Tag Archives: TechnoJourney

Peer to Peer Teaching – Students Become the Teachers

Students teach Internet skills to their peers

"Internet Tour Guides" teach their recently learned skills to "Tourists"

Peer to peer teaching is an effective teaching method that can be used in the computer lab to enhance learning. This blog article examines an example of how this method was implemented, elements of successful peer teaching, and the educational value of this approach.

What is Peer to Peer Teaching?
Peer to peer teaching has students take on a teaching role in a school setting in order to share their knowledge with other students.

An Example of Peer to Peer Teaching used in the Computer Lab
I have been teaching the technology project TechnoJourney to a class of Grade 3/ 4 students. Each week students completed a range of Internet-based activities. To celebrate our learning, at the end of the project, another Grade 3 class in the school was invited to participate in an Internet Tour Guide Event.

In the Internet Tour Guide Event, students became Peer Teachers. The Peer Teachers were divided into groups and then assigned a topic to teach. There were six topics: Super Searcher, Trust Test, E-Library, Picture Power, Learn with Videos, and Making Map. To prepare for the activity, prior to the event, each Peer Teacher group practiced teaching to each other using instruction sheets as a guide. This allowed them an opportunity to gain confidence in their ability to teach. To learn more, refer to the blog post, “Internet Tour Guide Activity“.

The following week, the Grade 3 class visited the computer lab as “Tourists” or students that would learn about the Internet from the “Internet Tour Guides” or Peer Teachers. To get more than 40 students into the computer lab at one time required organization. To start, the Grade 3 / 4 students arrived in the computer lab, assembled into their Peer Teaching groups, grabbed their worksheets, and then stood behind a computer chair.

Peer to Peer Teaching

Student instructors were enthusiastic about their role as teachers.


In the meantime, the other Grade 3 class was patiently waiting outside the computer lab. Once the peer teachers were ready, three to four students were let into the computer lab at one time, and directed to sit in front of a particular computer. Once everyone was seated, the activity was introduced.

Students were told that they were going to become Tourists and would be taking a journey through the Internet. Their Internet Tour Guides (Peer Teachers) were going to guide them to online destinations. Tourists were informed that they needed to follow their Tour Guides’ directions.

With over 40 students in the room and active teaching happening in every group, it was a busy but exciting place! The room soon became a hive of active learning as the Tour Guides were eager to share their newfound skills. The Tourists enjoyed the novelty of the learning experience from their peers as well as getting to visit new places on the Internet.

After about 8 minutes the lights were turned off to signal it was time to move to the next destination. Once the room was quiet, the Tourists were rotated clockwise to the next group of Tour Guides. For example, the Tourists at the Super Searcher destination, moved to the Trust Test destination, the Tourists as the Trust Test destination moved to the E-Library destination, and so on.

Although we ran out of time and only managed to rotate the Tourists through three of the six activities, it was a complete success.

TechnoKids Computer Curriculum

Elements to Successful Peer to Peer Teaching
Below are the elements that helped to ensure the success of the Internet Tour Guide Event:

  • Peer teachers had instruction sheets to use as a guide
  • Peer teachers were able to practice before the event
  • Challenges were available to keep students focused or if there was extra time
  • Teachers never touched the mouse – used only words to explain or fingers to point at the screen
  • The lesson should be adjusted to the learner – areas of interest were used for searches
  • Decisions were made prior to the event about how to organize peer teachers and students within the computer lab
  • A signal was selected in advance to rotate the students from one group of peer teachers to another
  • Each rotation was brief to make sure that peer teachers and students stayed focused on the task

Peer to Peer Teaching Benefits
There are many benefits to peer teaching:

  • Consolidate Learning: By teaching to a peer, students review their own learning, which allows them to strengthen their own knowledge and skills.
  • Increase Confidence: This type of learning activity boosts self-confidence because students realize that the classroom teacher perceives them as experts and trusts them enough to share their expertise with a peer.
  • Develop Communication Skills: Students must use strong communication skills to be able to provide clear directions, listen to feedback, and then adjust the next set of instructions accordingly so that their peer is successful.
  • Assess Learning: The teacher is able to assess students’ understanding of the material based on their ability to share their knowledge and skills with a fellow peer, that could not be accomplished using a paper and pencil test.

Other Articles about Teaching Internet Skills using TechnoJourney

Now the Students’ Turn: Reflecting on TechnoJourney
A Teacher Speaks Out: Yes, you should teach Internet skills!
Peer to Peer Teaching – Students Become the Teachers
Use YouTube Videos in your Classroom
Students Love Google Maps
Review How to Sort Google Images with Your Students
Teaching Internet Skills – The Trust Test
Wikipedia in the Classroom
Bookmarking is a Basic Internet Skill that can be Complex
Metacognition and Teaching about the Internet
4 Strategies for Reviewing Internet Search Results
When Should Students Start Using the Internet?
Should you Teach Internet Skills?

