My students had the use of the school’s computer lab this morning. Our main focus was to learn about organelles and to use power point to make a presentation for the entire class. The first plan of action was to find internet sites from which the students could obtain information. As I watched them, I noticed that they just went directly down the page that appeared on the screen from the search engine. This gave me thought as to how to teach them about finding reliable information on the internet. I would need to be able to teach them how to tell if a site was a good source or not. With this thought still in my mind, I checked with our librarian on possible software we have available to offer our students. I mentioned how my students didn’t know how to determine whether a site was reliable or not. She referred me to a handout that she had made from another librarian’s website, with permission of course. She than gave me her permission to use the new format she had designed to help teach my students. This brought up the idea of teaching my students about plagiarism too. They have no idea what this word means, or that it is illegal to use someone else’s work as their own. References and citations are foreign to my students. Plagiarism and citing references are both possibilities for future lessons too.
When we came back to the original issue of available technology, she referred immediately to Power Point, Excel, Word, and Publisher. I asked if we had any additional technology my students could learn. It was then suggested to use such literary learning aids such as Start to Finish. This is a great system for helping students with literacy, but only requires the student to read, and then answer appropriate questions regarding comprehension of the section just read. I asked her if she had any other systems that I could possible teach the students that would help them beyond their high school education. She suggested teaching them how to use databases to research topics. Since these databases are used in public libraries, and college libraries, it will benefit them through out their lives. I will give these some serious consideration as whether or not to use it for my proposal on technology. The main point I learned today was our school is really technologically challenged.