I love that Margaret Simon has started a Sunday Link Up for posts about digital literacy at her blog to challenge us to share our technology journeys.
We are coming to the end of our fear/courage unit in fifth grade. One of the ways we wrap it up is through researching an online infographic, video, or article around the theme topics. Once the students find something, they read it, learn it, and understand it. Then, it's their job to summarize, explain, and connect to it in order to present it to a small group.
I start them researching by first going over places to look, such as Wonderopolis and TED Talks, and we also experiment with search words and phrases to get the best results. They each get self-evaluation forms on which they briefly summarize and explain their findings, and then they have to write a response. On the bottom of the form is the rubric for the actual presentation.
On the day of the presentations, they each grab a ChromeBook, pull up their online findings, and present to their tables. By the way, I have found this is a great way to have students present without devoting days to presentations. I just can't afford the time anymore to listen to each student's presentation as a whole class. I find the listeners are much more engaged, too, when presenting is done in a small group and being responsible to self and peer evaluate. The listeners each get a peer evaluation rubric on which they, too, have to summarize the information presented, explain it in their own words, and respond. They also have a rubric at the bottom of the page that includes eye contact, appropriate voice volume, clarity, etc.
It is so fun on presentation day to visit each group to see what they found. Here are some links to some of them:
What do the kids learn? Common Core requires much more research. In the past, our research tended to be huge projects; we sometimes devoted an entire month or more to putting together a research project. However, kids can learn a lot by doing short research cycles like this one. They learn where to look for information, how to process and present it, and what words to use in the search engine. They get an opportunity to use presentation skills in a less daunting atmosphere than a whole class, and they learn how to interpret various types of literacy. They also happen to really enjoy this project!