MODULE ONE: WEB HABITUDES - LITERACY REDEFINED


Before exploring the vastness of the web and how it is best applied in the classroom, we must first understand what it means to be web literate and what intrinsic personal characteristics are needed for success. After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Explore, expand and develop their definitions of web literacy -- and continue to refine them
  • Reflect on the habits and attitudes required for learning in the digital age

New Standards for Reading, Writing, and Information Management

Prior to the 21st century, literacy defined a person’s ability to read and write, separating the educated from the uneducated. Being literate involves more than our ability to interact with static text. Today we inhabit a world where information is coming at us in ways that impact all of our senses -- requiring us to read, write, listen, view, speak, and question our way to understanding the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week constant information stream.

Web literacy, as we have come to call this collection of skills, might be considered the point where computer literacy merges with information literacy and attitude. Attitude in this context is about being willing and able to become an active and participating member of a larger community of learners within an ever-changing flow of information. Yes, web literacy comprises the technical skills needed to use a computer, the information processing ability to access and use print or electronic resources, and the critical competencies required for reading and evaluating material for reliability and validity. But being literate in the 21st Century demands the ability to follow though on any desire to share your voice, the ability to create an online identity, a willingness to forgo some aspects of privacy and ownership, and an open-minded perspective to embrace new relationships.

Web literate learners understand how to become involved in the exchange of information and ideas from a technical, critical, and human standpoint. Your literacy level is no longer determined by grades, age, or the number of questions you answer after a passage. It is not about a person's age or background, and it doesn't refer to their ability to use technology. Instead, success on the web is determined by what kind of learner you are willing to be.

With more than 1.6 billion people connected to the Internet today (Internet World Stats) , it has become the largest knowledge and learning community in the world -- and it is growing daily. It’s exciting to be a part of something this new and fascinating. To succeed in this new world, web learners must:
  • Be self-motivated, with an independent spirit
  • Be self-disciplined
  • Be intelligent and possess an ability to study and learn new skills
  • Be patient and willing to invest time and effort in order to master a new skill, tool, or idea
  • Have perseverance and gain the ability to overcome obstacles and challenges
  • Possess “coach-ability”, "learn-ability" — i.e. the willingness to follow instructions and learn from others
  • Be able to monitor and adjust to changing conditions
  • Have the “mindset” and self confidence necessary to achieve success
  • Possess "network-ability"-- the willingness and motivation to seek, engage, and create new networks and communities

Are these qualities of the learners you know? Of yourself?

Accordingly, web literacy can be defined as the technical, critical, analytical, personal and social skills users need to effectively locate, evaluate, and use online information. Here are four ways to think about a learner's capabilities.
  1. Their knowledge of, and skill with, digital tools and applications
  2. Their ability to think critically, and evaluate and analyze information sources
  3. Their social awareness and ability to represent themselves digitally
  4. Their habits and attitudes determined by their level of curiosity, imagination, adaptability, and perseverance

1.0 Conversation Starter (Anchor Lesson)

Share with students what being literate means to you. Before the web, reading to me was sitting quietly in the corner of my house curled up with my favorite book and a great cup of coffee. My definition of reading today has dramatically shifted. Reading is still about those solitary and extraordinary moments, but reading is also a social act that continues to change how I think, behave, and process information. The dynamic, visual, interactive and mobile web enable an entirely new reading experience -- social reading.

For example, during the 2008 Presidential election, web readers could watch the Inauguration live for the first time. They invited their friends from all over the world and had discussions with them while viewing and enjoying the "social experience" of information on the web -- all from different physical locations and time zones and while still enjoying that curl-up and great cup of coffee.

I have not given up "old reading" for "new reading" -- I have simply enriched and expanded my experiences as a reader. We still use pencils, right?

The following activities encourage learners to openly and actively talk about web literacy. They will also reflect on their habits, preferences, and ultimately the changes we make as readers and writers. As the tools and technologies shift, the notion of "literacy" evolves.

1.1 Literacy Redefined (Lesson One)

  • Collect definitions of literacy from a variety of resources—reference books, news articles, government reports. Online resources such as the Wikipedia definition of literacy can also be used. Arrange students in small groups, and ask each group to compare details on literacy from one (or more) of the resources to the class definition. Have groups present their findings to the whole class. At the end of the session, make any additions or changes to the class definition of literacy.

