Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects. Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.
Part 1: Essential Questions
Part 2: Technology Integration Resources
Tech Resources (Page 1): Best Practices for Teaching and Learning with Technology
Tech Resources (Page 2): The current page has subsections:
Locating, Evaluating, and Citing Information including some Web 2.0 resources that make conducting research easier.
Tech Resources (Page 3): Online Student and Computer Safety (with software suggestions)
Tech Resources (Page 4): Grants, Other Funding, Grant Writing, and Free Resources
Part 3: Web Page Design
Part 4: Multimedia in Projects
How strong are your technology skills?
According to Bernie Poole (2006), every teacher should possess six basic technology skills:
Increase your keyboarding skills. Typing.com is a free online tutorial for typists of all skill levels. It includes entertaining typing games, typing tests, and free official typing certification. Use it in your school or at home. It comes with a teacher management system and a curriculum to help students from beginners to advanced levels learn how to type.
Do you and your students need a comprehensive set of lessons for web research skills?
In Researching in a Digital World: How do I teach my students to conduct quality online research?, Erik Palmer (2015) presents a step-by-step guide to teach learners at all grade levels how to conduct more responsible research in an internet environment.
Microsoft in collaboration with the International Society for Technology in Education has developed the free e-book, Developing Critical Thinking through Web Research Skills (2010), which contains a ready-to-use curriculum. "Lesson plans include prerequisites, rationale, essential concepts, and descriptions of related National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and are designed for beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels, aimed at middle school and secondary students." Students learn about the mechanics of searching, validity and reliability, plagiarism, citing web sources, and civil discourse.
You and your students can enhance your knowledge about the Internet and the Web with the following:
HOT! Begin by first exploring Mozilla's Web Literacy Standard, which will help you identify what exactly it is that one should be learning about the web. "The Web Literacy Standard is a map of competencies and skills that Mozilla and our community of stakeholders believe are important to pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web." These are divided into three sections: Write, Read, Participate. Within each you can select a skill you'd like to learn more about: see definitions and get related activities.
Living Internet is an in-depth reference about the Internet, the Web, Email, Internet Chat, Multi-user Dungeons (MUD's), Mailing lists, and Usenet newsgroups.
NetTUTOR by N. O’Hanlon of Ohio State University is your personal guide to understanding the Internet. Interactive tutorials address such topics as getting started on the Web, the basics of Web browsers and e-mail, online discussion groups, research strategies including evaluating and citing web resources, and search skills. Each tutorial can be completed in 15-30 minutes.
Online Netskills Interactive Course (TONIC) from the University of Newcastle in the UK is a free self-paced web tutorial with quizzes designed for beginners to learn about the Internet. It is also suitable for use with middle and secondary students. You will learn concepts and features of networks of the Internet, information and resources available on the Internet, tools that provide functionality on the Internet, searching on the Internet, communication tools for use on the Internet, and about creating and publishing Web pages.
Internet Mind Map
Use the Internet Mind Map by Antonio Gutierrez of GoGeometry.com. Learn about the structure of the Internet and World Wide Web and what it has to offer. This is a great find!
Before you begin your Internet research, equip students with some new online tools to make locating information and conducting research on the Web a lot easier and more productive. They will appreciate being able to highlight relevant information on web pages and adding comments to those just as you would on paper. Storing notes online makes them accessible from any computer, and enables sharing with others and collaboration for group work.
Diigo, the "Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff," is all about social annotation. It’s also free and features “social bookmarking, clippings, in situ annotation, tagging [i.e., keywords for searching], full-text search, easy sharing and interactions.” Users can add highlights and sticky notes on any webpage and designate private notes or public comments.
The search process, Web page navigation, evaluation, and synthesizing information are four challenges Internet users face (Coiro, 2005). Students need to be taught appropriate strategies, particularly for evaluating the information found on a Web page. Not everything online is 100% accurate and bias-free. Teachers can provide such assistance by modeling steps and thinking aloud as they do so. Patricia Deubel would add a fifth step--students also need to learn how to appropriately cite information they find.
Locating information with keywords often involves a Boolean search using AND, OR, NOT, +, or -, for example. When searching for exact phrases, the phrase is enclosed in quotation marks. DeVry University provides a primer on Boolean Searching on the Internet. Briefly, Boolean logic combines algebra with logic. "AND" is associated with the concept of intersection on Venn diagrams and the word "both." If one searches with "AND" the web pages that come up will contain both terms of the search. On the other hand, "OR" is associated with "union" or putting things together. Searches will find web pages in which either term occurs and more pages will be found. "NOT" excludes subsets from a search. The symbols " +" or " -" when placed before a term within a search phrase mean "must include" and "exclude," respectively. Use a space before the + or - followed by the key term.
About.com: Boolean Search answers the question: What Does Boolean Search Mean? You'll find multiple resources for web searching.
Google Search Education will help all, including teachers and their students, to perform better searches. It has lesson plans to improve search literacy skills, activities to put search skills to the test, and video tutorials from Google's search experts.
