We are just completing a survey of teachers in Barre on what IT GLEs they cover. There is a number of issues with the survey instrument and how teachers responded that cast huge doubts on the validity of the results, but there are some trends that are disturbing and relevant to Lucie's question.
Epecially at certain grade levels, the survey reveals a huge gap in addressing research skills and Acceptable Use, even among those teachers who report fairly heavy use of IT. I find both a bit surprising and not a little appalling. After all, one does not need to be a computer whiz to at least address either one of those issues. I am a former English teacher, and I certainly dealt with research skills and evaluating content back in those antediluvian days before there were any computers in the building. Believe me, carrying all those stone tablets home every night was tough on the back. It especially bowls me over that Social Studies and English teachers are largely ignoring those issues now.
As Lucie mentions, much of this is left to our librarians. In one of our buildings, kids are sytematically taught research skills by the library staff in scheduled classes. In the other schools, it is hit or miss.
In Barre I think one of our responses is going to be professional development, if we can find the time to schedule it around the other curriculum initiatives.
Barre Supervisory Union
>>> Lucie deLaBruere <[log in to unmask]> 01/21/08 7:37 PM >>>
Are you seeing more classes coming to the computer lab to do research
without any instruction in how to research? It was my hunch that teachers
are assuming that because they are teaching 'digital natives' that the kids
already KNOW how to do this. It is also my hunch that the Internet has
changed so quickly that teachers (myself included) have outdated skills in
The following British report about Research skills and the Google Generation
confirmed my hunch. If you have time to actually download the PDF and skim
it, it certainly confirms that the digital natives still NEED us to make
them information literate.
I know there are a few librarians on this list (and since I don't subscribe
to the librarian list serv, perhaps you could query them and report back
here to us "tech integration" folks. Sometimes we are being asked to do
this; other times we are watching teachers tell kids to "use the internet
to finish your research on your science project" and assume that kids know
how to do that. Quite often no time is left in the activity for explicit
instruction on "how to do this". Sometimes its because of the faulty
assumption that "digital natives" already know how to "google"; other times
its because the teacher themselves doesn't really know "HOW TO TEACH" this
skill using a tools that has changed so much. (blogs, wikis, ADsense,
social networking, podcast)...
The question is "do you have a "gem" lesson, unit, strategy, that do a
good job scaffolding students through the research process or perhaps to
help teachers guide their students to using "today's" internet for research.
Work: 802 527 0565 x 3206
Cell: 802 752 6086
[log in to unmask]