1.2 Compare and Contrast (Lesson Two)

  • Using the information that students have already gathered in this lesson, ask students to compose narratives of their most significant interactions with reading and writing. Have them compare those experiences with technology. During the discussion, ask students to revisit the class definition of literacy, adapting the definition as necessary.

1.3 Group vs Individual Definitions (Lesson Three)

  • Have students apply the class definition of literacy to their own literacy. In their journals, ask students to reflect on the class definition and their own inventories of texts. Encourage students to discuss realizations they had about their literacy abilities as the class worked on a shared definition. If desired, return students’ original definitions of literacy and ask them to reflect on how their ideas have changed since they first recorded them.

1.4 Personal Habitude Reflections (Lesson Four)

  • Ask students to reflect on their web habitudes. For each habitude listed above, ask them to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 5. If they rank themselves low in a particular habitude, ask them to write ideas for overcoming that weakness or research ideas on angelamaiers.com.

MODULE TWO: WEB BASICS - THE LANGUAGE OF THE WEB


There are many ways to navigate and use the Internet. But first, we need to understand how the web works, the different types of information available, and how to locate what we need. After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify what the internet is and how it is structured
  • Describe the various components of the Internet
  • Recognize different sources of information
  • Recognize and use appropriate language and labels identifying critical components of the web

2.1 What Do I need to Know About the Web? (Lesson One)

The World Wide Web, or WWW, consists of millions of web sites and web pages that can contain text, pictures, sounds, videos, links for downloading, moving graphics, and much much more.

Every time you click on a link on a web page, you are following a hyperlink. A hyperlink is a link you can click on or activate in order to go somewhere else.

Have students explore the following links to find more information about the history and scope of the web:

2.2 Let's Talk! Speaking the Language of the Web (Lesson Two)

Any specialized form of discourse has its own unique language and the web literacy is no exception. Even experienced web users are often bewildered by the seemingly interchangeable terminology used by readers, writers, and speakers in the field. The following "vocabulary quiz" will help you identify which words are familiar to students and concepts and ideas need farther explanation.

Before students engage in Internet research projects, both teachers and students need to become familiar with key Internet terminology. A host of web sites have outstanding glossaries of important vocabulary and lingo with which teachers should be familiar. Explore the following links to containing comprehensive definitions of important terminology:

  • I-SAFE America: Basic Internet Glossary: This site provides an extensive online glossary of basic Internet terms. At the end of the glossary is a link to general Internet safety awareness terminology. www.isafe.org/glossary.htm
  • NetSmartz: Internet Definitions: NetSmartz provides an even more extensive page of Internet terminology and terms that every teacher and parent should familiarize themselves with. www.netsmartz.org/PARENTS/home/definit.html
  • www4teachers: Technology Glossary: This online glossary of Internet terms is based on important words used in www4teachers feature stories. Users can submit suggestions or ask for help in defining a technical term. The glossary is also accessible in Spanish. www.4teachers.org/techalong/glossary/
  • NetLingo: The Internet Dictionary: This comprehensive online dictionary contains more than 3000 terms, definitions, and pieces of lingo associated with the Internet. Terms can be searched alphabetically, by category, or by keyword. www.netlingo.com/

2.3 Knowledge Rating Scale (Lesson Three, Part One)

The following graphic organizer can be used as an assessment for learning the language of the web. As you determine the key vocabulary words related to each module or the aspect of web literacy being introduced, ask students to "rate" their knowledge of the meaning of each word or concept.

The Adapted Knowledge Rating Scale features a column where students can write the meaning of the word after they encounter it and learn it. The definition should be written in the student’s own language. The Scale was adapted from the work of Blachowicz & Fisher. Students can work separately or in small groups marking using the Vocabulary Rating Scale to discuss their knowledge of the words below.

  • Select a list of important vocabulary words from the Glossary of Terms as you begin each new module or exercise.
  • Prepare a handout for each of your students that lists the vocabulary words followed by three columns labeled : Know It Well, Have Heard/Seen It, and No Clue.
  • Divide the class into mixed ability groups of three or four students to provide students with the opportunity to share their diverse background knowledge.
  • Have the students consider each word on the Knowledge Rating Scale and place and X in the appropriate column next to the word. If a student feels they are able to explain or define a word they should put an X in the "Know It Well" column. If the word sounds familiar but they do not know exactly what it is or how to describe it, they should mark the "Have Heard/Seen It" column. If the student is totally unfamiliar with the word they should mark the column "No Clue."

