Making Sense of Online Text

Julie Coiro has a good short lesson plan series for introducing internet to students. It can be found at Educational Leadership; Oct 2005, Vol. 63 Issue 2, p30-35 (6p, 2 charts).

She offers four strategy lessons to help move adolescents (certainly we can include college students) into using Internet texts meaningfully.

She discusses:
Which internet link to follow
How to navigate within a website,
which includes

Initially, the teacher should model for students seven steps for previewing a Web site, thinking out loud to show the decision making that accompanies each step:

1. Read the title of the page and the title of the Web site in the margin at the top of the window.
2. Scan menu choices. Hold your mouse over the navigational or topical menus that often appear down the left frame or across the top of the window, but don’t click yet. Get a big picture of the information available within the site.
3. Make predictions about where each of the major links may lead and anticipate a link’s path through multiple levels of a Web site.
4. Explore interactive features of dynamic images (animated images, or images that change as a viewer holds the mouse over them), pop-up menus, and scroll bars that may reveal additional levels of information contained within the site.
5. Identify the creator of the Web site and when the site was last updated. You can often find this information by clicking on a button on the home page labeled “About This Site,” but sometimes deeper exploration is needed to find the site’s creator. Consider what this information indicates about the site.
6. Notice and try out any electronic supports the site has, such as an organizational site map or internal search engine.
7. Make a judgment about whether to explore the site further. If the site looks worthwhile, decide which areas of the site to explore first.

How to know it is true
How to Synthesize without copying

These are some good ideas on basic lessons for internet reading and researching.

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