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Tour Home: How to use the Internet in Your Classroom
Tour Home: The New Teacher Handbook
How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom: Transforming Research Notes into Multimedia Presentations

Laura A. Clark 

Dual Language Middle School
New York, NY

You can reach me at: techclark@yahoo.com

Purchase from our Online Store:How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom

Transforming Research Notes into Multimedia Presentations

Now, you and your students have figured out how to research using the Internet. The students have fistfuls of neatly printed information and some beautiful graphics, which they gleefully present to you announcing that they are "done." How do you help them see that those pages are only the beginning? It is time to progress to more challenging activities, such as analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating that research to transform it into a quality multimedia project. 

But first . . . recognize the effort expended to do the research, particularly by those new to navigating the Internet. Although students have successfully conducted research, using sites found on their own, they are not "done," yet they have accomplished something different from checking a book out of the library. Make it clear to students that the research is but one important step towards completing a project that is truly their own work. Hand back their research and say "Great job! Now you are ready to get started on your double-column worksheet."

The use of double-column worksheets and index card models will assist students in organizing their research into key points, leading to the construction of a web page or other presentation formats such as stacks or slides. 

The Double-Column Worksheet
.The double-column worksheet is a useful tool created either on paper or on the computer. Students can cut and paste research facts from the Internet directly into a word document, type their own words in the right hand column, and transform this text into the final product. However, if you do not have enough computers for everyone, you may choose to have students complete the worksheet by hand.

The Index Card Model
.Once students have successfully put the key points of the research into their own words, they are ready to incorporate the research into a new media project. However, because the lure of fancy computer tools can easily lead students to create projects that favor form over content..

When I required my sixth-grade social studies class to organize their research on countries in Asia and Africa using the methods described above, a few were frustrated by what they saw as obstacles to using the computer. However, the majority of my students actually enjoyed demonstrating their ability to interpret and organize their research. The goal of moving to the computer also helped to focus many students on the task of working with their research.


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