Example:
Term
Know It Well
Heard of/Seen it
No Clue
website
x


URL

x

domain


x
weblog


x
Internet
x


wiki


x
network

x

hyperlink
x


search
x


taxonomy


x

Extending the Activity: Web Jargon (Lesson Three, Part Two)

The web has literally created a new language giving a whole new meaning to words like: "surfing" "browse" and "window" as well as creating entirely new words like "Tweet" "blog" and "meme". The following sites are dedicated to exploring this new lingo.

  • The Acronym Database If you aren't exactly sure what FTP or SMTP or HTML stand for, this is the place to look.
  • On-line Dictionary of Computing An excellent resource for gaining a conceptual grasp of computing concepts.
  • Jargon Watch Compiled monthly from translated jargon in Wired magazine, this list will keep you in the know about the latest internet "catch phrases."
  • NetLingo Includes up-to-date, Web 2.0 terms

2.4 Getting to Know the Web (Lesson Four)

The World Wide Web is a REALLY big place. But just in case students do not realize HOW big, a picture is worth a thousand words or in this case: 210 billion emails, 3 million Flickr images, 43 million gigabytes (on phones) sent on an average day really means. It is so big it hurts (from Online Education.Net)

social-media-count_full.jpg
social-media-count_full.jpg

social-media-count_full.jpg

social-media-count_full.jpg

But just how big is big?

Microsoft's Bing team puts the amount of web pages at "over one trillion". And Google has already indexed more than one trillion discrete web addresses. That means there are more addresses than there are people on Earth. The current global population stands at more than 6.7 billion.

Here's a fun translation: If you spent just one minute reading every website in existence, you’d be kept busy for 31,000 years. Without any sleep. Bing was more generous with its estimate for those who take more time to read saying this: "An average person would need six hundred thousand decades of nonstop reading to read through the information."

Kids love stats like this, for even more be sure to check out these related sites:

"How Big is the Internet?"
Google: We Knew the Web Was Big

2.5 What's on/in the Web? (Lesson Five)

When we talk about the web with students they often think facts and information. The web is more than just a library within a screen. Today, search means looking for images, news, finance, books, local, and geographical information as well as information search. These media types are becoming more and more integral in our core universal search, but each presents its own challenges, innovations, and triumphs. Helping students recognize key identifying features of web content will enable them to sift and sort strategically and efficiently through the mass if information before them.

Many web sites of the past offer information created by one or more people and put on a static web page. The "owner" can change the information, but the "visitor" or "reader" cannot. However, new web technologies have made it possible to easily create interactive pages. Interactive pages allow you to add or change content on a web page and see the changes instantly. Two popular types of interactive pages are blogs and wikis.

There are over 30 types of sites possible (Wikipedia: Types of Sites), and even more possibilities on the way with the growth of widgets and the birth of mobile web applications. Some of the most popular in use today are:

  • Blog Sites: An RSS enabled site, where the site author creates time-stamped entries with each entry being archived by date and category
  • Company Brochure Sites: Normally an space used as an extension for a company's corporate information, brand awareness, or updates
  • E-Commerce Sites: Designed for the use of shopping for services or goods, storing in an online shopping cart, and making purchases
  • Forums: Also known as Message Boards, using threaded discussions (content published by individual users) to form community
  • Social Networking: A site that allows members to communicate in real-time, create their own profile, and share information in conversational manner
  • Wikis: A collaborative site, allowing for multiple users to create and modify content while storing revision history

With the popularity of open-source development, widgets and mobile applications are making it possible for new types of sites, connections, and portability to become device and geographically ubiquitous.