Internet Tour Guide Activity



Internet Tour Guide Activity

View Internet Tour Guide Activities

Learning should be celebrated!

I believe that at the end of each unit, time should be allocated to reflect upon the learning experience. This gives students the opportunity to acknowledge their achievements and recognize the newfound skills they have acquired. This can be a challenge when a unit of study does not contain a finished product to hang on a bulletin board, post on the Internet, or present on a computer screen. This is the case with the Internet unit we just completed.

I wanted to celebrate the completion of TechnoJourney. Since the technology project was comprised of Internet-based activities there was not a final product that students could easily share. I decided the way to demonstrate our learning was to transform each student into an Internet Tour Guide.

In TechnoJourney, students take a trip through the Internet and discover the wonders online. Since they were now Internet experts, I thought it would be fun for them to show the sites to someone else. The classroom teacher arranged for another Grade 3 class, who had not completed TechnoJourney, to visit during our computer lab time next week.

The Internet Tour consisted of six activities: Super Searcher, Trust Test, E-Library, Picture Power, Learn with Videos, and Making Maps. Each activity focused on a skill that students had acquired while completing TechnoJourney. The classroom teacher divided students into six groups. Each group was assigned an activity that they would teach as part of the tour.

During today’s class we prepared for the Internet Tour. To start, students gathered into their groups. I provided each group with an activity sheet that had a set of instructions students could use as a guide when teaching. As a group, students followed the instructions on the activity sheet and discussed other important elements they believe should be part of their mini-lesson. Next, students took turns teaching their fellow group members. Once familiar with their topic, I paired each student with someone from a different group. Each person from their new pair group took turns teaching their activity.

Students love the idea of becoming Internet Tour Guides! This activity provided them with an opportunity to take ownership of their learning. I noticed that many students:

  • Modified the Activity: One group decided that the activity was missing an essential skill and they changed the activity. Originally, the task had students use bookmarked resources such as encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, and thesaurus to showcase the valuable resources online. The group members decided that the activity should have visitors type the URL instead because this action would make the web address easier to remember. I agree!

  • Made Notes on the Activity Sheets: Many students wanted to make sure that they did not forget important points while delivering their instructions. For this reason, they made comments on the activity sheets to help them remember. Excellent idea!

  • Understood the Needs of Students: One group decided that they wanted their visitors to pick a topic instead of give it to them because it would make the task more interesting. Originally, the activity sheet had provided a list of videos to find on the Internet. Group members decided that they wanted their visitors to pick a topic they were learning about in school and find a video about that instead. Great plan!

Next week is our Internet Tour Guide activity. I am looking forward to having students use their skills to teach their peers. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our success!

Other Articles about Teaching Internet Skills using TechnoJourney

Now the Students’ Turn: Reflecting on TechnoJourney
A Teacher Speaks Out: Yes, you should teach Internet skills!
Peer to Peer Teaching – Students Become the Teachers
Internet Tour Guide Activity
Use YouTube Videos in your Classroom
Students Love Google Maps
Review How to Sort Google Images with Your Students
Teaching Internet Skills – The Trust Test
Wikipedia in the Classroom
Bookmarking is a Basic Internet Skill that can be Complex
Metacognition and Teaching about the Internet
4 Strategies for Reviewing Internet Search Results
When Should Students Start Using the Internet?
Should you Teach Internet Skills?

Use YouTube Videos in your Classroom

YouTube and Education

YouTube Videos can enhance learning. Discover the benefits!

Are your students doing a research project or giving a presentation? Consider how YouTube can help!

Videos posted to YouTube or elsewhere on the Internet are an excellent source of information. Documentaries, speeches, and how-to demonstrations are just some of the videos your students can watch.

Is YouTube blocked at your school? It is at ours. This doesn’t stop the students from using Internet videos to improve learning.

This blog entry lists other websites that post high-quality educational videos. As well, this blog entry explains a simple technique to filter all YouTube videos out of your Google search results so your students can find only the ones they can watch in the computer lab. Keep reading!

This week my students completed Assignment 8 in the technology project, TechnoJourney. In this assignment students were challenged to find educational videos that could help them complete their school work. They looked for a documentary on a polar bear, speech by Martin Luther King, demonstration on how to build a bridge using Popsicle sticks, and more! Afterwards we discussed the benefits of using videos.

