Recognising the internet isn’t all *that*

With all the internet research going on in my classroom, I’ve been wanting to do a ‘clarifying why the internet is excellent, but why you need to be careful as well.’ Our kids take information far too much for granted and its likely that a key skill employers will demand in the future is recognising and discerning patterns and correlation in information, rather than the information itself.

Langwitches has jump started me a bit by finding some wonderful links here. It so happens that my current Year 11  are coming up to their exams, where they can often get tested on the difference between fact and opinion and how presentational devices are used in media texts (i.e. the internet). So, I should be able to deliver a lesson that gives them exam practice and gives them a better recognition of the positives and negatives of sifting for information on the internet. Just another day in walking the tightrope that is teaching, then?

The share tab I created which links to all the ‘spoof’ websites is here.


Share Tabs

With thanks to langwitches for pointing me in this direction.

Share tabs seems to follow on neatly from my previous post on Diigo, because it is another website that deals with making the internet more accessible, with the added bonus of being of great use to teachers.

The idea of the website feels like one of those ‘Why hasn’t someone done this before?’, type ideas, and yet to my mind, I can’t think of something that has done it this well. To use share tabs, you give the website a list of sites that you want it to show. It will then display them in a format similar to this, where pictures of the website are there for students to see straight away, all in one place. I picked newspapers as a media teacher. I like this emphasis on seeing all the websites together – in my case it would be great because it could mean that students begin comparing the difference in features, layout and presentational devices, all at once.

What is also smart (and useful for students) is that the links for the websites are then tabbed within the same window, so once students can see the visual impact of the websites, they can then take a closer comparative look whilst keeping the same window open.

For me this makes our jobs as teachers a lot easier. Imagine giving students one of these ready made URLs with all the websites they need to look on – straight away you are eliminating the process of “Sir, I can’t find the address!”, (Alright, so they might still spell that one wrong, but hey, at least its only one to get wrong). What’s more, we’re making sure they get to focus on the important part of the lesson, as opposed to opening 4 different windows and quickly feeling unorganised when they accidentally close the wrong window (Guilty as charged).

Using this and diigo together has almost got me wishing I was teaching right now, instead of it being half term and being on holiday. Almost.