Internet Classroom

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Teachers can find an unending supply of useful materials on the Web, but using this information in a productive way can be daunting.  The following list of suggested classroom uses has been compiled by teachers in GirlTECH '96.A brief description is provided and a link to one example of each type of activity gives you an introduction to web use.  A longer list is provided with additional web sites in each category when you click on more.

The success of these suggested uses depends on the teacher's motivation, availability of computers, and student interest.  Before a teacher decides to use any educational web site or web procedure, it is strongly recommended that they thoroughly familiarize themselves with the selected site/project/procedure and evaluate the usefulness to their students and to the subject curriculum.

 

Data Collection

Many curriculum topics can be enhanced and made more interesting by using resources focusing on a specific data.River, environment, air quality, aquatic data and observations are some examples. After completing the field or class activity, the data can be posted to an Internet project or compared to posted data.

 

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Research

Any research assignment can be formatted to introduce students to comprehensive and judicial use of web resources. This would include instruction in identifying reliable sources, evaluating the information, and learning the procedure for useful searches.

 

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Instruction

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 may also encourage students to pay more attention.

The Mathematics of Cartography

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Standards

When you are not sure why you have to do something or 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.

National Science Education Standards

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Electronic Textbooks

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.

Astronomy Course Online

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Current Events

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.

Today @ NASA

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Virtual Field Trips

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.

 

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Navigation Maps

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.

Navigation Map

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Simulations

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.

 

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Publishing

Any work completed by students can be published on the web. Options for doing this include setting up pages on your web for student work, contributing to web projects, or publishing to electronic student newsletters

 

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Information Searches

Instead of giving students specific information in lecture format, instructions for finding information can be given instead. Directions for searching, appropriate links and rubrics 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.

Texas Environment Center

 
 
 

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Problem Solving

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.

 

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Email Tutorials

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.

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Contests

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.

Duracell Invention Challenge

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Demonstrations

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.

 
 

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Collaborations

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.

 

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Projects

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.

 

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Museum Field Trips

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.

 
Ocean Planet
 

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Parent Page

Communication with parents is simplified by using your information and pertinent web pages. This includes class events, homework, class content, and any other information that would be of help to parents. This link can demonstrate to parents how technology is being used in the classroom.

 

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Student Pages

Students as authors is a double edge sword! Their home pages can be a disaster or an intriguing learning motivator. Authoring home pages forces students to think logically and communicate in a clear and lively manner. Home pages can be a source of creativity for all involved.

 

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Student Logs

One of the most valuable and interesting uses of teacher/student web pages is the student log. Each day one student summarizes the topics that were taught, what was discussed, and what was learned; the document is entered on a cgi form and posted by the teacher. Parents and absent students can access the page for information. The quality of the logs will vary greatly!

The Inside Story

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Ask an Expert

These sources permit students and teachers to communicate with specialists about common or arcane topics via email or CGI forms. Answers are usually received within twenty four hours. Most of these web sites will have a search function which will help locate more specific information. Experts seem to enjoy responding to students. The messages include an understandable answer and related information.

 

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Lessons

One of the biggest benefits of the web is the unending list of excellent and outstanding lessons. They can be used as is, down loaded, saved and modified, or combined with others to make a new unit. It is exciting and inspiring to see the creativity of other teachers.

 

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These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 07/12/99. Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.