MODULE THREE: WEB NAVIGATION - READING THE WEB


Most web page journeys start with search and fizzle from there. Users should develop the skill of not only reading the search results, but also knowing how to use the various components. This section will help learners:
  • understand which search results are relevant
  • determine which web pages are most likely to contain the information they are seeking

3.1 Decoding Your Search (Lesson One)

The diagram below points out four features that are important to understanding the search results page:

diagram.jpg
diagram.jpg

diagram.jpg


  1. The title: The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage.
  2. The snippet: A description of or an excerpt from the webpage.
  3. The URL: The web page's address.
  4. Cached link: A link to an earlier version of this page. Click here if the page you wanted isn't available.

All these features are important in determining whether the page is what you need. The title is what the author of the page designated as the best short description of the page.

(Source: Google Support)

3.2 THE URL (Lesson Two)

The website URL and domain name can give important clues and contexts about the content of the site. The Uniform Resource Locator, or URL for short, is the the global address of the documents, resources, and content on the Web.

A URL is made up of several parts. Each part of the web address has a special meaning. We can break down each portion of the web address both contextually and graphically.

http://www.oregonzoo.org/Cards/Elephants/elephant_exhibit.htm

Presentation1-1.jpg
Presentation1-1.jpg
Presentation1-1.jpg

PROTOCOL
The first element in any URL is the Protocol. Basically, this tells your browser that it will be loading a web page or other document that exists on the web.. Web browsers can use other protocols to access other kinds of information on the Internet. Other types of protocols include File Transfer Protocol (ftp) and most email transfers (SMTP, IMAP, POP3, etc)

SERVER DOMAIN NAME (Location.ServerName.DomainType)
The second element to every URL is the server domain name, which is like the street address of the web server. Basically, the domain name tells the browser where it can find the web page in question, and in theory, the domain name reads similar to a street address, from most specific to most general. In the above example, the "domain" name consists of three parts: "www", "oregonzoo", and "org". The location (most often "www", though sometimes a sub-domain such as "blogs" as in http://blogs.sandiegozoo.com) precedes the server name (most often the name of the company or organization), which is then followed top-level domain type or country code.

Additional Resources:
See a full list of domain types at Top Level Domains
See the full list of country codes at NetLingo

FILE PATH (Folder/Sub-Folder)
The third element included in a URL is the file path. This element tells the browser where on the server to look for the requested web page. In the example above, the file path specifies "Cards", so the web browser will look on the server for a folder called "Cards." File paths can include nested or sub-folders as well. In our example, consider the sub-folder "Elephants." Our file path specifies multiple layers of folders. First, the browser will look for a folder called "Cards." Assuming it finds that folder, it will look for a folder called "Elephants" within the "Cards" folder. The path is anything that appears after the "/" after the hostname, but before a possible "?".

FILE NAME
The final element to a URL is the actual file name of the web page in question. In the example above, the file name of the web page we are looking for is "elephant_exhibit.htm". Note that most web pages will end in ".htm" or ".html", though ".asp" and ".php" continue to grow in popular buildout of web pages and sites.

To sum up how URL's work, let’s take another look at our sample URL: http://www.oregonzoo.org/Cards/Elephants/elephant_exhibit.htm. The protocol tells the browser that it should look for a web page. The domain name tells the browser that it should look for a web server at an organization Oregon Zoo. The file path tells the browser to look for a folder called "Cards," and then within that, a sub-folder called "Elephants" on the web server. The file name tells the browser which page in the "Elephants" folder it should copy and display for the user. That's all clear now, right? Here's an illustration to help.

###

Lesson Four : Strategies for Reading the Web

Students will
explore and expand their definitions of texts.
identify different kinds of texts, ranging from print to visual to audio texts.
compile a list of strategies and processes needed to read and write these texts.

Activity: What is "Text"

The texts that students interact with have rapidly expanded from the days when the only definition of a text was a print-based book or magazine. While students interact with a range of print, visual, and sound texts, they do not always recognize that these many documents are texts. By creating an inventory of personal texts, students begin to consciously recognize the many literacy demands in contemporary society. With this start, they create a working definition of literacy that they refine and explore as they continue their investigation of the texts that they interact with at home, at school, and in other settings.

Students who interact with this wide range of texts using ever-expanding strategies for making meaning. The purpose of this activity is to collect, analize, and discuss the key strategies and differences between digital and non-digital texts. I start with the following question:

How important (or unimportant) it is to be able to interact with different kinds of texts? Can you describe specific situations where you relied on more than one way of interacting with a text? Why were your ways of interacting with the text useful?

