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Finding Information in 2010

April 21, 2010

There are about six students who are now independently finding information they need (mainly in the form of pictures) via the internet.  These are students who are not yet reading and writing – some children who are still learning to form the letters in their names.  What seems truly amazing about this generation in regards to technology is the power they have to find information quickly and use technological resources, such as the internet, independently and with ease.  These students, in a matter of days, discovered this new tool, learned to use it to get what they want, and did so without yet reading and writing proficiently.

Follow this link to the video of them using the internet.

One student in the class, Zeid, has an obsession with pumas.  Zeid likes to be called “Puma X,” signs-in as “Puma X,” acts like a puma on the playground, and draws pumas.  Several weeks ago, he began asking me for pictures of pumas, and we sat at the computer together while I did a quick google search.

Students with the picture of a castle they found from a google search and blocks, their chosen medium.

Last week, I saw Zeid sitting at the computer and watched without interfering.  Zeid was again looking for pumas, and found what he was looking for almost independently.  He needed a little help in the end, but since then, has learned to do this without help from an adult.

A few days ago, I looked over to find Zeid with a group of students, a book called “Castles,” and some controversy over where the ‘C’ was on the keyboard.  Several minutes later, they had in front of them the information they needed, mainly a slew of pictures, to take back to the blocks where they were building a castle.

There are so many concepts that make this experience rich, from students teaching each other new skills, to using inventive spelling and print awareness, to successfully gathering information for other projects, but the most remarkable aspect of this activity is the technological awareness that children have at such a young age.

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