Incorporating Web Sites into Lessons
As you begin to use lesson plans and other materials accessed from the Internet and related technologies you will increasingly find opportunities to incorporate the use of Web sites, email lists and email into daily lesson activities. The following are some considerations to keep in mind.
Follow the links
Before using a site in a lesson, thoroughly read through the pages, test the links to make sure they are active, and investigate the links and the source of the site to ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate material.
Make your own page of links
Create a simple Web page of links to sites that will be used in your lessons. This decreases the amount of class time spent looking for sites and reduces the risk of children encountering inappropriate material. This kind of a page can become the starting point for a series of Web pages that children themselves continue to build.
Searching is an art in itself
Teaching children how to search for information is an important skill that involves analysis, associative thinking and competency with search engine tools. Especially with younger children, instructors may want to very selectively introduce children to specific sites, and allow them to become comfortable with basic Web browser functions before teaching them how to search on their own. Children should be introduced to a conceptual overview of how the Internet and networks function. It is also important to discuss safety, privacy and courtesy issues related to the use of one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many email and Web discussion forums and lists.
Look for content made by children
Child-generated content is in abundance on the Internet. Whenever possible, direct children to sites that feature original drawings, photographs, writing, video clips or audio clips made by other children. This provides a model for their own "publishing" and generates ideas for themes, styles and techniques.