Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital learning, evaluating web site resources, parents and technology

New Google Lessons: Understanding YouTube and Digital Citizenship

Visit the Google lessons site.

Check out the Google interactive lessons, videos, and slides, all focused on digital citizenship, privacy, and YouTube best practices. Useful for teachers as well as parents, these discrete units are easy to use and share, especially when students need an organizational framework before beginning to look for school project resources. Each lesson is readily downloadable as a Google Doc and even for other presentation media such as PowerPoint.

Many of the Google videos include tips that can help students use YouTube more effectively while honoring copyright principles and evaluating content carefully. Google developed these digital resources for secondary students, but in many schools, the videos will also be valuable for middle schoolers. Even fifth grade teachers may find that some of the videos can help them in the context of curriculum units.

A conundrum exists, of course…          Continue reading “New Google Lessons: Understanding YouTube and Digital Citizenship”

Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, digital learning, Evaluating Web Resources, online research, parents and technology, supervising kids

Websites: Reliable or Bogus?

When we adults were students, we learned to write content-filled essays and reports, introducing the important facts about a subject. We discovered these facts by using quality reference materials, often at a library.

With today’s digitized resources and websites, a student follows roughly the same routine, but resource reliability is a significant issue. While it’s easy to find sites with information about a topic, identifying reliable and significant information is more of a challenge. The trick is to discover whether or not a site is a reliable resource.

Help your child determine the quality and reliability of a site before using it as a digital resource. The University of Maryland posts this short handout that explains how to go about evaluating a website.

Many sites appear to be real as well as reliable, but they are bogusAn entertaining website for you and your child to explore features bogus websites designed to look accurate and authoritative. Except that they aren’t. Take a few minutes to explore these bogus sites.

Better yet, explore them with your children.

Posted in digital parenting, great sites for students, Library of Congress, parents and technology, web research

Our Library of Congress: Knowledge Moves into the Digital World

The LOC Reading Room - Picture taken from the entrance.

If you ever visit Washington, DC, save an afternoon or even a day to visit the Library of Congress (LOC). Filled with resources — primary and secondary, hands-on and digital — the Library is a delight for anyone who loves to learn. In my post , The Library of Congress: Go Exploring for Digital Resources, I wrote about a few LOC digital learning opportunities, and library website features many more. The digital learning resources are available no matter where a person lives, however there is much to see at the library itself, and a LOC library visit is fun for adults and children.

Last Monday, on the February holiday that honors Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, the Library of Congress, which was started with the book collection of another president, Thomas Jefferson, opened its main reading room to the public.

Continue reading “Our Library of Congress: Knowledge Moves into the Digital World”