Recently I went to a one day work shop in Chicago that was being presented by one of my favorite presenters, Jeff Utecht. His session was titled, " Moving students from Consumers to Producers of Information." There was so much great content delivered that over the next few days, I will be sharing some takeaways with you.
One of the biggest takeaways was where does search or searching the internet fall into our curriculum? Now, I have heard Jeff speak about this topic before and recently heard Alan November (@globalearner) give a talk about this same topic at another event. The answer to this question was an easy one for me, I teach it to my students. But who else in my school does? Not many if any. While we live in a day and age of interconnectedness, how is it that we are not focusing more on this topic. How many of our students take the first three or four searches they plug into Google, or Yahoo, or Bing? We have to ask the question (and teach our students to ask the same question) are these reliable sources? How do we determine if these sources are reliable? How do we know if we can even read them? With the help of Google Educators, you have access to those answers. Here is the link to the Educators page (http://www.google.com/edu/teachers/) and Search (http://www.google.com/insidesearch/searcheducation/index.html).
We need to ask ourselves, are our students actually doing research or are the just skimming? Is there supposed to be a devoted class to teach this or can it be integrated into our curriculum? I am a strong believer that it needs to be integrated into everyones curriculum. Every class has a different set challenges and if you are truly a 21st Century teacher, then you are sending your kids to find information on the web. I am not asking that you spend weeks on this with your students, but every now and then. Just to make sure they stay sharp on those skills. After all, how many of you still remember what you got on your history test from fifth or sixth grade? This is a skill that will last a lifetime with our students. So why aren't we spending more time on it?
George Phillip is a social studies teacher and designer.
Ramsey Musallam - www.cyclesoflearning.com
Karl Lindgren-Streicher -
Josh Stumpenhorst -
Jason Bretzmann -
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