Activity 1 – Learning websites: Design and tools
Having read Herring (2011, Chapter 7), consider the following questions:
- Are learning websites being developed in your school (or a school you know)?
No. Teachers share teaching lessons, assignments and practice tests with students, primarily use the school’s intranet.
- Are these learning websites well designed? If not, how could they be improved?
Ones that I’ve had a look at on other school sites, vary in terms of quality. The better ones are easy to navigate, simple in terms of colour use and structure.
- Consider developing a storyboard for a learning website. What would you include? What are the advantages of developing a storyboard before designing your learning website?
I actually did one of these for my library pathfinder assignment without realising that there was a name for it! I included what the home page would have on it, where I wanted the sidebar, the names of all the tabs and how I would set out my pages. I like to put things down on paper as I find it easier to visualise and change.
- How much do you know about the technical aspects of website design eg. format, template, colour, navigation and accessibility? Which of these do you consider most important for your own school (or a school you know)?
I know nothing! Having spoken to others and browsed the Internet, I think that all of these aspects are important and they are all linked in with each other.
- Check some of the tools suggested in the chapter eg. Wikispaces, Weebly, Prezi. Do you use these already? If not, do you think you might use them in the future?
No. I was going to give Wikispaces a go as my library pathfinder, but am going to go the Weebly option, as it ‘appears’ to be easier to use. Prezi is out of the question for me. Too trendy!!
Activity 2 – Learning websites: Content
- Why do you think subject content is important in a learning website?
This is the basis for student learning! It needs to be linked back to the curriculum or the purpose of the learning website is void. It’s a good reminder to students about what and often why they are learning.
- Do you agree that learning websites developed in your school (or a school you know) are likely to motivate students, because they are geared to what is being taught in that particular school?
Yes. Once students get use to the idea of specific learning websites being developed for their exact research topic by the TL, and then this will become their first point for researching.
- What kind of information literacy guidance should be provided in an e-pathfinder and how can this be linked to information literacy development in the school in general?
Herring (2011) is adamant about the fact that the information literacy guidance that is embedded in the epathfinder should not be new information. As the name suggests, it should ‘guide’ or scaffold the learning of the student and act as a reminder only. Specific teaching about the information literacy model should already have occurred within the classroom teaching context and it should be a model that is adopted and used by all teachers across all curriculum areas.
- Annotations should be helpful to students – how can we ensure that students will read and take note of the content of annotations?
– Make them short
– Easy to read for the particular age group
– Include specific reference to which part of the assignment/research project that would benefit from the link or resource
– Ask for feedback from students
– Avoid information overload
- How can we get students to participate in developing learning websites, and subsequently adding content to the sites?
Not really sure! Is there some way of setting up a page on the pathfinder to which they can add resources?
– Ask for feedback
– Include student work samples
References and Comments
Herring, J. (2004). The Internet and information skills: A guide for teachers and school librarians. London: Facet Publishing.
- Older version of current course book!
- Interesting to see how much has changed in a short amount of time!
Hill, P. (2010). Thoughts on using Prezi as a teaching tool. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Appears a bit too fussy for me
- A tool to consider later on in my digital journey!
Lombard, R. (2010). Web 2.0 in the classroom. In Yamamoto, J., Penny, C., Leight, J., & Winterton, S. Technology Leadership in Teacher Education: Integrated Solutions and Experiences (pp. 214-240). Retrieved July 6, 2012. eBook available CSU library.
- “A true learning community is one in which active interaction involving content and personal communication between students and the instructor takes place” (p.218) YES!!
- Excellent overview of Web 2.0 and the variety of tools that can be used to support true information literacy
- Need to go back to this at a late date
Lowe, K., Lee, L., Schibeci, R., Cummings, R., Phillips, R., & Lake, D. (2010). Learning objects and engagement of students in Australian and New Zealand schools. British Journal of Educational Technology 41(2), 227-241. Available CSU library.
- “Learning objects need to be well structured and to integrate pedagogical, instructional and multimedia design” (p.239)
- Interesting that students may find it fun initially, but that it also needs to be challenging enough at their ability level to keep them engaged
- Good learning objects are hard to design and student interaction is complex
Lynch, P & Horton, S. (2008). Web Style Guide: Basic design principles for designing websites. 3rd ed., New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. Available as eBook. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Great resource – will consider buying for the school library
- Have read sections of it online to help with pathfinder assignment
Marcinek, A. (2009). Hello Animoto. Classroom 2.0. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- I would love to have a play around with developing these short videos
- Great way to introduce a topic
- Kids could summarise a topic
- Kids could do a before and after video to compare their knowledge of a topic
Pappas, P. (2000) Design your website from the bottom up. edteck Press. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Lots of grammatical and typing errors, but a fabulous resource
- Similar to doing an assignment – introduction is the last thing to be written!
Robinson, A. (2010) Effective research: Advanced search. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Great overview for children of effective research
- Ideal to show each class