We called that ‘power-pointlessness’ didn’t we ?
From: Vincent Rossano <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 01:03:49 -0500
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Teaching research to the Google Generation
Not only do "the digital natives still NEED us to make them information literate", as Lucie suggests, they need us now more than ever. In the "old days", a kid walked into a library and much of the work of sorting the informational wheat from the chaff had already been done by the fact that the books on the shelves had gotten there through an intelligent selection process based on their value as determined by professional librarians, who were choosing from books available from publishers who had done their own selection based on value - or, at least, saleability.
We now have access to tons of free-floating information contained within a "galaxies of garbage". Kids are great at plying the galaxies, but very often they can't tell a inhabitable planet from a black hole. They can put together the slickest PowerPoint presentation - which will get all kinds of ooohs and aaaahs because they've made the words dance around and whistle "Dixie" - but have nothing of substance contained within it. Teaching kids to make slick PowerPoint presentations is trivial; teaching kids to make slick PowerPoint presentations that convey real information is much better; teaching kids to analyze and evaluate information - whether they are putting that information into a PowerPoint presentation or a traditional expository essay - is essential.
Furthermore, as a former librarian, I can tell you that helping people understand how to find, evaluate and employ information is the essence of librarianship. Are we forgetting this valuable resource because, in some cases, it's hidden behind a stack of books? Seek out your librarians! Get them involved!
And, in closing, allow me to paraphrase Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare's Henry VI: "First thing we do, let's kill all the PowerPoint presentations." :-)
>>> Lucie deLaBruere <[log in to unmask]> 1/21/2008 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 It is also my hunch that the Internet has changed so quickly that teachers (myself included) have outdated skills in this area.
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.
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