Web Literacy

The 21st Century Connections web site posted a page about "Nine Needs for Web Literacy".
By Janice Friesen

"On the Web, much of what students read is not always fact - or at least not verified as completely accurate, and articles and blogs are often laced with opinion. So it is extremely important that students know how to evaluate information that they read. It is also important that teachers know how to help them."
  • Reading URLs for information
  • Looking for information about the Author
  • The "About" section of a Web site
  • Careful Reading of Websites
"Many websites are made to look like other sites on purpose in order to spoof the reader. One in particular is the spoof "World Trade Organization" site that was created as a criticism of the World Trade Organization. Compare it to the real World Trade Organization site. Read carefully and it is clear that the former is not the WTO site. But many adults and children are NOT carefully reading; instead they skim, find what they think are looking for, and move on."
  • Careful Reading of Email
  • Recognizing Advertisements
"Ads have really gotten clever recently. The animated cartoons draw your eye and often it seems like the right place to click."
  • Looking for Dates
  • Triangulation
"Students should know how to triangulate, which is a fancy way for saying finding three sources that agree on a fact. It is still possible to be wrong if you find three unreliable sources, but less likely. But be careful;; the three sources should not come from links. Often a Web page will have links to other sites that agree with it. Using these links is not triangulation. It is best when there are three completely different sources which all agree."
  • Being Skeptical
Read the whole article at this link. Can you find the date of publication for the page? Can you spot the adds? How can you tell where the links are on the page, and what they link to (without clicking on them)? What can you learn about 21st Century Connections?


The machine is us/ing us

This video was created by Dr. Michael Wesch, cultural anthropologist and media ecologist exploring the impacts of new media on human interaction Kansas State University (USA)

Just the text used in the animation is available here

An interview with Dr. Wesch is on a Slovenian business blog, Vibacom. Asked why he made the video, he said that he was "just trying to raise the awareness really. I just wanted to show how the web 2.0 looks like. Wanted to get people to innovate on the Net. To make people to see possible challenges. To make people start thinking about the social impacts of the Net, specially Net 2.0".



Start page Schoolr (the R stands for research)is a start page with a set of search inputs to popular student resources around the web—like Google, Wikipedia, Reference.com, Spark Notes, text translation and unit conversion. Schoolr is a useful browser homepage for internet researchers. No ads, no registration, just use it. Make it your home page.
http://www.schoolr.com/fr/schoolrfrench.gif There is also a version in French. The author writes that he does not speak or read French, and is open to suggestions for the page. Maybe you have some ideas?


Google Guide Quick Reference: Google Advanced Operators (Cheat Sheet)

Keep the Google Guide Quick Reference: Google Advanced Operators (Cheat Sheet) web page open under (or beside) your search window to help you find what you're looking for on the web more effeciently.


What's a Blog?

Rachael Boyd, a teacher in New Zealand, has prepared these two presentations about blogging in her classroom. The first outlines the pedagogy behind the use of blogs, and in the second the children speak for themselves.

Presentation on the benefits and reasons why we should let our students blog. Check out my edublog at: http://rachelboyd.blogspot.com for info and links to my class blogs. Hope you find it useful. Music is "English Channel" from freeplaymusic.com"

Let the 6 & 7 year olds from Room 9 at Nelson Central School (New Zealand) educate you about what they think a blog is and why they love using them! This is the introduction to my presentation for a New Zealand Online Conference. This part is the student's voice. Primarily it's an AUDIO file, we didn't want to detract away from the children's voices. I've just chosen to upload it here as a movie for flexibility. Check out out class blog here at: http://room9nelsoncentral.blogspot.com/ Or our teacher's edublog at: http://rachelboyd.blogspot.com/ "


A Fair(y) Use Tale


Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.

You can download (mp4) the whole film or watch it at youtube.com

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.



We have installed a new software in our iBooks, Scratch, from MIT. This information is from the Scratch web page:

"Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design."

Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.

It is available as a free download from this page, for both Mac and Windows

Learn about it by using the link below to the Scratch web page

Click video above or full screen