Information & Society- what we’ve been doing

When the course was approved last year, I had grand visions of being able to manage and administer a library program without assistance, manage textbook distribution for the whole school, create and teach Info & Society from scratch, and still manage to blog following each lesson reporting on lesson plans and what worked.

Yeah, right!

So, though I’ve been remiss in reporting on our classroom activities so far, I am going to do so in one fell swoop in this post.

1. We started the year making a master list of all sources of information that students could come up with. Students ranked them in terms of reliability/authority.

2. In continuing with the evaluating information theme, students were divided into four groups for their first “ON THE FLIP SIDE” topic, which was global warming. The idea was that students would research the same types of information with the same guidelines, and would present to the class using that information to persuade that: Global warming is a human-made phenomenon OR Global warming is simply part of a natural temperature cycle. Students then voted on which group made the best/most persuasive use of their researched information.

This helped students to see that information and statistics can be selected, used, and manipulated toward a particular agenda. A couple of mistakes I made this round: I did not have students take notes while their classmates presented. It would have worked much better if they had jotted down what it was about each group’s presentation and info that was persuasive so that the discussion afterward would have been more effective.

Docs used:

3. Students set up accounts on iGoogle, Delicious, and set up hosted blogs with WordPress. Students selected “Personal Interest Topics” and gathered RSS feeds on their topic in iGoogle, bookmarked and tagged links in Delicious, and wrote inquiry posts on their topic on WordPress. These items are ongoing, and will hopefully set up the foundation for students taking the initiative to set up and use personal learning networks even after they leave this class.

4. We began a two-week long discussion unit on various topics. All involved subject introduction, article reading and annotation, and discussion either in online format or face to face, Socratic Seminar style.

First topic: Freedom of Information/Access

Intro info:

View more presentations from Stigge
Articles read and annotated before discussion:
Second topic: Hacktivism
Articles used:
Third topic: Privacy
Articles used:
Facebook (CNN)
Socratic style discussion used for this topic.
Upcoming: Information Organization unit, How Search Engines Work, Search Engine Optimization/Content Farming, and then Digital Communications unit.
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  1. #1 by aliveandwellinkansas on October 13, 2011 - 8:03 pm

    This is great! I teach in a small 1A school in central Kansas and want to incorporate blogs this year. I will be visiting your site on a regular basis to get ideas. 🙂

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