Overview

This is a flexible unit of ten 50-minute lessons to guide younger students through the various modes of writing online. In particular, we cover search queries, emails, blogs, and wikis.

Essential Questions

  • How can the computer help me do what I want to do?
  • What is freewriting?
  • Why is maintaining a consistent email address useful?
  • What does a professional email look like?
  • What is the difference between a blog and a paper journal?
  • How will anyone find your blog?
  • What other tags can I use in my blog posts?
  • I'm looking for something. It's probably on the web. How do I find it?
  • What special features are hidden in Google specifically?
  • How can a group collaborate on a single document?
  • How do I add new pages to a wiki?
  • How do you make sense of a new web service?

Content

  • Managing multiple online identities
  • Email courtesy
  • Publishing a blog
  • Maintaining a wiki
  • Smarter searching
  • Reflecting about your online experiences
  • Sharing your learning with others

Assumptions

This unit makes the following assumptions:

  • The classroom has at least a 1:2 computer:student ratio
  • The classroom has unfiltered Internet access
  • The classroom teacher has access to a computer with a projector
  • The class will be thirty or fewer students
  • "Groups" means clusters of four or five students
  • "Pairs" means two or three

Implementation notes

This unit is designed to be as flexible as possible. They should fit as well in a homeroom or advising period as they might during a "computer" class. Likewise, activities may be sliced out and fit into any number of existing sequences.

Although filtered Internet access is unfortunately becoming a reality in K-12, it often fails to filter data that could actually offend. As such, it is important to check all of the sites you plan to use in class in advance.

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