Project 1: Research Net
This project will be part of an ongoing resource-based unit in Language Arts that we hope will be a model for the whole school in most subject areas.
It is still very important for students to gain knowledge, but it is equally important for them to acquire the skills to locate, gain access to, evaluate and utilize vast amounts of information. In other words, in order to function well in society, and to fulfill their individual potentials, it is essential that our students know how to critically examine and creatively use information.
We have, therefore, devised a research strategy that is a student's guide for doing research and a teacher's guide for planning a research assignment. We hope to have students use the resources presently available in our resource centre, but we hope to give them the opportunity to access more current, relevant information on the Internet.
Using resources online such as e-mail, newsgroups, bulletin boards, and websites, we hope to locate information on the topics that students are researching. Once the information is located and the students have evaluated it, they will organize and present it in a written report. This project will be an integral part of a resource-based unit in Language Arts entitled "Lifelines".
As students do the different instructional activities, they will acquire skills, attitudes, and develop personal qualities such as knowing, inquiring, reflecting, and valuing.
As students communicate online with experts and other students, not only will they gain invaluable information, but they will begin to realize more fully certain global problems encountered by scientists.
Technology Education Learning Outcomes
Presently, our school cannot adequately implement this project since we have only one computer in our school connected to the Internet. Although we have a variety of resources that students can use, we do not have access to a wealth of up-to-date information - the Internet and its resources. The Internet is the "largest library" in the world, and we, as teachers should be teaching students to learn how to use this research facility. We must challenge the students' research skills on the Net. In order for this project to be a success and to be properly implemented, our students must have access to the Internet.
To enable students to get the most recent and accurate information on a particular topic.
This project, we hope, will be a model for the whole school. The whole school, as well as the students and teachers involved in the project, will come to realize the potential of the wealth of information available on the Internet. Furthermore, we hope that the enthusiasm and motivation generated by this project will encourage other teachers to initiate a similar project.
The students in our school have been using the Internet to do research in most of their subject areas. Students used the Internet in researching information for assignments in Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, and Language Arts. Our Stellar Schools project is a research strategy that we have used across the curriculum in grades 7-9 this year so that students can develop the proper research techniques when doing all assignments. Hopefully, this will create some consistency among students, as well as teachers. Students used the Internet to find up-to date information on a variety of suggested topics. Once the information was found, they used other software to organize and present it.
All grade seven and eight classes took part in this project, as well, several of the grade nine classes used the Internet to gather valuable information for class assignments. Each of the grade eight classes used several search engines to gather the most recent and accurate information on a particular topic. Some students communicated online with experts to gather information and gain more insight on the topics they were researching.
The students were more interested in searching the World Wide Web for information rather than browsing through books simply because they can get access to more information. When using the Internet, students seemed to be more concentrated and content with any activity they were doing. The Internet is a great resource and motivator in our school, however, it would be more enticing to the students if we could access the information at a faster speed. Students, however, continually use the Internet every day at recess time, dinner time, and after school from Monday to Thursday. Right now, the Computer Lab is the most frequently used room in our school mainly due to the fact that students have access to the Internet. Since our school became a Stellar School, more students are using the computer lab than ever before. They are becoming quite efficient with different software packages that are available to them. When students leave our school, they will be able to work more effectively because they will be able to access and organize information, as well as, critically examine and creatively use the information they have gathered.