Chapter 5: Teaching Information Literacy and Digital Citizenship
Focus Question: Summarize strategies for teaching students about Internet research and information retrieval.
This chapter is about the Internet in the classroom, and how it can be used for teaching, learning, and developing information literacy among students. I choose to focus on the strategies for teaching students about internet research and information retrieval online.
In the 1990's search engines worked a bit differently than they do today. The search system scanned through text of webpages and the pages with the most matched keywords were the top results. But that proved to not be true, certain websites were fooling the search engine to get a better ranking and as a result students and people were not getting reliable sites. Google revolutionized how people conduct online searches, and in doing so, became the worlds dominant search engine. Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998 by ranking sites not only by keywords but also by a site’s popularity and how often it is cross-listed with other sites. Google is now one of the most visited sites worldwide and is continually expanding into many areas.Google's tools are available free to anyone and you can customize browsers to your own preferences.
There are 3 main types of internet searches. The first is the Free-text search. A free-text search looks for the title, keyword, and description fields of each resource for the word or phrase you type into the search command. The second is a Keyword/exact match. A keyword/exact match search retrieves only resources that contain the exact word or phrase you type into the text box. The word or phrase must appear either in the title, keyword, or description fields of a resource for it to be included in the results. The final type of internet search is a boolean search. It utilizes the words "and" "or" and "not" to create more complex searches.
Search engines are great resources for the classroom. Sites such as Google, Ask, Bing, and Yahoo. Teachers must review and select websites for learning and teach students how to use the Web them-selves. There are even search engines designed for students with age appropriate information. But students will use other sites and need to learn to choose the correct sites and decipher relevant and true information. To help students look more closely at their search results, teachers must teach students critical web evaluation skills to help them get the correct information. Teachers can preselect sites, block sites, and guide the students in the online world.
Tech tool: Customizing Your Web Browser with iGoogle
This tech tool is about how to customize you own Google using iGoogle. It replaces the standard Google search page with one that you personally design. Your page opens up to what you want it to and can lead you to sites you prefer. You can further customize your iGoogle browser by adding search engines and other data-managing software, called gadgets, that will keep track of a to-do list, send RSS feeds of local and international newspapers, mail professional journal publications, and send personalized reminders of upcoming events like school and community events, birthdays, and holidays.
This chapter is all about using the internet in the classroom and with students. Search engines are an amazing tool for finding useful information in a short amount of time. Students must be taught how to safely and efficiently navigate these sites and once they do they can advance to customizing searches.