Explain that you will be asking students to brainstorm a list of items that combine different ways of expressing ideas.
Ask students (individually or in small groups) to spend three to five minutes brainstorming other items that combine different ways of expressing ideas. The “ways” can be audio, video, alphanumeric, symbolic, images, and so forth.
Label this list as “Texts.” Be sure that students are defining the word text in this use as more than just print-based artifacts. Refer to the list items as audio texts, video texts, and so forth to reinforce the use of the label.
Based on the list of texts that students have brainstormed, ask the class to discuss the skills that are necessary to interact with them. To streamline the discussion, ask students to brainstorm verbs that describe such interactions (e.g., analyze, view, listen).
Next, ask students to brainstorm verbs that describe how the various items have been created (e.g., write, compose, draw, design).
Briefly review the three lists—the list of items, the verbs for interacting with them, and the verbs for creating them. Make any additions or revisions.
Keeping in mind the lists that they have brainstormed, ask each student to answer the following prompt on a sheet of paper to be handed in: What is literacy in today's world?
After students have had time to complete their answers, collect the responses for use during the next class session.

Part Two:

Begin the session by asking students, individually or in small groups, to share items from their inventories, which they compiled for homework.
As students talk about these texts, ask them to identify specific ways that they interacted with individual texts. For instance, a student discussing a video game might identify reviewing the visual layout of the game on the screen, analyzing the graphic images that illustrate the game, listening to the sound effects that accompany various actions in the game, and skimming the text that appears on the screen.
Pass out the compiled list of definitions composed by students during the previous session.
In small groups, ask students to read through the list, discussing which elements they feel are most important in a concise definition of literacy, especially in light of the many ways of interacting with texts that they have discovered as they worked on their inventories.
Ask students to take notes on their papers as they discuss, because they will compose a group definition of literacy by the end of the session.
Collect groups’ refined definitions for analysis during the next session.
Explain that during the next session, students will explore whether the collected definitions of literacy fit the ways that they interact with some specific texts.
For homework, ask students to complete a journal entry reflecting on the conversations about text, literacy, and learning in the digital age
###

MODULE FOUR: WEB SEARCHING - FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR


The Internet is a never-ending maze of web sites, search engines, directories, research, and online experts that can make even the most accomplished Internet surfer overwhelmed at times. Because there is such a huge amount of information, it is often difficult for teachers to know exactly where to begin looking for online resources to use with their students. After completing this module, learners will able to:
  • Identify effective strategies for identifying search terms
  • Turn a topic into a basic search statement
  • Students will be able to plan a search strategy using subject databases including basic broadening and narrowing techniques, such as: quotation marks, identifying keyword terms, using AND and OR, etc.

4.1 How Many Results? (Lesson One)

The ability to search for information online is one of the most basic of the many web literacy skills. How does a user sift through billions of pages of information in order to find the gems? The phrase "search strategy" means different things to different people. When we hear 'Wow, I got 1,000,000 results!' we know our students need us because in this case, a bigger number is not better. When it comes to searching, and as students will soon discover, the true challenge is to get fewer, more targeted results. To introduce this idea, let's make a game out of the challenge. It is fun and becomes a great way to teach search strategies and techniques in an authentic context.

Try this: Type the word World War 2 into your favorite search engine. Did you get something like this?

world_war_2_-_Google_Search.jpg
world_war_2_-_Google_Search.jpg


WOW- 158,000,000 (Not good -- not good at all!)

Watch what happens when we adjust our search just a bit! Try the search using quotation marks around the words. What happened when you used "World War 2" now in quotes?

_world_war_2__-_Google_Search-2.jpg
_world_war_2__-_Google_Search-2.jpg


Still not great, but we knocked off a potential of having to analyze and evaluate an extra ....sites! Down to 3,200,000.

Let's make it even better by:
  • Using better key words. Every word matters and will be used in the search...choose carefully!
  • Selecting the type of information - i.e. images, scholarly research, videos, etc.

Think of this process like going to the grocery store. Imagine if I told you to go buy me some candy! You may be there for a long time! Hundreds of dollars and millions of calories later, you find out that I really wanted a hard candy, more specifically cherry flavored hard candy, even more specifically the cherry flavored hard candy individually wrapped sold in the bags stored in the bulk candy aisle not the the single rolls up front near the cash register. If I only would have told you WHAT to search for, think of how easy AND successful your find would be.

