Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

I went into the lab and assumed everything would be ready!

Posted on: August 7, 2011

. . . The links I wanted my students to use were dead.  We went back to the classroom and didn’t use the lab that day.

It’s new, but “old” and familiar story.  It never hurts to double check to make sure everything is in working order, even if your students are using resources you have used for years.  A few years ago a colleague and I prepared a “Tips for a Successful Technology Experience” checklist.  Our original list still makes sens

Tips for Planning A Successful Student Internet Experience

Have you. . .

•  Determined that the Internet is the most appropriate resource for this assignment?

• Checked to see what is already linked on your school’s Web site?

• Asked your school’s media/technology specialist for his/her suggestions?

• Selected and evaluated more than one relevant Web site?

• Selected Web sites that are age and ability appropriate?

• Selected safe sites?

• Made sure the links are not out-of-date or moved to another location?

Getting organized. Have you . . .

•  Scheduled the use of the computer labs or computers?

• Scheduled the use of projection devices?

• Cached files you plan to use for demonstration and presentation?

• Created bookmark files, or worked with the media specialist or Webmaster to be sure the links are on the school’s Web site?

• Checked the sites to be certain everything works with the browsers and computers the students will be using?

• Checked to be sure the sites are not blocked by filtering software or do not require plug-ins the filtering system blocks.

• Used the sites on the computers your students will be using to be sure made sure the necessary helper applications and plug-ins (such as Real Player or Acrobat Reader) are installed on the computers?

• Designed thinking questions and activities for the students?

• Instructed or reviewed the mechanics of using the Internet (for example, how to save and download text and graphics; copy and paste text, data and URLS; and print only what is necessary?)

•Recommended the best or most appropriate search engines to use for students who will be searching independently?

• Explained that all search engines and directories do not provide the same results?

• Provided instruction about good search strategies?

• Arranged for team-teaching with the media or technology specialist or others who can assist you, if necessary?

• Talked with your students about the school’s Acceptable Use Policy, including guidelines for downloading, saving, and printing?

• Talked with your students about copyright guidelines?

• Taught them how to take notes and cite their resources?

• Developed “Plan B” for students who cannot use the Internet or if technical problems occur?

Developed by  Mary Alice Anderson  and Cathleen Wharton.

More practical staff development ideas for Media and Technology Specialists 
Real Staff Development and YOU! June/July 2011


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