 34, 97-109.
    • Bruce, B. “Searching the Web: New Domains for Inquiry.” http://www.readinonline.org/electronic/JAAL/12-99_Column.html
    • Bruce, B., “Twenty-First Century Literacy.” www.isrl.uiuc.edu/~chip/pubs/21stcentury/
    • &quot;Literacy.&quot; Encyclopedia Americana . 2007. Grolier Online. 22 Sep. 2007 <http://ea.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=0248540-00>.
    • Other Sites Referenced:
    • http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
    • http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html
    • http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_scimethod.html
    • http://www.ldolphin.org/SciMeth2.html
    • http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/scientific_method/sci_method_main.html
    • http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/nceas-web/kids/experiments/scimethod/scimethod.html
    • http://sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/scientific_method.htm
    • http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/scientificmethod.html