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Training Students to Research via the Internet

How can teachers help students research on the web?
by

Summer Shelton

on 7 September 2010

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Transcript of Training Students to Research via the Internet

The Internet! Modern students spend
roughly eleven hours
per week online. Up 60% from 2005! The literacy skills required
to navigate the web ARE NOT
the same used to read and write In 2008, a study of 6000+
students found that learners
on the Internet do not necessarily
read from left to right or top to bottom! Instead, they skip around
search for keywords and
anything "interesting". THE "F" Online text and written print may look the same BUT..... The shift from paper to screen
doesn't just change the way we
navigate a page. It also influences
the degree of attention we dovote
to it, and our depth of immersion
in it. Hyperlinks and
pop-ups, scrolling
and searching
lead to constant
distractedness The connectors in the brain
are actually prevented from
thinking deeply or creatively. We can't see the forest
for the twigs and leaves. We are ACTUALLY
creating different brains. Today's tech-savy
children have an
increased dorsolateral
prefrontal cortex. This is great for multi-tasking, but terrible for
sustained concentration and comprehension. As the cognitive load
increases, comprehension
decreases. A study last year showed
that people who read a story on
a paper retained the information
much greater than those who
read the same story online.
Linear readers comprehend more.
Many features of hypertext
result in increased cognitive load
and thus may require a working
memory capacity that exceeds a
student's capabilities. Literacy aptitude among students
suffered its largest decline b/w 1992
and 2005. The net, for middle school students
and beyond, is becoming a replacement
for memory - not a supplement. In primary, we have the ability
to help our students, before they
become too dependent on the web. Technological process does not reverse.
We must lead our students, if we want them
to use it in meaningful ways. The Internet wasn't built
by educators to optimize learning.
It presents information not in care-
fully balanced ways, but as a
concentration-fragmenting mish mash. SOUND DEPRESSING? THERE IS HOPE!!!! We can build
"Free Range Students" capable
of navigating through complex
and disorganized information. We can teach them to
become "Infotectives". The first step is redirecting
the media-age to a time of
sustained concentration. Sustained silent reading
is one of the most important
ways to build a mind that
concentrates and thinks in
in creative ways. Teachers are quick to
forget to teach children
how to research in a book
before setting them free
to search the web. Any disruption (even as
simple as a reminder from a teacher) can keep short term memory from becoming long term
memory.
The mind needs a "Sleepy Hollow"
as much as it needs the "Information Highway". When students have
built concentration skills
and researched in books,
it's time to help them use
THE INTERNET. Whenever students are preparing
for Internet research, help them
get to a calm place. Recent research has shown
that students that spend time
looking at peaceful scenes in
nature before researching or
test taking out-perform students
who remained in a hurried or
excited environment. This worked for
adults too! Before setting them
free to search for
Ancient Greece or
Rivers, teachers
AND students need
to understand feelings.
Preparing for Research Students from year one
to college go through
a series of emotions when
researching online. ZONE OF INTERVENTION This is it is KEY
that the teacher
reassure the student,
if not, the student
gives up or says,
"I can't find anything
on ....." Having the students
understand what they
will feel during research
is important. When they know that
there is bumpy ride
ahead, but that it will
change, they are more
likely to stick to the
task. To help the students understand the process,
many educators create a graphic. Helpful Hints: Set all of your classroom computers'
homepages to a search engine that is
KID FRIENDLY. Google is not kid friendly. My favorites: www.quinturakids.com www.askforkids.com Spend time every
week teaching students
how to research. Whole group searches
are best. Let students evaluate
sites and search engines. Outlaw copy and paste when researching. Have students bring a pencil and pad
to physically write down the information
they find important. Teach them how to
write down key words. Teach them how to
take notes. Most importantly .... be there with them when
they are researching.
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