After selecting a Web page, its navigation becomes important. For previewing a Web page, Julie Coiro (2005, pp. 32-33) at the University of Connecticut suggested that teachers model seven steps accompanied by thinking aloud:
The ACTS Model (Authoritative, Current/Correct, Truthful, Supported) provides a good rule of thumb for selecting quality online resources (or more traditional print-based resources), be they web sites or literature appropriate for writing articles. Mark Rossman (2002) elaborated on this model, primarily in terms of evaluating literature:
Students might also find out who else is linking to the site, as some sites are bogus. Entering LINK: [web address] in a search engine such as Google will reveal this list. Try entering the search phrase "bogus Web sites" to demonstrate to students examples of such sites, some of which look quite professional.
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask from UC Berkeley Teaching Library will help you to understand information contained in a URL, as a URL can reveal an initial concern about a site, and how to identify authenticity and credibility of web pages.
HOT: ResearchReady is a free website evaluation tool. Users enter the URL of a website, then the site being evaluated appears along with a series of questions provided by the tool with options for the answers. The aim is to determine if the site is appropriate for use in research. Questions address purpose, accuracy, authority: author; authority: publisher; relevance, currency. Then, users can review overall for credibility, and email, save, and print results.
S.O.S. for Information Literacy is a multimedia web-based resource with peer-reviewed lesson plans, handouts, presentations, videos, and other resources for teaching information literacy in K-16, which includes the skills help learners to locate, organize, evaluate, manage, and use information.
Alan November's Information Literacy resources, include a quiz to determine how much you know about searching for and evaluating sites, suggestions of Web sites to help students learn to validate, how to read a URL, and how to find a site's publisher and history, and how to check for external links.
Finally, synthesizing information is difficult to teach students. Coiro (2005) suggested creating a Word document template for students to use in which they write their research question, then actually copy and paste the URL and relevant text from each source into this organizer. Then students summarize that content in their own words, and provide a personal connection of how the information or new fact relates to other information they have found on the topic and how the information on each new idea changes their thinking. Students might jot down other questions as they reflect. Next they write their synthesis, which considers points from their sources. Coiro stated, "A good synthesis weaves together at least two of their personal impressions with at least two facts learned from their reading" (p. 35).
Note that students can now avoid using a copy and paste technique from Internet resources to a research project. If they use Web 2.0 tools noted above, their highlighted text and those same notes that they might have put in a Word document can be created and stored online rather than on the desktop computer.
Students need to learn appropriate methods for citing the information they have directly quoted, summarized, or paraphrased from others. Common methods include MLA, APA, Turabian, and Chicago. Sites that generate citations are available to help writers put references in appropriate format.
Crediting ideas from others is part of academic integrity. Teachers might also discuss plagiarism with their students, as sometimes students don't realize they are plagiarizing. See Dr. Patricia Deubel's publication, available at CT4ME: Plagiarism: Prevention is the Name of the Game.
Can't find that great online resource you used in last year's lesson?
URLs come and go. Don't panic yet if you can't find that great online resource from a lesson you want to use again. The Way Back Machine (http://www.archive.org/) archives Internet web pages as they appeared on specific days. Every page might be there, but its worth a look to see if your lesson can be salvaged. Tip: Don't wait until the day of the lesson to discover URLs don't work or pages can't be displayed.
NOTE to those teaching about APA style: The Sixth Edition of the rules of APA Style, detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, has been released. As you use APA resources listed below, be sure to verify that the new rules are being used. Some sites might convert faster than others. Find those updates at APA Style or use the APA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue University, for example.
APA Documentation from the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
APA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue University includes examples according to the 6th edition of the APA manual.
APA Citation help and examples from Owens Library of Northwest Missouri State University.
APA Style has tutorials, FAQs, and other resources to help you improve your writing, master APA Style, and learn the conventions of scholarly publishing. You will also find what's new in the Sixth Edition for the rules of APA Style, detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Duke University Library will help you to correctly cite in MLA and APA formats, create Turabian footnotes, or use the Chicago Manual of Style.
EasyBib is a citation and writing resource for creating bibliographies in APA, MLA, Chicago, and other styles. It also contains notetaking and research tools for students.
Evaluating Information Found on the Internet from Johns Hopkins University. This article also includes how search engines return information.
Fact, Fiction, or Opinion? Evaluating Online Information from Education World contains the how to's suggested in the title.
Four NETS for Better Searching by Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University includes: start Narrow, find Exact phrases, Trim back the URL, and look for Similar pages.
Google's Search Education is designed to help learners become better searchers. There are lesson plans and several webinars (live trainings) for improving search skills.
How to Cite Your Sources: First Things First! from MidLink Magazine, a digital magazine for students 8-18, sponsored by NC State University and the University of Central Florida.
NoodleTools, a suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with their online research, will help you select a search engine, find some relevant sources, and cite those sources in MLA or APA style.
