McKenzie, DP. "Plate Tectonics of the Red Sea and East Africa." Nature 226 (1970): 243-48. Print.
Critical Review of Websites
The Save the Rennets website had inaccurate content like buy only vegetarian cheese and links to mail order your own pet rennet. The purpose of the website was to persuade, but what they were trying to persuade you to believe didn’t make sense. The authority of the website appeared to be legit, by giving a year and web creators, but 1st names only with the sponsor being a web design company. The website appeared to have good design in that it did not look like a fake. However the photos of the rennets looked a lot like hamsters. This site did not ask for money unless you wanted to mail order your own rennet or penguin. For a moment I considered ordering a pet penguin, but the link only led me to a photo. Wouldn’t that have made a good Christmas gift?
The Time Travel Fund website also had even more inaccurate content such as travel to the future 500 years from now. Their links were to sites or info related to time travel, most of which was related to Science Fiction or written by Science Fiction authors. The credibility of this site was very questionable. There was no author and no date. The idea of traveling into the future minutes before your death held no validity. They did a great job of showing you exactly how much your $10 would increase over the next 500 years using links and calculators to convince you that this would be a great investment. There was a definite bias toward the idea that time travel will exist in the future. This site asked for money and I was even able to link to my pay pal account. (That was scary). This site was not as polished as the previous site. It had a more homemade or amateur appearance. The photo of the group holding their certificates looked fishy from the start.
Go to my website and click on "Resources" where you will find buttons to link you to databases my 5th graders could use when finding information for their research reports. I listed the 4 best, but actually found 6 that would work. I am very excited about this resource. The video on the 21 Things site was excellent and I plan to use that to introduce the use of MeL Databases to my students.
I chose to use e-Library (elementary) and Kids InfoBits (elementary level) as a database for student research on the country of Saudi Arabia. In the spring 5th graders are taught a step-by-step approach to writing a research report, so this allowed me to try out each database that the students could be taught to use. I chose Saudi Arabia as one of the countries a student could potentially choose.
I found both sites to be appropriate with a few exceptions. Not all articles listed were at a 5th grade level on e-Library, however they did give more in-depth information. As far as usability, both sites were very easy to use. I am sure my 5th graders could easily navigate and search on these sites. There were more differences regarding content on these databases. I found e-Library to be more comprehensive and more current events oriented with many newspaper and magazine articles. On the other hand, Kids InfoBits offered 3-5 of each type of resource which was much more “research report” oriented. Both offered equally credible information from my evaluation. I liked the listening option on Kids InfoBits as well. I felt that InfoBits would meet my students’ needs when writing a research report at the 5th grade level.
I am excited to use this resource with my class because it will allow me to teach my students about databases as well as what types of articles, books, or information would be helpful when writing a research report. This would be a much better practice than assigning my students to go home and print off an article, which is what I have done in the past and where I have gotten a variety of articles, many with little usable information.
Digital Citizenship - Classroom Activity
I developed an activity for the area of Kids' Online Safety. Using the Federal Trade Commission website, I chose 3 different videos to share with my 5th grade students and to facilitate a discussion about the topics of responsible internet sharing and cyber bullying. The videos I chose were Net Cetera: Share with Care, Heads Up, and Stand Up to Cyber Bullying.
Below are the responses and main ideas they shared about the videos:
Before posting, wait, stop, and think, so you don't embarrass someone else.
Wait, stop, and think, before re-posting or forwarding information that could embarrass someone.
Posting can affect your future or someone else's future.
If you have something bad to say don't say it.
Cyber bullying is no different than bullying in person, they are both wrong.
The students appreciated the straightforwardness of these videos compared to the ones they had seen in computer class which were more entertaining and less serious.
The student responses lead into good class discussion and will continue to lead to more discussion as the year goes on. This was a very valuable activity.
Taking the Copyright quiz was very eye opening. In general I feel like I follow copyright rules quite well, but many items surprised me. I have in the past copied whole chapters of books so that my students would not have to share. In doing this I was thinking that this fell under "educational use" and was fine to do. I also used to think that as long as I was not making money it was OK for me to copy certain things, which I also found out was not true. I was surprised to find out that if a work is modified enough it was considered OK. Since I was a published author, I did know about my works belonging to the publishing company and not to me. When I signed my contract it was for $3,000 and Concordia Publishing Company owns and has full control over the ideas I sold to them. I often wonder if I will see them resurface someday. Another thing I learned from that experience was that I had to list a benefactor should I die a family member would then be eligible to receive royalty checks for my work. (By the way, they never sold that many.)
One time I gave a presentation to our faculty on a workshop I went to on AARI. A few months later I found out that the middle school teacher took my material and handouts and used them to do a presentation at another school in which she was paid for. That bothered me. I will definitely think about how I felt in that situation the next time I copy or use something from a publisher without permission, since basically that is what I am doing to them. This was a very informative section.
I think that my 5th graders need to be made aware of copyrights of materials they use in presentations. In the future I will be more intentional about letting them know the why and how to properly cite pictures, artwork, videos, etc. that they use.
This is the screenshot of the 2nd time I took the quiz. The first time I took the quiz I scored a 12 out of 20, but learned a lot, so I took it again.
Be Legal and Fair
Using Paper Rater, I selected a document that was originally sent to me from my Principal, but I added at the beginning and the end. In my document I stated the author's name giving her credit for her writing, but I did not include her blog site. I was surprised to find that my document came up as plagiarism free.
What I find useful with this tool is how I will use it with my 5th graders who write research papers each May. We spend 4 week working through the process step-by-step in class. I am excited to be able to show my students this tool. This will not only allow them to check their own papers for plagiarism, but will also allow them to check their grammar. After teaching the section on paraphrasing, I would have them check one paragraph, before writing the next paragraph. Since their paraphrasing skills are still developing, this would allow them to see where they need to improve and make the needed changes before writing the next paragraph. I am very excited to use this tool.
The website that I found most helpful was the Federal Trade Commission. They offered wonderful videos as well as great information for parents. I find that 5th graders are first starting to be more independent with computer, cell phone, and ipad use. I find that much of a student's online experience depends on if they have older siblings. This year I have a class of 85% oldest or only children, so they do not seem to be very connected yet. I chose to add a link to the Federal Trade Commission's information for parents to my website under resources. My experience has been that parents have a few different approaches to technology. One, they are often unaware of ways they could protect their child, two, they wait until their is a problem, or three, just bury their head in the sand since they do not understand as much about technology as their children and find it too overwhelming.
Below is a link to my website where you can look under "resources" and find a link to the Federal Trade Commission site.
My biggest weakness when it comes to Digital Citizenship is Digital Security. I found the digital footprint videos informative. Although I may not use the information in my classroom with my 5th graders, I did forward it to my high school and college age children. I often fill out information online and don't take notice of the * showing only the required information. When I googled myself I discovered more than just my professional self online. This prompted me to cancel my LinkedIn account since I do not use it and get continual e-mails from them. I was disappointed to see that the info about my children was on the white pages for all to see. The final thing I need to improve is creating more secure passwords. My favorite and most helpful site was the Federal Trade Commission. They offered great information and resources for my students and their parents.