4.2 Think FIND not SEARCH (Lesson Two)

Does this sound familiar? You peck away on the internet for hours, jumping from one topic to another, following leads that end up as dead ends, and ultimately changing your topic time after time because you can't find that right thing. It is important to talk with students about these experiences. I have found that most students (big and small) think this is "normal" and unavoidable. They rely on luck and laziness (picking any old thing as time flies by) because they do not realize there is another way.

It is important to find out:
  • How they "search" for information
  • What strategies, if any, are being employed?
  • How do they measure success?
  • What works? What is frustrating to them?
  • Where do they go for help, when they are unsuccessful?

As the amount of structured data and unstructured content available on the web keeps growing, learners will continue to be faced with a complex and overwhelming information streams. The right information gets harder and harder to find. In fact, recent studies indicate that knowledge workers spend between 8-12 hours a week searching for the right and relevant information. The time spent searching and retrieving information is ultimately measured by the precision of answers provided. Save your students time and frustration by helping them select the right tools and strategies needed for maximum efficiency and success in FINDING what they want on the web.

Shifting from "SEARCH" to "FIND" is dependent on two fundamental components:
  1. The precision of the question asked (better key words, narrow the information type)
  2. The efficiency of getting to the answer (fewer search attempts and clicks)

The need to find definitive, precise answers in effective and efficient ways differentiates the web literate from the general web user. If you are engaging in any research initiative, you need to ensure that students are equipped to do both searching and finding. It is tempting to steer students toward a preselected list of sites, just to avoid the hassle of searching, but optimal precision and efficiency require skills that take time and practice to achieve.

Since no single search engine has indexed every site on the Web, and different search engines yield different results, it is important for teachers and students to realize that they are only searching the sites contained in that particular search engine's database. For this reason,we should get in the habit of performing the same search using two or more search engines. This will enable us to be as thorough and accurate in our research as possible.

A more complete list of search engines can be found at Wikipedia's List of Search Engines page.

MODULE FIVE: WEB INTERACTING - SAVING AND SHARING ON THE WEB


We hear a lot about the stages of web use. In Web 1.0, content providers delivered. In Web 2.0, everyone became a content producer. As Web 3.0 begins, the sharing and saving, filtering and annotating of content came into focus. By late 2009, Facebook and Twitter each surpassed email as the most popular way Internet users shared content electronically. In addition, social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Google Reader continued to grow in popularity.

The practice of saving information as bookmarks and clipmarks has always been a key to our own individual information consumption, but the practice of sharing what we find -- then keeping found things found -- increases the intelligence factor exponentially and across borders and disciplines. Folksonomy (Vander Wal 2007, D. Pink 2005), and more specifically, the use of tagging (W.T. Fu 2009), or "tagsonomy" is a key to communication and information searching, finding, and sharing across the web.

Skimming, Scanning, Saving, and Sharing

In this time of multi-media, mega-message intake, anyone who reads online develops a skim-and-scan method of reading to help them determine importance and relevance. Many of the online tools and social sites make keeping found things found in two ways: 1) Favorite or Star and 2) Tags. The favoriting within a site such as Flickr or YouTube ensures you can always return to find a particular piece of content, but also return so that proper attribution can be given if that content is shared.

Along with search capabilities, each social networking and content-sharing site has their own form of keeping found things found and all use a tag system so users can label content they produce and/or find. When searching for relevant content, think of tags as the labels or keywords. Then, once relevant content is found, save it using the site's favoriting system which can usually be found on every page of the site -- usually the click of a button or star. When the time comes to use the content, refer back to your favorites section of the site, and share the content (and make sure to give proper attribution).

Giving Proper Citation and Attribution

The All Rights Reserved copyright is automatically granted to the producer of any type of content. This copyright means the producer must grant permission before anyone else can share or use that piece of content. Creative Commons allows for the producers of content to grant the permission (and types of permissions) right up front - which paves the way for a quicker and wider pace of data and information sharing. In print versions, the URL where the content should be printed out fully, while in online publishing, either the full URL or a Hyperlink which contextually provides the original producer's name and the site where found is acceptable. For more information on Creative Commons Licensing, visit www.CreativeCommons.org.