Educational Benefits of YouTube Videos

There are many reasons why your students should use YouTube Videos:

  1. Research Facts: Your students can learn about a topic by watching a video. They can pause it to record facts and then resume playing to learn even more!
  2. Personally Meaningful: A video can create a connection with the viewer. By watching the event it makes the viewer feel like they are part of the action. For example, if your students read a speech by Martin Luther King it would not be as compelling as actually watching him deliver it to an audience.
  3. Complex Topics are Made Simple: Some concepts are difficult to understand. A video demonstration can make a complex topic easier to comprehend.
  4. Presentation Tool: A video can be shown during a presentation as a hook to aquire audience interest, illustrate a concept, or highlight an important point.
  5. Current Information: Be up-to-date! Your students can watch a video to learn about the the latest information on a topic, view a speech given that day, or watch a demonstration of a modern device.
  6. Assist Weak Readers: If you have students that are weak readers videos are an excellent teaching tool. A video allows them to gather research facts, engages their interest in a topic, and helps them to comprehend a concept.
  7. Target Learning Styles: People don’t learn the same. Videos target students who are visual learners.

Website with High-Quality Educational Videos

If you can’t access YouTube there are many other websites that have excellent videos. Here are some of my favorites!

National Geographic for Kids: Videos are divided by topic such as animals, history, people, and science. These videos are fantastic!

History.com: The videos are listed by topic or historical event. Many videos are only a few minutes long yet offer an excellent summary.

PBS Nova: Science and technology concepts are made interesting and are easy to understand.

How Stuff Works: This website has a video about EVERY topic you can think about. At the bottom of the page are a list of categories that let you pick from numerous topics such as endangered species, earth science, and anatomy. A NOTE OF CAUTION: This website has a video about EVERYTHING. Depending on your school community, it may have videos about topics you might not want your students to view.

NASA Video Gallery: Encourage your students to watch videos posted to the NASA website if you are doing a Space unit. They are so interesting.

How to Filter Google Search Results to Remove all YouTube Videos

If YouTube is blocked at your school, searching for videos can be frustrating. It often seems like all the perfect videos are ones that your students cannot view. This can cause your students to become discouraged. Follow these instructions to filter your Google search results so that no YouTube videos show up in the search results.

  1. Display the Google Search Page
  2. Type keyword phrase video -youtube. For example polar bear video -youtube

Yes, it really is THAT SIMPLE! The minus sign tells Google NOT TO SHOW ANY RESULTS WITH THE WORD YOUTUBE!

Is YouTube Blocked at Your School?

Can you watch YouTube videos at your school? Do you encourage your students to use online videos to enhance learning? Share your ideas!

Other Articles about Teaching Internet Skills using TechnoJourney

Now the Students’ Turn: Reflecting on TechnoJourney
A Teacher Speaks Out: Yes, you should teach Internet skills!
Peer to Peer Teaching – Students Become the Teachers
Internet Tour Guide Activity
Use YouTube Videos in your Classroom
Students Love Google Maps
Review How to Sort Google Images with Your Students
Teaching Internet Skills – The Trust Test
Wikipedia in the Classroom
Bookmarking is a Basic Internet Skill that can be Complex
Metacognition and Teaching about the Internet
4 Strategies for Reviewing Internet Search Results
When Should Students Start Using the Internet?
Should you Teach Internet Skills?

Students Love Google Maps

Use Google Maps with your Grade 3 and 4 Students

Use Google Maps with your Grade 3 and 4 Students

I didn’t think my students would like the map making lesson. I thought they would find it boring.

I was WRONG!

My Grade 3 and Grade 4 students LOVED map making!

I am teaching TechnoJourney, as a guest instructor. The classroom teacher had selected the assignments she wanted me to teach from the technology project. One of the extension activities she chose was map making. In this activity, students use Google Maps to display a street map of the school area and generate a set of driving directions.

I had scheduled the activity for half the class. I did not think it would take very long as there was not that much to do. We just had to type in a few addresses and then explore some of the viewing options. What I did not anticipate was how much the students would love map making.

When using Google Maps the Grade 3 and Grade 4 students loved:

  • changing the magnification of the map
  • displaying photos from around their neighborhood
  • viewing a satellite image of the area around the school
  • pretending to drive around their neighborhood using Street View
  • checking to make sure that the driving directions generated by Google were correct
  • printing out the driving directions with a map and Street View images

Google Maps sparked student interest and it did not take long for the short lesson to expand in a surprising way. Students began to ask excellent questions. They wanted to see and explore more. So we did!

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