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
Overview: Using the Web as a Research Tool

In a previous section of the Internet Primer, we learned how to be smart, savvy searchers by incorporating some guidelines when using various search engines. If you did not have a chance to complete this tutorial, or would like a refresher course, click on Searching Smart.

Then we put these skills to use and focused on assessing Web sites. What does one look for when evaluating a site? What is the difference between a good site and a great site? If you haven't already checked out this tutorial, click on Grading the Web.

Now that we know how to find resources on the Internet and how to determine their quality, it is time to learn to use the Internet in classroom instruction. In this section of the Internet Primer, we will begin to share strategies for integrating the Internet into your classroom activities. This Primer section focuses on one of the most primary, yet powerful, uses of the Internet: research. Forthcoming sections will explore other strategies of integrating the use of the Internet into your lessons.

Where else can one go to find the current weather in Tokyo; the score of last night's soccer match in Spain; transcripts of a United Nations conference that ended hours ago; and up-to-the-minute pictures of a volcano erupting in Hawaii? Only on the Internet, unless you want a very expensive phone/fax bill! This is why the Internet lends itself so well to research; not only is information extremely expansive, it can also be extremely current. However, like any other teaching tool, using the Internet in the classroom does have one, all-powerful, all-important rule: never use the Internet, or any technology for that matter, just for the sake of using it! If you, the teacher, can teach or illustrate a topic or idea using a video or a book, then, by all means, do it! Use the Internet when doing so adds value. Therefore, the first thing a teacher wants to do is ask, "Would using the Internet make learning and/or discovering concepts easier for my students?"

Starting Up: Selecting a Lesson or Topic

To begin integrating the Internet into your instruction, the first thing you want to do is think of a lesson or topic that:

You enjoy teaching and that has been successful for you.
Your students enjoy learning.
Does not have an Internet component but would benefit from the use of the Internet.

As with the Searching Smart section of the Primer, we are going to open a "target window" to view a second Web site. To further illustrate our discussion, we are going to use an existing lesson which is in the NTTI Lesson Plan Database on wNetSchool titled Why Are Volcanoes Dangerous? Currently, this lesson does not have an Internet component.

Before continuing, read all the directions that follow. Then resize this window vertically so it occupies about one half of the screen.
  1. Take a lesson plan that you are already using in class, or choose one of interest to you from the NTTI Lesson Plan Database.
  2. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will examine Why Are Volcanoes Dangerous? from the NTTI Lesson Plan Database. Open this lesson now.
  3. Resize the lesson window so it fits side by side with this window.
  4. Take a few minutes to review the lesson.
  5. We are now ready to dive in...
spacer   Continue the tutorial:
Diving In: Setting Goals and Objectives.  
Continue the Tutorial

Internet Primer
Thirteen Ed Online