spacer  
Overview: Using the Web as a Research Tool
Diving In: Setting Goals and Objectives
Finding Resources for Web Research
Setting a Focus for Exploring
Off and Running: Applying Strategies
-
Setting a Focus for Exploring

Before sending students to a site, or providing them with appropriate descriptors to conduct their own search, you will want to give them a focus for exploring. If you are familiar with NTTI strategies, you have heard a similar term, "focus for viewing," which is applied to using video in the classroom.

Applied to the Internet, focus for exploring means: A specific task(s) for which students are responsible while using a Web site or the Internet. The task(s) and/or responsibility should be clear to the student(s) and easily assessed and measured by the teacher.

You will remember that the learning objectives we decided to address via the Internet were: "Describe a lava collection technique used in a Hawaiian-type eruption," and "Identify patterns between the location of currently or recently erupting volcanoes and current or recent earthquakes." Therefore, the students' focus for exploring is to utilize Volcano World to: a) research and report on lava collection techniques currently being used in erupting volcanoes in Hawaii, and b) find a correlation between the locations of volcanoes and earthquakes.

As mentioned, you may want to conduct this same lesson and have the students conduct the search -- in this case, the focus for exploring would be to utilize various search engines and descriptors to: a) research and report on lava collection techniques presently being used in erupting volcanoes in Hawaii, and b) find a correlation between the locations of volcanoes and earthquakes.

By providing students a focus for exploring, the following is achieved:
  • Students are not overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to digest.
  • Time spent using the computer is maximized.
  • Inductive and deductive skills of students are enhanced.
  • Specific, measurable outcomes are produced.
  • Students (and, you, the teacher) understand that the computer and Internet are tools to be used to complete specific tasks.
spacer   Continue the tutorial: Off and Running: Applying Strategies.   Continue the Tutorial

Internet Primer
Thirteen Ed Online
Thirteen