Teacher Guide: Implementation Assistance
One of the central aspects of this Internet-based module is the use of real time data. Because of this your students will frequently be required to access the Internet to collect data. Recognizing the fact that most teachers have limited Internet and computer access we have created these guidelines to help you better implement this project in your particular technology environment.
The lessons have been designed to allow a teacher flexibility of lesson selection and best fit into the existing curriculum. It is not necessary to complete all of the lessons, however, it is recommended that all of the Core Activities are completed prior to students undertaking other Enrichment Activities. Please review each of the lessons carefully and use your judgment for allocating class time for the project. The information below may assist you with the implementation of the project:
Limited Computer Access
The following suggestions may assist implementation in a limited access situation.
By creating cooperative student groups you can rotate them between various learning centers, one of which would be the computers and Internet. This means that you will need to develop learning centers for the students who are not at the computers. It is useful to use the learning centers to develop the necessary skills students may need later on in the project. For example, if students will need to graph real time weather data at the end of the project then one of the learning centers could be focused on developing graphing skills. Another suggestion is to rotate students once a day through the learning centers rather than trying to rotate them through in one class period. This will give them more time on task and will allow them to complete all of the necessary work before moving on.
Periodic Data Collection
When large amounts of data need to be collected or when many students need to collect their own data it can be useful to spread the work out over long periods of time. This can be accomplished by assigning students to the data collection job each day and then having them do their work during down time or at the start or end of class. If you are going to use this technique be sure to plan for it far in advance since you may have to collect data for awhile before actually needing to use it in the project.
Students can access the data from home computers (when available) OR by giving them a handout each day with latest data.
Teachers with 1 computer connected to a projection device can use the Internet to introduce or enrich a unit, or prepare students in the use of a web site before a session in the computer lab.
Students can rotate through different activities during the course of one class or over a longer period of time. Each student or group of students takes a turn working at a different activity or learning center.
Save the files: Save the web pages to a disk / hard drive or cache of your computer beforehand.
Hard copies: Print and make copies of specific images or data (e.g. the list of recent earthquakes) ahead of time to have on hand.
Browsing the internet requires downloading multiple files from the internet to the computer. Users often wait long periods while complete web pages slowly show up on their computer screen. To speed up browsing time, the files that are downloaded are temporarily stored in the cache (referred to as Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer). Often in a Computer Lab setting, the computers are not shut down each day, and the temporary files remain on the computer.
So, if a student visits a real time data site one day, the information from the site is stored in the cache. If a student revisits the same web page a following day, the browser will first look in the cache for the information before it goes to the internet for the most recent image.
To prevent confusion, the students should first look for the time and date stamp on the image. If it is not the most recent image, click the “Reload” or “Refresh” button. This will insure that the latest data is displayed.
Internet Explorer uses the term “Refresh”, and the Refresh button can be found next to the Back and Forward buttons in the toolbar.
Netscape Navigator uses the term “Reload”, and the Reload button can be found next to the Back and Forward buttons in the toolbar.