Using the Web in the Classroom

Now that you have an Internet Connection in your classroom, and you are learning how to publish pages on the World Wide Web, then what?  How are you going to use the Internet in your classroom?

One word of advice:  STUDY.  Before you decide to use any of the methods suggested below, familiarize yourself with the web site or procedure that is being discussed.  Check all links carefully.  There is nothing more embarassing than to suggest a site and have the link broken.  Constantly evaluate the usefullness of the site as it pertains to your curriculum and your students.

Some possible suggestions of Internet use are listed below.  Many of these can be accomplished with one or two computers in a classroom.  These are merely suggestions, your imagination can do the rest.

Data Collection
Electronic Textbooks
Current Events
Virtual Field Trips
Navigation Maps
Information Searches
Problem Solving
E-Mail Projects
Museum Field Trips
Virtual Classroom

Data Collection --Ground Level Ozone Testing

Many curriculum topics can be enhanced and made more interesting by using resources focusing on specific data.  River environment, air quality, aquatic data and observations are some examples.  After comleting the field or class activity, the data can be posted to an Internet project or compared to posed data.
Research--The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Any research assignment can be formatted to introduce students to comprehensive and judicail use of web resources.  This would include instruction in identifying reliable sources, evaluating the information,and learning the procedure for useful searches.
Instruction--Mathematics of Cartography
Many times a new topic can be introduced in a very interesting way using web sources.  A carefully planned site with good examples uses strategies that have been successful for other teachers.  The format ay also encourage students to pay more attention.
Standards--Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
When you are teaching an innovative, new topic and need a rationale, check out the National Science and Math  Standards and the TEKS. Stay informed about the trends in educational reform. Review standards others are using.
Electronic Textbooks--The UCLA Electronic Statistics Textbook
If your textbook is boring, out dated, or too old, check out the many resources on the Web which make textbooks obsolete. You can obtain the most recent information, down load and print your own textbook. Using on line information allows you to tailor your curriculum to your students' needs.
Current Events--Today@NASA
News items related to curriculum topics can be accessed daily. Topics such as the Mars exploration can be placed on the screen as class begins. Discussion and review of the topics introduces students to global current events. Teachers interested in appropriate and relevant news are role models for students: responsibility for staying informed about ideas and events is an important part of adolescent maturation.
Virtual Field Trips--Glacial Features of Central Wisconsin
Images are better than text! Numerous sources for field trips are available on the web. These can be used to demonstrate, explain, introduce, and extend comprehension of curriculum topics. The field trips can be structured for whole class or individual participation. Some field trips can be completed in one class period; others are long term engagements, lasting for the entire school year.
Navigation Maps--Multimedia Design:  Navigation Maps and Storyboards
Students must have a tool that will allow them to easily access web sites and server documents. This page is simple and straight forward, loads rapidly, and has working links. It is updated frequently by the teacher.  It is a good idea to have the page be the home page of the class computer.
Simulations--Mutant Fruit Flies
There are two types of simulations available.  Students can complete an activity on the web by following a set of procedures to complete the task. An example would be landing on Mars. The second type of simulation requires students to complete projects or labs following the time-line and guidelines of the project.
Publishing--Bridging Research and Practice
Any work that merits someone reading it can be published on the web.  Student work, as well as endeavors that teachers take.  This example is a video paper on mathematical discourse.
Information Searches--Texas Environment Center
Instead of giving students specific information in lecture format, instructions for finding information can be given instead.  Directions for searching, appropriate links and rubric are predetermined and posted by the teacher; students search for the information and collaborate in class discussion. This provides input on a particular topic using all students' points of view.
Problem Solving--Design a Discovery Mission:  Proposal Instructions
This process will help sharpen critical thinking skills of both the teacher and the student. Students learn to create procedures.  They must decide how to complete the procedures with the materials and resources they have. Students learn that science is not a 90 minute endeavor. Science is a long slow process that requires continual input and modification.
E-Mail Projects--Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connections
Compile a list of student email addresses.  Use the list to communicate information about homework, web sites, research, and personal issues. This allows the teacher to maintain a personal relationship with each student on the email list. The students are given a medium for private assistance with their teacher.
These provide students an opportunity for an out of class independent or group activity.  Students can get as involved as they want.  Participation in this type of activity trains them to set goals, work through a problem, accept or reject their decisions. Contests provide an opportunity for students to learn from their mistakes as well as from achievements.
Demonstrations--The Virtual Sun
When the teacher needs a point emphasized in a lesson, this type of demonstration, using Microsoft Power Point and the Internet, provides up to date resources and images for emphasis.
Collaborations--The Math Forum--Ask Dr. Math
This area focuses on work with students and scientists from across the world. Learning takes place on many levels. Communication in a collaboration breaks down stereotypes among the global participants.
Projects--Make Your Own Seismogram!
One of the best uses of the web is individual, group, or class projects. These can be long or short term. They can be as complex or as simple as you choose. The most exciting point for the students is the ability to converse with scientists around the world on any topic. Enthusiasm is nurtured through self-direction.
Museum Field Trips--Ocean Planet
Virtual lessons can be found at most museum sites. The lessons are unusual , exciting, and visual. They are interactive and give students an opportunity to "mess" around. Most online exhibits provide teacher information and guidelines.
Virtual Classroom--Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality
Delivered totally online, the MVCR courses reflect the communicative nature of the online environment and are based on asynchronous discussion and collaboration. The course instructor models the strategies that participants may eventually use in their own online courses. The online format is designed to give faculty new to online teaching an opportunity to experience the virtual classroom environment from a studentÍs perspective. This experience will prove useful to them as they design their own online curriculum.
Lessons--GirlTECH Lessons from 1995-2000
GirlTECH teachers designed these lesson plans to take full advantage of Internet resources and to teach
mathematics and science concepts in new and exciting ways. Please direct your comments about these lessons to
Cynthia Lanius, CEEE GirlTECH Program Manager.

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This page was last edited on June 24, 2001



These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher-training program sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEEE) with support  from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI.
Copyright ©  Michael Sirois and Susan Boone, GirlTECH, June 2001.

last edited, ms  6-24-2001, 21:15