New Literacy: Search

October 22, 2008

SEARCH is one of the new basic literacies. I was reading this post at Cool Cat Teacher Blog and I couldn’t agree more.

We know the world our students are growing up in is just getting more and more complex. With so much information to deal with we have to teach them how to find useful information quickly.


Vicki says that search strategies, especially google’s define: tool [example – define: communicate] are part of the new digital literacies, in her words,

Stop viewing Search Literacy as “tricks”
The sad thing is that so many people view the define function as just that, a trick.  It is not!  It is part of being an efficient, effective human being in the 21st century.  It is part of being literate.

This can start in elementary school. Defining good key words, narrowing results with simple logic, simple operators like define: and scanning results beyond the first page are all within reach of elementary students.

We know they are going to use google. Let’s help them use it well.

I just found out about Google’s collaborative project with Life from David Warlick’s 2C Worth. This is another example of the power of being search literate.

This session was with David Warlick on using Web2.0 to support professional learning. It was fun, he always entertains and has good taste in music.

Handout here

He articulated a pretty coherent picture of how one can learn about something by seeing what people who are interested in that same something are saying about it. A simple, powerful idea.

Here is what I took from it as a way to engage your own PLN.

Read blogs sideways
read blogs by people that comment on the blogs you like
participate in the blog conversation

Let info come to you

1. Set up aggregator (netvibes, bloglines, pageflakes)
2. Technorati search for blogs
3. Google news search for … news
4. Flickr tag ( for your subject)
5. Add results from 2 to 5 to your aggregator.

Do something with twitter – I really don’t get this one yet.

Excellent session by Will Richardson

why do classrooms function today much the same way they did 75 years ago?

Information Fluency Meets Web 2.0 by Joyce Valenza and Ken Rodoff

All I can say is WOW!!!

I want to be a librarian after seeing this presentation. Joyce has so much positive energy and is taking things in a direction I want to go with speed and momentum that I feel tugging me along.

Resources from session, on information fluency

and Great Resources on New Tools

Weave web 2.0 and info lit on funky loom… with threads of the old country…

old threads include the information fluency > information fluency needs to be in the classroom now not just the library…

ISTE NETS S refresh

horizon = social networking and creating content…

starfish and spider, bk re no leader

stone soup metaphor of collaboration
but what about the soldiers??

>Accessing information

We must guide students to good resources, so
>Create pathfinders> use wiki pathfinders >allow all to participate and add to, students and teachers

[look at coopersmith research re what terms in library people understand]

>link to google directory….

>clusty can help with search when you don’t have the vocab

> > check this for resources

etc…….. check links above

A few ideas to capitalize on web 2.0 and online collaboration tools

>students maintain blog in voice of character as you read, maybe teacher take role too..
>have opinion and back it up with ‘evidence’ from text…
>post comments to other characters in voice of your character…
>make avatar for character


>define expectations for blogging early, set norms, define traits of good post and good comment


>Use copyleft and creative commons stuff for student projects, students are continually confused about what it is OK to use and not use…

I now have a personal goal to build an avatar for wikispaces, etc — tektek dream avatar tool?

[check out social networking in NING]

>require citation and use of online databases in projects

Creative Podcasting for the Elementary Set by Kathy Shields This was a very useful, nuts and bolts session that was the best thing I did today. Thank you Kathy and everybody that participated. Kathy described her use of podcasting in elementary classes. Then she opened things up and had several audience members discuss their experiences with podcasting. Very informative… Her are a few things she or audience recommends: Let students listen to a few preselected podcasts and develop a list of traits of good podcast. Someone in audience suggested playing movie without video and looking at (listen at?) how the video carries so much message and how you have to speak in a special way to communicate, active acting voice. Build teams with roles; sound engineer, artist, senior writer (although all write some) >sound engineer can download background music, artist can make 200 x 200 pix ‘cover’, senior writer can write description for episode. First time (when student learning all nuts and bolts) keep the cognitive load light, let them pick the topic within the givens. Also don’t put too much emphasis on the research yet, do some research, but the first time through it is not about the research, add that later. Write a script, take it through the writing process. Bring groups up in front of class to practice, then debrief and give positive feedback and suggestions. Record with audacity – students often like to share the microphone in the middle as opposed to taking turns with headset, especially if they are practiced. Export as MP3, post to podOmatic. Make sure to name site and podcast the same thing, makes finding easier. Use “Episode 1: [title]” to name podcasts. Get groups to comment on one another’s podcasts. Encourage parents to comment. Train parents. Get principal, community to comment. Kathy has a great site with info re podcasting: ripplingpond