Plagiarism.org contains resources for preventing plagiarism and guidelines for correctly citing information.
Search Engine Showdown by Greg Notess --learn all about searching and get search engine news.
The Spider's Apprentice is a helpful guide to web search engines, including basic search engine FAQ, how to plan the best search strategy, how search engines work, and even historical information about the first search engines.
Using the Web from Eduplace.com is divided into three sections and includes Grades 1-2: Learning from Web Sites; Grades 3-5: Searching for Web Sites; Grade 6-8: Evaluating Web Sites. Each module is very engaging with appropriate animations.
21st Century Information Fluency began in 2001 at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Its mission is to provide "professional development and resources to help educators and students improve their ability to locate, evaluate and use digital information more effectively, efficiently and ethically."
Cite This For Me includes citation generators in several styles: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, and more. You can also create bibliographies.
KnightCite, a project at Calvin College: APA, MLA, and Chicago styles can be generated. Rules are included to help enter data.
Landmarks for Schools Citation Machine provides citations in MLA, APA, Turabian, and Chicago styles.
RefME is a "free web and mobile tool to generate citations, reference lists and bibliographies." Also per the website, "You can search by book/journal article title, DOI, ISBN, ISSN or simply copy and paste any website URL to create a reference in seconds." References can be created in over 6500 styles, including APA, MLA, and Harvard.
21st Century Information Fluency has online citation wizards for CSE (scientific style), MLA, and APA.
Before releasing your students to search on the Web, you might begin by reading Child-safe Searching on the Web at SearchEngines.com. This site addresses nearly every concern you might have about search engines.
Ask.com Ask a question and get an answer. Search by topic in twenty categories from arts and literature, to math, and world view.
Dmoz "The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web." Educators might particularly like the reference section for education.
FindThatFile.com claims to be "the most comprehensive file search on the Internet. Common searches are for PDFs, Documents (DOC, TXT, etc.), Audio, Video, RAR and ZIP compressed files, Fonts, and much much more" and that they "search more places than anyone else: Web, FTP, Usenet, Metalink and P2P (ed2k/emule) including 47 file types and 557+ file extensions including over 239 file upload services" (About section).
Google Scholar will help you find "peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations."
Gooru is a free search engine for learning. The site provides "access to millions of free websites, videos, interactives, games, images, and digital text from a variety of content publishers. In addition, Gooru offers thousands of learning collections and assessments [8 question types] curated by teachers, many aligned to standards." There are also "over 35 free, teacher-curated courses [for grades 3-12] that have been vetted and reviewed for quality." You'll find multiple subjects areas. Math is extensive for math fundamentals, pre-algebra, algebra, integrated math, geometry, algebra II, precalculus, and calculus.
instaGrok is a search engine that allows you to research any topic using a concept map. Enter your search phrase and you get key facts, additional websites with information, videos, images, and concepts, quizzes, and an option to create notes on the topic.
iSeek Education is targeted for "students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers." Find authoritative and trusted resources from universities, governments, and noncommercial providers.
LearnBIG is a free search engine for educational content with "tens of thousands of online courses, educational games, videos, and more–for everyone from Pre-K to the lifelong learner. With LearnBIG, you can filter by subject, level, media, device, and even learning style" (FAQ section). Resources are community rated. Resources themselves might be free or for purchase.
OAIster began in 2002 as a project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service. It contains "a collection of freely available, previously difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources that are easily searchable by anyone." Find the pearls: books, journals, images, audio files, video files, and more. "OAIster has since grown to become one of the largest aggregations of records pointing to open archive collections in the world" (History of OAlster section).
Search.com is a metasearch engine, which means it searches several search engines at once, such as Google, Bing, DMOZ, Blekko. You can customize and opt to filter out adult content.
USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal.
Wolfram|Alpha Enter a question requiring a factual answer or calculation, including one in which graphing is involved, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and a growing collection of data to compute the answer. This resource can be used by anyone, including K-20 learners, educators in the classroom, other professionals, and beyond. Multiple topics are included: math, engineering, physics, places and geography, dates and times, money and finance, units and measures, chemistry, health and medicine, foods and nutrition, colors, music, and much more. This is not a search engine, but Wolfram|Alpha has sidebar links for doing web searches. This is an emerging technology that will continue to grow.
Note: There are many search engines and selecting one often depends on what you are looking for. In Which search engine when? Phil Bradley provides a list of engines in multiple categories. You'll find keyword search engines, index or directory based search engines, multi or meta search engines, visual results search engines, category search engines, search engines for children, news search engines, factual information sites; hidden, invisible or deep web search engines; trusted academic resource engines, and more.
Coiro, J. (2005, October). Making sense of online text. Educational Leadership, 63(2), 30-35.
Poole, B. (2006). What every teacher should know about technology. Education World. Available: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech227.shtml
Rossman, M. H. (2002). Negotiating graduate school: A guide for graduate students (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
See other Technology Integration pages: