Computer Literacy Program – Class 9 – World Wide Web
|Ryan will do more thorough posts about the curriculum, the activities, and the effectiveness of the program when all the classes are complete on ideonexus.com. These are just my own personal recaps and memories.|
A great big shout out to my boss and co-workers who let me miss a team dinner in Virginia Beach so I could attend this class!
The ninth Computer Literacy class was on “The World Wide Web” and it turned out to be my favorite of all twelve sessions.
While we were there, Ryan spoke on the concept of “tagging”. It didn’t look like Ryan’s tags of “photosynth”, “cloudcomputing” and “webdesign” connected all that well with the kids, so we pulled up another example– my sister’s Christmas Wishlist! Anytime she sees something she wants, she simply bookmarks it to delicious and tags it as “wishlist”. The ability to catalog all the different things you covet– that related better with the kids!
Next up, Ryan took everyone through a number of tools in the Google arsenal. The obvious starting point was searching and then we looked at Google Translate. The kids seemed to have fun with this, especially when they realized if you translate to English, you can play the pronunciation.
One kid got Ryan’s attention and with a mischievous grin had Google Translate make an announcement:
“Ryan is a punk.”
Then we took at a look at Google Maps. They had a great time with this activity as well, particularly with the Street View.
Ryan talked briefly about Yahoo and then we moved over to Flickr to search for images. Apparently my PhotoStream and I were popular targets.
“Oh my gawd, this girl looks CRAZY!” one boy said. I took a look over his shoulder and I found he was looking at a picture of me from kindergarten.
Vicky in Kindergarten (Photo from ClintJCL)
Immediately afterwards I heard a girl exclaim in the back, “WHAT…did…you…DO…Thanksgiving?!?” I ran over to her and discovered that I no longer had a monopoly on sibling cameos in class.
Next we all went to Wikipedia and pulled up the entry on Barack Obama. Ryan demonstrated how to access historic versions of the article and how to view all the discussions/debates that go on behind the scenes.
After Wikipedia, Ryan talked about all the public domain books on Project Gutenberg, online dictionaries and online thesauruses.
The grand finale of the class was an Internet Scavenger Hunt! The class was split into two teams and we gave them 20 minutes to find the following items:
- A blogpost by Vicky Sawyer TGAW Posted on 01/23/2009 (15 pts)
- A creative commons photo of a giraffe (10 pts).
- The revision made to the wikipedia entry on Richard Stallman on Sep 25, 2009 at 05:12 (15 pts).
- The “Everyone’s Bookmarks” page from delicious.com for the “Ubuntu Home Page | Ubuntu” link (20 pts).
- The definition of “defenestration” from dictionary.com (10 pts).
- The entry for “http://www.waygate.com” for archive.org’s waybackmachine on January 24, 2002 (20 pts).
- Entry at Project Gutenberg for Abrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary” (15 pts).
- The entry “One Minute of Science Per Five Hours of Cable News” from slashdot.org (15 pts).
- The Blue Ball Machine with the Classic GIF from You’re The Man Now Dog Dot Com (15 pts).
- The “All Your Base Are Belong to Us” video by user zuchini at YouTube (10 pts).
The hardest part of this activity was, by far, picking teams. Originally, we tried let the kids pick their own teams. That didn’t quite work out. “Fiasco” might be a good term. Ryan ended up counting down the line of participants, “1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2” and that’s how teams were chosen (and probably will be in the future).
There are a number of moments during the scavenger hunt that made me proud. Our second youngest pupil kept asking for my help.
“I can’t help you,” I told him, “but you have very knowledgeable team members who can.”
Again he asked for my help and again I declined.
The next time he spoke was to announce, “I found it!” He was the very first person in the room to find the Blue Ball Machine and he did it all by himself.
For the most part I stayed neutral between the teams, but I did assist one competitor. I lent him my glasses so he could see the screen.
Just like the class on the Internet, I got to reminiscence. In high school, it was Brian Nenninger who taught me the word “defenestration”. Nearly twenty years later, I got to watch the definition be introduced to new minds. I had similar happy memories watching the kids discover All Your Base Are Belong To Us, though I don’t think they found the song as catchy as I do.
Everyone did well in the activity, but one team had a couple of setbacks. They found a picture of a giraffe, but it wasn’t licensed Creative Commons. They found the Wikipedia entry on Richard Stallman, but didn’t pull up the historic version. That was enough leeway to give the other team the win.
It was then I realized why we had such trouble picking teams. One young man on the winning team single-handedly found six items. Everyone wanted to be on HIS team and it wasn’t about popularity.
It was about knowledge.