Remixes and Mashups: Defining Plagarism

Plagiarism, based on the definitions found in most dictionaries, comes down to information theft -- or using something created by another and calling it one's own original work. The popularity of remixing or mashing-up content may, at times, be a violation of copyright (check for Creative Commons permissions), but is not necessarily plagiarist. In his book, Remix, Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig (also the a co-founding board member of Creative Commons) writes about how past cultures used forms of remixing and how the age and economy of sharing is now upon us. A big part of this is how creativity is enhanced by the remixing and mashing up of content to offer different perspectives -- attributing the original creator while spreading ideas (both the remixed and the original) to various audience otherwise unlikely to be aware of the original.

5.1 Remix, Mashup, Attribute (Lesson One)

  • Have students create an account on a social networking or content sharing site.
  • Students can either remix multiple pieces or mashup from different forms of content
  • As students present the new product, make sure they've given proper attributions (and followed the correct CC license)

As an additional feature of this lesson, let the students grade each others work.

Teachers, who are infusing these kinds of literacy practices into their lessons, are producing learners who are truly web literate. They are the new heroes who are giving our precious generation of children the tools to live and prosper in our new world of fierce global competition.

MODULE SIX: DIVING DEEP WITH YOLINK


Thus far, we've covered the reasons, the basics, the strategies, the practices, and the sharing necessary to succeed while surfing and searching the World Wide Web. There's a tool that helps in the finding process -- and then helps us keep found things found. That tool is yolink. In this module, students will be able to:
  • use the yolink tool to search an initial query
  • search large documents and deep web sites
  • keep found things found
  • share information with others

From yolink.com Help section

Searching the internet with yolink is easy. Simply open the yolink sidebar (click
external image Yo.gif
external image Yo.gif
from your browser's toolbar or press Ctrl+Y (Shift+Command+Y for Mac users)), perform a search directly from your search engine of choice (either Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL or Ask), and then click the
external image Go.gif
external image Go.gif
button from the yolink sidebar. Note that you can also click the
external image findyo.gif
external image findyo.gif
button (for Google, Bing, or Ask) or the
external image find.gif
external image find.gif
button (for Yahoo or AOL) that displays to the right of your search engine's search box after performing the initial search.

This instantly lists and separates all results relevant to your keywords into tidy little informational passages. Groups of passages (passage A, B, C, and so on) relevant to a single web page are separated into boxes within the list. Within these passages, all of your keywords will be highlighted, with a different color used for each individual keyword. By default the yolink Sidebar is located on the left side of your browser, with the right side of your browser containing the search engine results. However, Firefox users can use the Sidebar Display option from the yolink drop-down menu (
external image Yo.gif
external image Yo.gif
) to switch the Sidebar to the right side of your browser.


external image einstein.gif
external image einstein.gif


TIP - Use any of these features to resize the width of the yolink Sidebar to a desired size:
  • Use the
    external image ResizeLeft.gif
    external image ResizeLeft.gif
    and
    external image ResizeRight.gif
    external image ResizeRight.gif
    icons to contract or expand the width of the yolink Sidebar to a desired size.
  • Drag the border between the browser and the yolink Sidebar to a desired size.
  • Click the
    external image Yo.gif
    external image Yo.gif
    button to close the yolink Sidebar.

In addition to being able to search the initial search engine results, a powerful feature of yolink allows you to search individual web pages. Use this feature to find information buried within large documents such as online reference manuals, text books, specifications and contracts. For example, when searching for keywords in a very large web page or online document, there is no need to sift through the matching results one-by-one. yolink will display all of your matching keywords in context in a single handy list of results in the yolink Sidebar.
As an added benefit, you can choose to search both a web page or its embedded links. No longer will you need to manually open and examine individual links. For example, you are searching Craigslist for a second-hand mountain bike using "mountain bike" as your search term. Dozens of ads for mountains bikes are found. But you need to find one locally in "San Diego" and many sellers live too far away for you to drive. With yolink, you don't have to open and scan through each of those ads to find out where the seller is located. Simply enter San Diego in the yolink search box, select Links from the Scan options drop-down menu and click
external image Go.gif
external image Go.gif
to find and display any text in any of the ads that contain the words San Diego.
You can also change or modify your search keywords at any time to find additional results of interest within the web page or links.
The available options for searching web pages are listed below. To use any one of these options, select the option from the Scan options drop-down menu.
Links
Selecting this option searches the links in the page currently open in the browser.
Text
Selecting this option searches the information in the page currently open in the browser.
Highlighted Links
Selecting this option searches the links in any manually highlighted selection of text and links in the page currently open in the browser. For example, drag your cursor to select and highlight any or all of the text and/or links on a web page. The example below illustrates selecting a group of links from the wikipedia page for Yellowstone National Park.

