- Grade level: Junior High, Middle School
- Subject Area: Language Arts
Meet the Teacher
Gerry Del Monico is a resource room teacher at McManus Middle School [http://linden.k12.nj.us] in Linden, NJ. He and his classes often use CU-SeeMe to conduct teleconferences with classes in other parts of the country and world. This unit is based on activities that Gerry and his class have done.
(To learn more about Gerry and his work, take a look at his Teacher Case in Individualizing.)
In this unit, students use Internet search engines to collect information about the topic, "Violence in the Media and How It Affects Teenagers." Students format the information they collect into survey questions that they invite classes in other schools to answer. Students invite classes that respond to the survey to participate in a CU-SeeMe video teleconference on the survey topic.
- Use Internet search engines such as Lycos and Infoseek to collect information.
- Compile a list of survey questions on the topic of media violence and its effect on teenagers.
- Administer the survey to family, friends, classmates, and students in other schools.
- Predict survey outcomes.
- Use CU-SeeMe to coordinate a video teleconference with schools in different time zones.
Materials & Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: Connectix QuickCam camera; printer.
- Special software requirements: CU-SeeMe software downloaded from Cornell University.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Researching and Compiling Survey Information. Students use Internet search engines to research the survey topic "Media Violence and How It Affects Teenagers." Students work in groups to compile their information into survey questions, noting recurring facts or themes that might be relevant.
- Lesson Two: Administering the Survey. Students administer the survey to family, friends, and students in remote locations.
- Lesson Three: Conducting a Video Teleconference. Students organize a video teleconference over CU-SeeMe to discuss the results of the survey with participants.
Relation to Standards
We have drawn on the evolving standards for K-12 language arts from the National Council of English Teachers (NCET). We feel that these standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus writing work in their classrooms.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students take turns working in groups using the computer with Internet access.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them on a disk. Now you can transfer the files you saved on a disk to the other non-Internet computers. Installing copies of your Web browser on all non-Internet computers will allow you to view the pages you saved to a disk. This will not allow students to explore hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with the Web browser.