Web Seach Strategies for Educators
or, Working the Total Web
as of April 15, 1997, 12:00 noon!
The World Wide Web has grown dynamically these past few years. Everyone says it offers wonderful resources and opportunities for educators. But how do you tap into these opportunities? How do you utilize these resources? How do you even find what's out there without being overwhelmed? These pages will attempt to provide some tips and strategies for using the Web in education.
You may also want to check the K.I.D.S. site at InterNIC: kids from four schools selecting and annotating their favorite web sites. They have also developed a Site Selection Criteria list that is worth a look.
In keeping with the never-stand-still spirit of the web, a K-12 spin off of NET-HAPPENINGS has just been announced. It's name is k12net-hap. Subscribe by sending e-mail to:
No message is needed. Just use as the subject line of the message:
One of the best ways to stay informed about new events and sites on the web is by joining a discussion group. There are discussion groups on a variety of topics related to education. Generally, you subscribe to a group by sending an e-mail message to that groups' subscription program. Once subscribed you can then send and receive messages from the group. How do you find out the groups' names and subscription information? On the web, of course. Here are some lists of lists:
In addition to the Web Guides mentioned above, a number of services are involved in indexing web sites. Once indexed, the site is visible to search engines. You can use these search engines to find information at the sites. Also, many people have collected their own topic-based web lists. Finding a dependable source like this can save you hours of searching.
Some of the global search engines are:
AltaVista, a service from Digital Equipment Corp. and one of the largest; Excite, which allows you to search by keyword or concept from a global list or reviewed list; WebCrawler, which has also indexed many sites; and, Starting Point, which searches a collection of other search engines all at once.
Others can be found at Netscape's home site by clicking on the "Net Search" button in your Netscape browser or by pointing your browser to: http://www.netscape.com/home/internet-search.html.
Vermont educators are alive and well on the web. Some of the places to visit are:
Connecting with people and finding great resources are two important pieces of the web triangle. The third is the opportunity it provides for creating your own web space. There are many ways to use it: create a page for your class where you provide links to specific web resources; pages for homework assignments, readings, class notes, and event announcements; let your students be creative and publish their own web projects; if information is being created and distributed in paper it might as well be done on the web.
You do not need to actually be connected to the web to create and use web pages. Your pages can be created and viewed on your stand-alone PC. These pages will not be published and available to the rest of the world, but they can be a good starting point to learning how to create for the web.
To publish to the web so that you, your students, parents, community members and the world at large can see your pages, you will need a computer connected to the Internet either through a network or through a modem, and space on a web server. This server can be available through your Internet Provider or you may wish to consider getting an account with VETC. The Vermont Educational Telecommunications Consortium makes server space available to Vermont schools for their web pages. It also has a grant program that supports summer institutes where teachers can learn to use Internet technology, including creating web sites, for their schools. For a look at last summer's institute, see VETC Summer Institutes 1996. Information about this summer's programs, as well as a revamped VETC web site, will be available soon. (For a sneak preview of the work in progress see VETC DRAFT WEB SITE.)
Also available at VETC is a tutorial for creating web pages. This is but one of many such tutorials across the web. Many new tools are being developed to make web page creation easier. If you want to take the plunge now is the time!