Advanced Internet Class

The idea of an "advanced internet class" was born when I was given the opportunity to teach a group of grade nine pupils whose knowledge of the different functions of the internet was fair.  A couple of them had already built their homepages and knew how to chat and use email.  Their knowledge however, was "a little of this and a little of that". None of them had done any serious research using the web or done any extensive emailing. In addition, the group was heterogeneous, so that a few of the kids were real beginners. But all of them knew English pretty well, as this was my prerequisite. I was supposed to give them twelve meetings altogether. That happened in November 1999. Click here to see the class.

I decided to build a special syllabus for this group that will "put things in order". If they knew about email, let them explore and learn what the advantages of this function are. Then go on to the other functions, such as surfing the web, combining the web with email , chatting, building homepages and finally writing "hyperlink compositions". The main goal of my syllabus was to make sure that the kids will have good and useful control of the functions of the internet.

The following text is a step by step description of the syllabus I built for this class. It also has samples of some of the students' papers and projects.
 

USING EMAIL PROPERLY

The first step was to have the whole group open an account with hotmail.com. I made it clear to the kids that although some of them already had email boxes, they had to open a new one for the purpose of this class as it was going to serve as a "notebook" for my assignments and their work in this class.

open an account at hotmail.com

Each student is instructed to open an account (a mailbox) at hotmail.com. I asked them to use them SAME format for their logging name, i.e. their full name. In case they have already used it (a couple of the kids had boxes with hotmail before joining the class) they were asked to add the figure 1 next to their name. All the kids were instructed to use THE SAME PASSWORD. This is essential for the teacher when checking their work to be able to have access to their boxes.  The students were told NOT to use the box for other uses than the class' assignments.

compose, send, save outgoing message, spell check

The first assignment should always be (and was) to have each student learn how to use the "compose" function of the email box by sending the teacher the first email letter. In this letter he tells a few things about himself, e.g. age, hobbies, family members, etc. To see an example click here.

The group was told to use the "spell check" and the "save outgoing message" functions prior to sending their message (it happens quite often that messages never reach their destination!).

I saved every address in my mailbox and gave the group a special name. This made it possible to send the group the same assignment very easily. The students were told to do the same, i.e. to save their classmates' addresses, for future assignments.

corresponding with students from abroad

Corresponding with students from other countries is always exciting. Kids are interested in emailing and enjoy doing so. Emailing is also a powerful tool for the teacher when it comes to improving the pupils' language, and helping them acquire the new cyberspace language  What should be done is to contact epal services , register and match your students with students from other countries (preferably an English speaking one). Once contact has been established (the sooner the better) ask the teacher to have her/his students send you introductory letters . The introductory letters should be sent to the teacher's email box. In this way you can make sure that no junk or crazy mail will reach your kids. When you have the introductory letters you can find "suitable" epals for your students. It's quite normal to realize that boys and girls prefer emailing the opposite sex..

When your students start their correspondence make sure that they send you a "blind copy" (Bcc). This will keep them under control. You should make it clear to them that they will be rewarded for their work.

USING SEARCH ENGINES TO SURF THE WEB

The most popular search engines among my students are: altavista and yahoo.
I introduced them to askjeeves.This search engine soon became popular especially  among the weaker students. It is easier to use and very friendly. It corrects your spelling, has different sections for the different age group and safe to use for children.

 searching and sending greeting cards

As a first assignment I chose searching for greeting card sites. Since we were in the month of December, I asked them to look for cards for the holidays that fell during this month, i.e. Christmas, Hannuka and New Year's  Day. I asked for interesting and friendly sites. I suggested two easy and friendly ones: virtualflorist.com and bluemountain.com. The students found others.

The students were told to send cards to my address and to their friends, both in this class and their epals abroad.

This is an easy assignment. What the kids have to do is to find a site (or use one that I suggested) choose a card, add their message, fill in their email address and send it to the recipient.

COMBINING FUNCTIONS:EMAIL AND THE WEB

Combining use of search engines to get specific information and using email to send it to its destination should be practiced step by step. Some students find it difficult  moving from the web site they are working on, to using email to send their answers.

finding specific information  (Dennis Rodman)

This is an easy assignment to put together. The teacher should find out the kids' favorite celebrities and pick one. I chose Dennis Rodman's site sent it to their mailboxes, asked them to find some specific facts about him and send me the answers. To see the assignment and pupils' answers click here.
 

VOLCANOES - looking for information in depth

This assignment is based on one of the best educational sites on this topic. The pupils enjoy using it and as a teacher I find it very useful. To see the assignment and the answers of the students click here.  Using this site for this assignment is a good experience for the pupils to learn how to look for relevant and useful information.
 

GRADED VARIED EXERCIZES

I sent the class two different exercises, one for the beginners and another for the more advanced students. These assignments are supposed to have the students use the web according to their levels, and at the same time learn about more possibilities and uses, i.e. how to find about weather, where to buy specific items, movie reviews,  etc. To see the assignments click here.

LIVE PARTICIPATION : King Hussein's death (condolences)

King Hussein of Jordan happened to die while this class was in progress. Netvision
opened a site for the occasion, where people could both light a candle in his memory, as well as send a letter of condolences to the monarch's family. That was a very good opportunity for me to have my pupils experience another facet of the internet. To see the assignment click here.

