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Schoolchildren searching the Internet - teachers' perceptions

Madden, A.D., Ford, N., Miller, D. and Levy, P. (2003) Schoolchildren searching the Internet - teachers' perceptions. In: Martin, A. and Rader, H., (eds.) Information and IT Literacy: Enabling Learning in the 21st Century. Facet , London , pp. 234-243. ISBN 1856044637

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Abstract

The volume of information available to the 21st Century learner continues to grow. The skills needed effectively to search for, retrieve and critically evaluate this information are, correspondingly, increasing in importance; and the promotion of these abilities is an important educational goal. Clearly, an information resource of rapidly increasing importance is the Internet.

This paper reports the findings of the first stage of an AHRB project being carried jointly by University of Sheffield, and The City School, Sheffield. The City School, which is the focus of the study, is a mixed community school in an economically deprived area of Sheffield. It is, however, well provided with ICT resources. School staff therefore, have an unusual breadth of experience in using the Internet and implementing it in their teaching.

One of the questions the project seeks to address is “what tasks and activities do teachers require pupils to perform that (i) currently require or (ii) could potentially benefit from, effective Internet information seeking and critical evaluative skills?”

To address this question and as the first stage of the research project, the insights of staff were sought in a series of semi-structured interviews. Subject leaders and other key personnel were interviewed, and their observations are summarised in this paper. Issues arising from the interviews are as follows: • Students, particularly younger children, need clear guidelines when searching the Internet. • Students are more likely to learn of useful sites from their peer group than from searching the Internet. • As an information resource, the Internet is used enthusiastically by students who are reluctant to use books. • Many of the interviewees felt that their students were more skilled in using the Internet than they were. Those teachers who expressed such a view believed that the disparity had a positive impact on their teaching. • The demands of the National Curriculum are preventing teachers from making best use of the Internet in their work.

In addition to providing valuable insights, the findings reported here will be essential in informing the later stages of the AHRB project.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This is an author produced version of a chapter published in Information and IT Literacy: Enabling Learning in the 21st Century.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Andrew D. Madden
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 08:03
Status: Published
Publisher: Facet
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1112

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