Papanui High School/DCTG/Research

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By the end of this lesson students should be able to:
  • Research effectively online and be able to detect reliable sources
  • Use tools effectively for research tasks
  • Conduct an effective Google search

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Key points

Students are often asked to carry out research during their time at school, but we very rarely talk to the students about how to carry out an effective search and how they can tell if the site they have found is a reliable source of information. In this module we will look at strategies for viewing web sites and how to tell if they are reliable sources of information or not. We will also look at how to carry out an effective search. Again there is quite a lot of material in this module, which may take some time for the students to complete effectively. The material does, however fit in nicely with other subject areas, so could form part of an English, Social Science or even Science lesson.

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We begin this module by looking at the Online Comprehension Strategies diagram. You may want to spend some time discussing this sheet with the students. The students will need to view this sheet as they complete the next task. You may want to print off a copy for each student.

In the next task the students can look at the Jo Cool or Jo Fool site. The students need to complete the Cybertour. This tour takes students through a series of scenarios and gets them to think about the information that is contained on the sites. As they go through the scenarios they need to jot down their thoughts and observations as they will be required to add a post to the discussion forum.

Once the students have viewed the Jo Cool or Jo Fool site the discussion forum will become viewable. In this forum the students are required to adda post containing any important information that they learnt from the activity. In order to complete the activity they will also be required to add a comment to someone else's post. You may need to discuss the sites with he students and guide them as to suitable comments they could make.

The list of recommended search engines are contained in the resources section to give students some ideas of other search engines that they can try / use other than Google.

Tasks: If done properly the tasks in this module may take a while to complete. Although these lessons would for good discussion topics in English, Social Science or Science lessons. Their first task is to read the page on Deconstructing web pages this page explains what you need to think about when you are viewing web pages.

For the next task students will need a copy of the Is it a hoax? sheet. This can be downloaded and printed from the course page or you may want to print these out and distribute to the class. The students are then required to look at the web site Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and complete the Is it a hoax? worksheet. Once they have viewed the web site the choice activity will become viewable. This choice activity asks the students to decide whether they think the web site is a hoax or not. You can view the students responses by CLICKing on the activity.

For the final part of the tasks for this module there are two books for the students to view, plus a BrainPOP video on Internet searches. If the students need it the username and password for BrainPOP is username papanuihs password 22papanuihs. The students can be left to view these independently, or you may want to go through them as a class.

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For this assessment the students need to use the Online Comprehension Strategies Diagram and the Is it a hoax? sheet to look at a pair of websites. They can choose between Mike the Headless Chicken and Ripley's Believe It or Not! or Dog Island and Nova: Dogs and More Dogs. As they look at the pair of sites they need to decide whether the sites are real or hoaxes. They then need to complete the Compare and Contrast Map. Once they have completed their map, they need to save the file and then upload their work to the Drop Box. Directions on how to add a file to the drop box are available.

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This module is all about getting the students to look more critically at web sites. The important things to emphasize are the ways in which they can view a web site to make an informed decision about its authenticity and reliability.