Business-like, isn't he?


 

 

Teachers use the Internet in a number of ways as a teaching tool:

by Alan Zisman (c) 2001

  • To search for lesson and unit plans in their teaching area. To do this, go to a search engine, such as Google (http://www.google.com) or Hotbot (http://www.hotbot.com) or your personal favourite  and in the search field type (for example): lesson plan math grade 9. You will typically find a large number of potential lessons that you can view or print out.
  • To find information to enrich a unit they are already teaching, either for the teacher’s interest, or to direct students. When possible, prior to telling students to ‘search the Web’, the teacher should try first, in order to see what the possible results will be:
    • too many ‘hits’
    • too few hits
    • off-topic hits or pornographic or other sites to be avoided. (Example: a search for ‘jaguar’ or ‘panther’ will get more hits about the car or the sports team—try searching for ‘jaguar animal’ instead. Searching for the planet Venus may get (among others) the venus.com porn site. Try searching for "planet Venus"). It’s best if the teacher knows the potential problems.
    • sites that work at home but don't work at school. Many schools use content-filtering software that, while aiming to limit access to pornographic content (and typically doing a poor job of that) also filter out legitimate information-- the software used locally, by default, filters all sites hosted on the popular Geocities website, or any site that has a numerical address.
    • sites that work at home, but work too slowly at school to be accessed in real time.
Note: for more information on Internet Search, check out my online tutorial, available at http://www.zisman.ca/search.
  • To direct students to use the Web as one of several research tools for homework, essays, term papers, etc. Note that students are already using this tool—teachers need to be aware of its use, and to be aware of the potential for plagiarism. Teachers should be able to show students proper bibliographic format for online material, how to search more efficiently, and when the Web is, perhaps, not the most efficient way to find information about a topic. (You can find information on citing Web sources at: http://www.zisman.ca/webtricks).
  • Teachers may select one or more Web sites, and give students an assignment based on their access of that site. This may range from a relatively simple set of questions derived from a single site, to a unit build around a structured WebQuest (http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/).
  • Note:learn how to save and print Web information, and how to use Web-derived text and graphics in your word processor from my online tutorial at: http://www.zisman.ca/webtricks/  

  • Teachers may post information on the Web, ranging from course outlines and assignments, to actual class notes. This could be done on school Web sites, or on free sites such as Geocities (http://www.geocities.com).
  • Teachers can create and post quizzes on the Web. Funbrain (http://www.funbrain.com) allows teachers to set up an account (free), and create and post quizzes (which can be shared with other teachers). When their students write a quiz online, it is marked by Funbrain, with the results e-mailed to the teacher.


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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan