Tag Archives: search strategies

Six Tips to Adapt to Online Learning with TechnoKids

ipads and technokids

Teachers are all working ‘differently’ these days as they shift to virtual classrooms. It’s a challenge! But some of these changes might even enhance student achievement. In a previous post, I outlined some general hints for success. Here are some specific tips to adapt to online learning with TechnoKids projects.

No Internet or Limited Access?

Even if students do not have a reliable Internet connection, you can modify TechnoKids projects to adjust. They can use Microsoft Office desktop programs to develop essential technology skills and explore ways to compensate for lack of online connectivity.  

Money Management and TechnoBudget

Offer alternative resources. TechnoBudget teaches financial literacy and personal finance. Students create a budget and spending plan with an online shopping spree. Instead, suggest that students browse through paper shopping circulars or use their own knowledge of prices to achieve the same goal. They will gain the critical spreadsheet skills whatever creative way they find the item prices.

Omit research tasks. TechnoTravel is a presentation project in which students promote a weekend getaway. Rather than researching online, suggest to students that they pick a place with which they are familiar. A known topic will eliminate the need to research online. Students will still acquire the key technology learning outcomes.

Not Enough Time?

online learning

Leave out selected activities. All TechnoKids projects have optional assignments that may be omitted. Review Questions test student understanding of concepts and tools. Skill Reviews are exercises that repeat skills in a new way to support understanding. Extension Activities are challenges that offer enrichment or additional skills. Any or all of these activities may be omitted without losing any of the technology objectives of the project.

Assign selective parts of a project. TechnoInternet teaches search strategies, Internet safety, digital citizenship, and more. Pick and choose the activities according to which skills your students need or which ones your curriculum requires.

ipads and technokids

Teach half a project. TechnoTurtle is an introduction to programming using Python and the Turtle library. You can use just the first three sessions instead of all six to provide a solid foundation in coding skills for beginners.

Too Many Technology Skills to Teach?

Use TechnoKids resources. TechnoEarth encourages students to become environmental advocates. Bypass the research requirement of the project. As an alternative, focus on the skills of designing an infographic. Use the 13 provided fact sheets on critical universal issues such as acid rain, invasive species, endangered reefs, and more. These one-page summaries provide all the informative and comprehensive facts that students need to create their unique call to action.

TechnoRestaurateur

Zone in on the fundamentals. TechnoRestaurateur turns students into young entrepreneurs. They complete a variety of activities as they plan a new restaurant. Restrict the project to only the survey and graphing skills. If time allows, include the summary report to build word processing skills. You can omit designing the company logo and drafting a floor plan and still maintain the key elements of the project.

Are Some Students Progressing at a Faster Pace?

ipads and technokids

Include optional activities. Did you leave out selected activities as suggested above? If some students are moving ahead of others, assign the Review Questions, Skill Reviews, or Extension Activities to keep them engaged and learning new skills.

ipads and technokids

Offer follow up projects. If you’re using Scratch Jr to teach coding, and a student has finished TechnoWhiz, use TechnoTales to build on their skills and enthusiasm. Similarly, if students want another programming challenge after TechnoTales, introduce them to TechnoCode using Scratch 3. Refer to TechnoKids’ project matrix to view the grade level, technology skills, and app used in each project and to determine what’s next.

Diverse Technology Skills in the Class?

ipads and technokids

Designate student peer coaches. To both assist the teacher and to engage students who have advanced skills, invite selected children to communicate with and assist their classmates. Make use of the unique collaborative nature of online technology – Google Classroom, Microsoft Online, Class Notebook, Teams, Zoom or even email or texting. Encourage kids to help others with troubleshooting, editing, or partner and group assignments.

bookmaking lessons

Add flexibility to the curriculum. TechnoBookmaking builds word processing skills with a collection of templates to create fun publications. They can make unfolding riddle books, flip flap stories, layer fact books, and many more. Allow students to make one, two, or as many of the activities as they can without setting minimum requirements.

Having Trouble Engaging Students?

ipads and technokids

Hook students with their personal interests. TechnoBlog allows students to write in their own voice. In this project, they select a topic of personal expertise such as a sport, a favorite author, or a hobby. With step-by-step instructions and writing starters, they publish a series of different blogs. They share an insight, provide advice for peers, and articulate an opinion about their subject. Then they communicate with an authentic audience of their classmates for feedback, developing responsible digital citizenship skills.

Entice students with expressing their opinions. In TechnoDebate, pairs of students choose a controversial issue of their choice and argue the pro and con sides of the topic. Using Google Slides or PowerPoint Online, they design an illustrated slide show. When complete, they offer rebuttals, support their viewpoints with facts, and invite class participation. Do cell phones improve communication? Should zoos be allowed to operate? Is it fair to lose marks for late work? Build on your students’ interests and concerns.

Online Learning with TechnoKids

If you have challenges to solve regarding remote classrooms or questions about online learning with TechnoKids Computer Curriculum, contact us. Email information@technokids.com. We’re here to help.

Boost Online Search Strategies: A Fun Activity

In the previous post, we listed a set of tips to develop online search strategies. Try this skill building activity with middle school students to apply those tips and raise awareness of ways to find trustworthy information fast.

technoearth icon

This activity is from TechnoKids technology project TechnoEarth. In this project, students learn how to use Google Sites to design an interactive infographic about an environmental issue. The search activity below is a Skill Review from Session 1, in which students learn about environmental stewardship and infographics. Then they pick a topic of their choice and use a template to research the cause, harmful effects, stakeholders, location, and solution.


Explore Online Search Strategies

1. Try many keywords

search strategies

Some topics use different terms to mean the same thing. For example, both algal bloom and algae bloom refer to lots of algae in water. Compare the search results for algal bloom and algae bloom. Look at the list of sites, questions, images, or videos on the page.

  • Are the results the same for algal bloom and algae bloom?
  • If no, which keyword do you think is the best? Why?

2. Be specific

boost search strategies

Pretend your research topic is poaching of rhinos.

  • What is a solution to the problem?
  • To narrow the search results, what phrase did you use?

3. Pick from the dropdown menu

search drop down

The dropdown menu in the search box suggests keywords. Let’s say you are researching smog. List two suggested phrases you think would be helpful.

4. Refer to People also ask

search people ask

Many people ask questions about environmental issues. Search for plastic pollution. List a question from the People also ask section that you find interesting.

5. Check the URL

search strategies

The website address can give a clue about who made the web page. Find a government website about overfishing. The URL might end .gov or .gc.ca.

  • What is the URL?

6. Skim and Scan

skim and scan

Save time! Find a website about harmful effects of acid rain. Scan the search results for words that match the facts you need.

  • Which search result do you think will be the best? List the title.
  • Scan the description. Which keywords are in bold text?

technoearth
Design an infographic using Google Sites. Improve research skills and search strategies.

Boost Search Strategies with Middle School Students

web design for kids Google Sites

There is LOTS of information on the Internet. When students are conducting searches for specific topics, they can become overloaded with results. Irrelevant sites, limited skimming and scanning skills, advertising, and unreliable data are all factors that can make online searching time-consuming. Competent Internet search strategies can help students to locate high-quality sites quickly to get the facts they need.

Here’s a list of tips to boost Internet searches. In the next blog, we’ll post an activity to use with students to discover different ways of finding information by applying these tips.

search strategies
TechnoEarth includes a skill review to boost search strategies.

Search Strategies to Find Information FAST!

Try many keywords:

search strategies

Some topics have more than one term used to describe it. Each will provide different results.

Be specific:

boost search strategies

To narrow search results use a phrase that states exactly what you want. The more precise, the better.

Pick from the dropdown menu:

search drop down

As you type into the search box, a list of suggested phrases appears. This can save you time typing. Plus, it offers helpful keywords.

Refer to People also ask:

search people ask

The People also ask section has popular questions. The answers can quickly provide you with the information you seek.

Check the URL:

search strategies

Look for sites that are well known organizations, government agencies, or educational pages. The URL of these sites end with .org, .gov, or .edu.

Skim and scan:

skim and scan

Read the title. Check the description for the keyword. It will be bold. Glance over the text looking for words that match the facts you need.

Notice if the site is an Ad:

boost search strategies

Websites can pay to be at the top of the search results. The listing will be labeled Ad. Just because it is first does not mean it is the best.

