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Increasing Student Awareness and Discussion of Current Events Using TRACKER:An Online Tool For Web A

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Interest : current event addresses issue(s) that capture attention of students. ... to use when searching for quality news sites. Establish Web Site Authority ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Increasing Student Awareness and Discussion of Current Events Using TRACKER:An Online Tool For Web A


1
Increasing Student Awareness and Discussion of
Current Events Using TRACKERAn Online Tool For
Web Authoring and DiscussionAaron Grill Joe
OBrien The University of Kansas
2
Current Events Survey1. _____ U.S. space
program
  • A massive recovery effort is underway to sort
    through debris from the space shuttle Columbia,
    scattered over hundreds of miles in the
    Southwest. NASA has vowed to discover what caused
    Columbia to break apart February 1 during its
    re-entry into the atmosphere. Questions about
    the future of the American space program,
    particularly the use of shuttles, remains
    unresolved.

Interesting Piece of Information
Question Do you think NASA will discover what
caused the accident? Do you think that the U.S.
will continue the shuttle program?
3
Current Events Survey2. _____ Mysterious
flu-like illness
  • Singapore, the city state of 4 million people,
    has recorded 65 cases of severe acute respiratory
    syndrome, or SARS. 740 people who may have been
    exposed to a mysterious flu-like illness required
    to stay home for 10 days. The global death toll
    from the mystery illness is increasing daily as
    hundreds of people around the world are suspected
    of being infected.
  • The origin and cure are uncertain.

Interesting Piece of Information
Question What do you think will be the most
important effect of this disease?
4
Current Events Survey3. _____ Nigerian Oil
Crisis Worsens
  • Lagos, Nigeria -U.S. oil ChevronTexaco has joined
    Royal Dutch/ Shell and TotalFinaElf in cutting
    oil and gas production in Nigeria as civil unrest
    escalates.
  • The violence and production cutbacks are a
    blow to Nigeria's oil-dependent economy and may
    add to pressure on crude oil prices. Nigeria is
    the world's No. 6 oil exporter.
  • Once a success story, will Nigeria now
    collapse? Given the Iraqi war, what will happen
    to worlds oil supply?

Interesting Piece of Information
Question How will the civil unrest affect the
Nigerian people the worlds oil supply?
5
Current Events Survey3. _____ North Korea and
Nuclear Threat
  • International concerns over North Koreas alleged
    nuclear weapons program have increased. The
    nation has withdrawn from the nuclear
    Non-Proliferation Treaty has warned it may drop
    its self-imposed moratorium on ballistic missile
    tests. Pyongyang says these are self-defense
    measures forced on it by a hostile U.S.
    policy. Diplomatic efforts continue to try and
    ease the threat.

Interesting Piece of Information
Question Do you think the relations with the
North will worsen or improve?
6
What is TRACKER?
  • TRACKER Newspaper
  • The concept
  • Student or Teacher as the Editor
  • Front page, Opinion Page created by the editor
  • Editor selects, displays and asks questions about
    online articles of a current event
  • Others as Readers and Online Discussant to
    Newspaper
  • View and Respond to editors selected articles and
    questions
  • Write Letter to the Editor in response to the
    selected articles
  • Participate in the discussion board over the
    current event

7
TRACKER solutions
  • TRACKER interface
  • Creating a TRACKER
  • Editor creates TRACKER by filling out forms, and
    is given a unique URL (ex.
    http//trackcurrentevents.org/login.php?trackerid
    54)
  • Web authoring of summary and opinion page
  • display of selected web sites,
  • Navigation
  • Easy Navigation between TRACKER newspaper and
    selected articles
  • User login and options allow for personalized
    navigation of TRACKERS created and taken

8
Web Address http//trackcurrentevents.org/login.p
hp?trackerid378
9
Lessons Learned 1. Balancing Selection of
Current Events Issues
  • Interest current event addresses issue(s) that
    capture attention of students.
  • Authenticity the event not only addresses
    easily recognizable public problems, but ones
    students recognize as of importance to them.
  • Value Conflict the event involves diverse and
    competing values, ones that students, possibly
    with some coaching, are likely to identify.
  • Pluralistic the event represents different
    cultural and political perspectives and enables
    students to recognize them on a personal and
    societal level.
  • Perennial the event encompasses one or more
    enduring public issues that find voice in
    multiple public settings.
  • Curriculum Match Materials the issues embedded
    in the event are threaded throughout the
    curriculum and are supported with resources

10
Lessons Learned 2. Selecting Quality Internet
Sites is Challenging
  • Finding age and ability-level appropriate sites
    was one of the most challenging parts of creating
    a Tracker.
  • Locating sites that adequately and fairly
    represent varying perspectives on the issue.
  • Locating interesting, yet informative, sites.
    Students used sites rich in human-interest
    stories, but weak in substance. Gravitated
    toward sites that supported their opinion.
  • Locating sites that broadened and deepened the
    issue, yet did not distract from it.

11
Guidelines to use when searching for quality news
sites
  • Establish Web Site Authority
  • Check for Accuracy Timeliness
  • Search for Objective Sources an Appropriate
    Balance of Biased Sources
  • Distinguish between Style and Substance
  • Select Sites that Are Informative, Interesting,
    and Relevant
  • .

12
Lessons Learned 3. Learning to Summarize
Information Pose Thoughtful Questions is
Critical
  • Use of the site is only as good as the on-line
    guidance provided by the Introduction and the
    questions accompanying each link.
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