Organize Research for Your Students

I was working with a teacher the other day who wanted his/her students to make a brochure about regions of New York State. She/He is a veteran teacher who does not normally use technology – so keep that in mind.

As I watched this experience unfold, I jumped in to help the kids and her – I wanted them to have a successful experience.  Here are some guidelines:

  1. If your students have never used a piece of software before – she/he wanted the kids to use Microsoft Publisher and they had never used it – provide them a template to download from your web site. This template can then be customized by the kids to demonstrate learning.
  2. Provide good links to sources – organize them on your web site. Kids waste too much time looking for resources. If you are teaching search, then let the lesson be about search.
  3. Teach them how to organize what they are learning – my suggestion is to use Firefox and QuickNote. If you dont’ have Firefox or Quicknote – get them to use Notepad on Windows or Text Editor on the Mac. When there notes are digital, they can be used for Essays, Reports, Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, blogging, etc.
  4. Provide a finished document so the kids have an idea of what to do, or what a finished product may look like.

Steps 2 and 3 are a must.  Steps 1 and 4 will make you a marvelous teacher!

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