Friday, February 8, 2008

A serious post, seriously.

A little bug has been tickling my ear. I think my technologically savvy classroom is missing some much needed curriculum.

My students know how to:
- use a search engine.
- go straight to the source, i.e. go to an art museum site when looking for specific works of art.
- identify the relative source of a site, and therefore discern the authority of the site, by the url address.
- title their discussion board comments so that their reader has a preview of their post.
- evaluate the usefulness of a website in terms of reading level.
- identify the best place to start when researching.

However, in the classroom, my students do this in a controlled environment. I limit their search engines to ones that meet my dirty test. There is an adult monitoring their computer use at all times. Most importantly, their computer time has a higher purpose. They are researching for a specific project, they are commenting on a content focused class discussion board, or they are exploring teacher picked websites. There is little wiggle room for play.

But what about at home? What about when there is no adult in the room? No teacher demanding content specific results? I have given them the skills to effectively use technology, why wouldn't they want to practice at home?

In my zeal for knowledge, I forgot to teach my students the most important lesson: safety. So, I currently enrolled my students into ATES 101: Stranger Danger and the Internet. The professor is a bit flakey and doesn't always have a plan, but it is better then nothing.

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