Literacy techniques – the same for print and online?

I feel like the teenager left out of the party right now. Everyone is at NECC – and I wish I were too. Oh well. Maybe someday I too will go to the ball πŸ™‚

Meanwhile – I am out here thinking on my own. And as usual, I need help.

All good readers have developed reading techniques to help us through difficult text. Scanning for headings and subheadings, interpreting context when encountering unfamiliar words, etc. What about online? There are lots of articles about evaluating resources on the web. I am looking for a list of tools that will help students make quick but informed decisions while navigating websites. Are there techniques that can be used?

We ‘traditional” readers are used to reading in a linear fashion. How does this work in a hyperlinked environment?

I am not sure what I am looking for here. Certainly, I would like to find some good research articles/ studies on how people approach a website. From these studies, articles, blog posts etc., I would like to develop a list of techniques that I can emphasize when teaching our students.

Some techniques I am thinking about:

  • Scan the whole page before clicking anything.
  • Locate the navigation helps on the top and the sides of the page.
  • Locate the “about me/about us” link. If it is not there – go on to the next site.
  • Look at the address so when you click a link that takes you away from the site – you are aware that you are “not in Kansas anymore”.
  • Know how to click those ruby slippers and get back home quickly.
  • Other ideas?

Please help me out here folks. I need to make a vague idea concrete.

6 thoughts on “Literacy techniques – the same for print and online?

  1. I especially like the advice about looking to see where you are, so you know if a link is taking you far, far away!

    I found one online resource I liked (tiny url: by Debbie Abilock.

    One thing that really sets the online reading experience apart is being able to recover your steps so easily. What about advising kids to bookmark or tag the sites they use for research, so they can easily retrace where they’ve been on the web? There are so many tools that work for the researcher–Delicious, Clipmarks, Google Notebook–I was just reading somewhere about, which “records” all the websites you’ve been to. (If only I used ibreadcrumbs, I’d be able to tell you where I read about it!)

  2. Good ideas. I am familiar with some tagging/bookmarking sites – but not a lot of them. I need to explore some more. But I need to explore from school and find out if any of them are still available. I did an in-service for teachers about – and within a few weeks our beloved content filter blocked it. I have asked to have it unblocked – but so far to no avail. I am hoping perhaps our new web host (School world) will recognize & fill the need – with a little friendly nudge from me of course πŸ™‚

  3. One thing that I have been taught that sometimes the kids miss out on is looking at the URL and its domain. Is it an .edu or a .gov, or is it someone’s personal files and directories pasted onto a webpage? Knowing the source (and being able to look up that source) are powerful tools in determining whether or not the content of a page is to be trusted. Consider the source, as the old saying goes.

  4. I like the idea of having the students look at the entire page before clicking anything (and imagined myself having a labful of students with their hands on their heads as they surveyed a page). It reminds me of research class during my undergraduate work. The first thing we were to do was learn the organization of a text before using it to find an answer. In the online realm then, students should learn the organization of the site or page and read all the menu options as they read all the chapter names or scan the index for pertinent words.
    Tangent: a year or more ago, I experienced a website where there was no clicking “allowed”. That might be a good discipline practice to do with impulsive clickers. πŸ™‚ Not sure the messages would read with youngsters though…don’t remember. ..

  5. Great tips for teaching digital literacy. Learning these tips would help a lot of teachers to more effectively use the internet.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  6. Thanks for your comment. These techniques are so important when gathering info on the internet. If teachers would use the techniques and model them in class, kids would begin to see the importance. I worry about how many adults are convinced that kids are completely web savvy and need no guidance from adults.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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