Web-based resources can promote student learning by making information and research faster and more accessible (though not always more reliable), presenting new ideas in new ways that might be easier for some student to understand, and giving students multiple opinions on topics. More information than ever before is available at “the click of a button.” Google seems to answer every question we have. Interaction with the web and its many sites can encourage students to ask more questions without embarrassment, to learn more without consuming too much time, to compare and contrast, etc. etc. Teachers can guide students to engaging sites that can also guide the curious to other sites, letting them learn more about what interests them, about the details they need to know, etc.
While the Internet is so fantastic for student research, students need to be reminded to verify the information retrieved. Anyone can post anything just about anywhere online, and that “anything” can be false or unproven. The Internet can also add to laziness, allowing kids to look up a book’s plot instead of reading it, and offers students a chance to plagiarize quite a bit. Teachers need to know how to monitor these possibilities, quiz students on what the Internet can’t tell them about a book, etc. Students need to form their own ideas also; they can’t always rely on Internet opinions to tell them what to think.
In the past, I’ve used web sources A LOT. Google is a life-saver that opens so many doors. Even Wikipedia is a helpful guide-though I know better than to use it as my source. I’ve always checked the legitimacy of the sites I do cite-looking for who runs them and for what reason, looking into where THEY found their information, etc. Professionalism and objectivity is crucial. Generally, my process fit the podcast’s suggestions, but the questions it suggested to use are very helpful for future searches.
This week’s assignment taught me how to work the program, which is very user-friendly and easy to pick up on. I was surprised by how much I DID like using Inspiration, considering the fact I never use concept maps, but I wish the program wasn’t SO simple. There are so many features it could offer that I would enjoy even more. Next time, all I’ll really be able to do to “improve” my project is to play around more with the graphics. The program’s rather limited in any other techniques. Still, I think some students would enjoy using the program to create graphics, projects, or just to formulate and organize ideas. Maybe I’ll use it if I ever have a presentation that would best be conveyed in a concept map.