Check the sources:

search strategies sources

A website may list their sources of information. Often, they are links to online articles. Verify that they are high-quality. If they are, use them.

Use Find to highlight facts:

search strategies using find

If there is a lot of text, use the Find feature. Press CTRL+F on the keyboard. Type a word into the search box. If it is on the page, it will highlight. Jump to each place where the word appears using the Previous and Next buttons.

Use multiple search engines:

search strategies using search engines

Use more than one search engine such as: Bing, Google, or Duck Duck Go. Each provides different results.


TechnoEarth to Boost Search Strategies

technoearth icon
TechnoEarth Technology Project

TechnoKids’ newest project, TechnoEarth, inspires students to become environmental stewards. As they research an important issue, they develop and refine search strategies. Then, using Google Sites, they design an interactive, web-based infographic that outlines the cause, harmful effects, and solutions. The publication also summarizes stakeholders, highlights interesting facts, and pinpoints the location of the problem. Students inform the public about the environmental issue, raise awareness, and spark action.

Check out the next blog post to get a fun activity from TechnoEarth. Students search for information and explore these tips to build proficient search skills.

New! TechnoSite Web Design Lessons for Google Sites

It’s here! TechnoKids’ all-new project TechnoSite makes it simple for students to become creative and competent web designers.

TechnoSite

In this project, students use Google Sites to construct a professional looking, multi page website. Incorporating their own content, images, and links, they create a website that includes links to fun places for kids on the World Wide Web. Along the way, they learn how to become website critics, rate the quality and safety of popular sites, and develop essential search strategies.

It has never been easier to quickly create a custom website. With a free Google account, not only do students have access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps (and more!) but Google Sites as well. Use the templates, themes, and familiar tools to build fun and engaging web pages. Collaborate online with peers. Then publish and share information and ideas with classmates, a team, club, or interest group. Pick a topic and you’re ready to design!

What Can You Do with Google Sites?

Google Sites website

Design a multi-page website with TechnoSite and Google Sites.

TechnoSite gives students the building blocks of a website. Following illustrated, detailed instructions in the Student Workbook, they can use Google Sites to:

  • apply a theme to have a consistent, professional looking design
  • create a banner and pick a background image
  • use suggested layouts to arrange information
  • add text, images, dividers, hyperlinks, and hotspots
  • incorporate video
  • include a logo
  • design a photo gallery
  • insert an Image Carousel
  • position a navigation bar
  • and lots more!

Google Sites Preview

Google Sites preset themes and layouts allow students to quickly make a professional looking site. In this Preview mode, you can see what the site will look like on a wide screen, tablet, or phone.

What Will Students Learn Using TechnoSite?

Before beginning to build their website, students are introduced to the World Wide Web. They master internet terminology such as web browser and home page. They learn how to critique websites using standard criteria: navigation ease, appearance, content, and safety. Then a rating scale is applied to decide if the sites may earn their “Kid Stamp of Approval”. Students also become Super Searchers as they compare search engines, scan and filter results, and try different keyword phrases.

TechnoSite integrates a variety of learning skills as student build their websites. Following is a condensed selection from the Skill Summary included in the Assessment Tools in the project:

Digital Literacy

  • use appropriate keywords to locate information using search engines
  • determine whether a website is appropriate for children
  • collaborate with a peer to improve the quality of a website

Language Arts

  • organize research using a planner
  • describe a website to summarize the content and entice visitors to click on the link
  • reflect upon the web design process

Internet Skills

  • use keyword suggestions to locate resources on the Internet
  • scan search results to discern the website that is the best match
  • analyze the results of different search engines

Web Design Skills

  • customize design using a banner, theme, and images
  • insert text, images, dividers, and video
  • insert and test hyperlink and hotspots

What Is Included in TechnoSite?

When you purchase TechnoSite, everything teachers need to complete the project and teach students to build a website is included in the resources:

  1. Teacher Guide in pdf format for printing or viewing
  2. Student Workbook in pdf format for printing or viewing
  3. Assessment Tools: Student Checklists and Teacher Marking Sheet and Skill Summary
  4. Sample Websites using Google Sites
  5. Reviews, Skill Reviews, and Extension Activities to support learning

You’re ready. Order and download TechnoSite today and your students will become skilled web designers tomorrow!