Teachers Teaching Teachers #66 - August 8, 2007

Lee Baber and Susan Ettenheim are joined by Sylvia Norton of MARVEL (Maine), Kate Storms of NOVEL (New York), Karen Minton and Courtney McGough of GALILEO (Georgia) to discuss how we can incorporate the rich resources of state funded databases into our blogging. We were so pleased that Joyce Valenza could also join us. Listen as we tackle some tough issues. Sylvia pointed out that the way to give our teens voice is to give them access to high quality information. This way they expand their knowledge and they become able to do the decision making that we want them to do. How does information become knowledge and isn't this what information literacy is really all about? At one point late in the podcast, Karen gives a wonderful example of a student project and then there is complete silence. The whole call crashed. Join us next week as we continue to crash calls and push the limits.

Please add your experiences with databases in your state's box or add a box for your state and include your experiences, questions and stories! As always, we try to keep it real, so please tell real stories about when you and your students found what you needed or didn't and what the challenges were - where did you look? - who helped you? - what did you need?
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What we were thinking about as we started this conversation:
Blog postings become richer and our very thinking becomes richer when we can identify our own topics of interest and include other voices.

Sometimes we call these snippets, sometimes research. Students tell us that learning how to include snippets in their blog posts makes them question their own stands on issues, supports and validates a stand on an issue, makes them realize that other people have the same interest or concern and adds interesting other perspectives that they had never considered to their thinking.

Sometimes we blog to find our voice and the responses don't matter.

Sometimes when we blog, we are looking for feedback and response. Many students find that including snippets can build a more provocative post which will then get more responses. If it gets too long and wandering, responses dwindle. How do you include snippets in a provocative interesting way that connects to what you are trying to say to get maximum notice and response.

We have been discussing RSS feeds as a way of following all these different kinds of information and keeping up with it.

We are discussing the differences between the information found on websites, Google News, Wikipedia, blogs and podcasts. Why do we want more?

What are these state funded databases? Why were they created? Who pays for them? Why? Who decides what's in them? When can you use them? How do you find them?

Why do we need them?

Why are they so different looking than most websites? How do you know what's good and what's not? What's true (reliable?)  and what's not?

Why is it so hard to find good results and why is worth the struggle when it seems so much easier to find information about a topic by just searching Google?

How do you find what you want using these databases?

Our blogs have public RSS feeds attached to them so we have to be very careful about the legality of using text and images and audio. What are the rules for citing snippets from these databases? How do you do it?
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