external image yellowstonelinks.gif
external image yellowstonelinks.gif


Then select the Highlighted Links option and click
external image Go.gif
external image Go.gif
. Only the highlighted links will be searched. In our example, we entered Old Faithful in the yolink search box. Notice how only the links that contain references to Old Faithful are returned.

external image yellowstoneresults.gif
external image yellowstoneresults.gif

Current Result(s)
Selecting this option searches the information and links in the current results displayed in the yolink Sidebar for any additional keywords you enter in the yolink Search Box.

By default, yolink returns the results that are the Best Match for your keywords. However, several convenient and easy-to-use options are available for refining your search terms.

Search Options
Select any of the following search options from the Search Options drop-down menu.

Best keyword match
Returns results containing an optimal number of the keywords in your search.

Match all keywords
Returns results containing all of the keywords in your search.

Match exact phrase
Returns results containing the exact phrase used in your search (the same words in the same order).

Match any keyword
Returns results containing at least one or more of the keywords in your search.

To enhance your overall search experience, we have provided some great features that will allow you to quickly locate and view your results in context from their source web site.
  • Click any link in the browser to open the web page inside the browser.
  • Click the title of any set of results in the yolink Sidebar to open the web page inside the browser.
  • Click any result passage in the yolink Sidebar to open the web page containing that passage in the browser with the selected passage outlined.
  • If the web page has already been opened in the browser, hover your mouse over any result passage in the yolink Sidebar to jump to and outline the selected passage.

external image big-bang.gif
external image big-bang.gif

You can save your yolink results for future use to Google Docstm (a Google Docs account is required). Additionally, you can share them via email or post them to a variety of popular blogs, research and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, EasyBib and so on.
  • To save your results to Google Docs, simply click the Google Docs icon (
    external image saveicon.gif
    external image saveicon.gif
    ) from the top of the set of results to open the Google Docs screen.
NOTE - The first time you attempt to save links you will be prompted to create a Google Docs account and then to grant yolink access to that account. Once this has been done, you will need to click the Google Docs icon (
external image saveicon.gif
external image saveicon.gif
) again to open the Google Docs screen. Also note that if you subsequently select the Logout from Google Docs option from the yolink drop-down menu (
external image Yo.gif
external image Yo.gif
), yolink's access to Google Docs is temporarily revoked (until the next time you explicitly grant access).
Links can be saved as new Google documents or appended to an existing Google document of your choice. They can be saved in either a Document or Spreadsheet format.

external image save.gif
external image save.gif

  • To share your results via email or post them to a variety of popular blogs, research and social networking sites, click the Share icon (
    external image shareicon.gif
    external image shareicon.gif
    ) from the top of the set of results to open the Share yolink screen. Click the appropriate icon to share your results.

external image share.gif
external image share.gif

For Windows 2003, XP Users:
  1. From the Windows Start Menu, open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Select TigerLogic yolink-Internet Explorer from the list of currently installed programs, then click Remove.
For Windows Vista Users:
  1. From the Windows Start Menu, open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Programs and Features.
  3. Select TigerLogic yolink-Internet Explorer from the list of currently installed programs, then click Uninstall.

For All Firefox Installations:
  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Select Add-ons from the Tools menu.
  3. Select TigerLogic yolink from the list of Add-ons, then click Uninstall.
  4. Click Restart Firefox.
For Google Chrome Users:
  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Select Extensions from the Tools menu (Wrench Icon).
  3. Select TigerLogic yolink from the list of Extensions, then click Uninstall.

Google, Google Docs, and Google Chrome are registered trademarks of Google, Inc.