LEARNING ABOUT OTHER CULTURES: St. Valentine's Day

It's always a good opportunity to have the kids learn about other people's cultures. One way is to introduce them their holidays, i.e. St. Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving holiday, Halloween etc. I use St. Valentine's Day because of different reasons: the kids are familiar with the name but don't know its history, and it's a good opportunity for them to "participate"  in it by sending Valentine cards to their epals. To see the assignment and the answers click here.

BUILDING HOMEPAGES (peer teaching assignment)

PEER-TEACHING : Since this was a heterogeneous class, I had the opportunity of using the knowledge of the more advanced students to help in different ways. The best way I found of  doing so is by having a subject brought up in class, and asking everybody to send their suggestions. I did that  when I was looking for a good chat site and a good homepage building site.

I checked the pupils suggestions and picked the easiest chat site to use, and had the students that suggested it present and teach their classmates. I finally settled on webnautics.com.  We used it briefly. The site is very friendly and easy to use, i.e. you don't need to register or fill out any forms. The students pick a nickname and the room they want to chat in.

When building web sites I asked two advanced students to practice homestead.com and help their classmates build their own homepages.

Click here  to see the assignments that the students sent to their classmates and to take a look at the different homepages that the kids built. Some of the kids chose other sites to build their homepages.
 



 
FIRST EMAIL
Hello,
 

My name is .. I'm almost fifteen. I live in Nir-Israel, which is near Ashkelon.
I like watching lots of television (Especially Seinfeld), and playing computer games
from all categories. Sometimes I spend my whole day on the computer and then do
my homework at eight or nine p.m.

I love cats. I have 3 of them, and two dogs.



 
INTRODUCTORY LETTER
Dear keypal:
 

        Hello, my name is Carlos Ganzabal, I am
15 year old,how old are
you? from what part of Israel are you from? I
live in the north of Spain,
in Vizacaya, in town called Las Arenas. I have a
smaller brother, and my
favorite sports are football, baseball and
horseback riding( in show
jumping team) what are your favorite hobbies? do
you have any brother or
sister? I hope that you will write a new message to my
e-mail adress:
Carga@asb.sarenet.es
 

Thank you.

Your key pal

Carlos Ganzabal.


 


COMBINING EMAIL WITH THE WEB 
(Dennis Rodman exercize)
It's time to learn how to "surf" the web and check specific information.

Open the attachment and read about Dennis Rodman.

Go to the different links and answer the questions:

1) How old is he?
2) Who is he?
3) Where was he born?
4) How many times was he married? to whom?
5) Does he have any children? How old are they?
6) Is he famous? Why?
7) In each answer mention the address of the link!!!

This is the URL (address). Click it open!
http://www.mrshowbiz.com/news/todays_stories/981208/
                                            rodman120898_content.html

STUDENT'S ANSWER
1) How old is he?
Date of birth: May 13, 1961
(www.playhere.com/celeb/dennisrodman_bios.htm)

2) Who is he?
Chicago "Bulls" crazy basketball player
(www.celebsite.com/people/dennisrodman/content/bio.html)

3) Where was he born?
Trenton, New-Jersey, USA
(www.playhere.com/celeb/dennisrodman_bios.htm)

4) How many times was he married? to whom?
Married twice. To:
                             Annie Banks
                             Carmen Electra
(www.celebsite.com/people/dennisrodman/content/bio.html)

5) Does he have any children?
He has one daughter- Alexis
(www.celebsite.com/people/dennisrodman/content/bio.html)

6) Is he famous? Why?
He is famous for being a great basketball player
(www.celebsite.com/people/dennisrodman/content/bio.html)


 



 
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION IN DEPTH (VOLCANOES)
Hello everybody!

You studied the subject about volcanoes, right?
How about "helping" your teachers by adding info...*S*

Here is an interesting site that will give you a lot
of answers. You may go to other sites....Just let me
know the address. Add quotation marks to the addresses.

Here are the questions that you are supposed to find the answers to:

1) Are there any women volcanologist? How many?
   What countries are they from? Are there any from
   Israel?
2) What good things and bad things do volcanoes do?
3) How many volcanoes are there in the world?
4) What is a volcano?
5) Do you have any question about a volcano? If you do
   where from will you send it?

Here is the site I have found:
"http://www.volcano.und.nodak.edu"

You are welcome to check other sites. Let me know the
addresses. Thanks.

STUDENT'S ANSWERS:

The answers to your assignment questions:

1) Are there any women volcanologists? How many?
   What countries are they from? Are there any from
   Israel?
There are, lots. At this site are registered about 20 of them.
None that I see is from Israel.
("http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/top_
                                  101/Volcanologists/Volcanologists8.html")

2) What good things and bad things do volcanoes do?

good:
Provides nutrients to the surrounding soil.
They can provide refuges for rare plants and animals from
the ravages of humans and livestock.
Volcanic gases are the source of all the water (and most of
the atmosphere) that we have today.
("http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp4/
                                                                         question440.html")

bad:
Erupting volcanoes are dangerous to people that live on their flanks.
They produce lava, ash,  and mudflows. Sometimes a large part of
the volcano can collapse. Gases released by volcanoes can
damage nearby plants and lower the quality of air people breath.
("http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp4/
                                                                       question1042.html")

(also:
"http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp12/
                                                                          question727.html")

3) How many volcanoes are there in the world?

"Volcanoes of the World" by Tom Simkin and Lee Seibert list 1511
volcanoes that have erupted in the past 10,000 years. Of  course if you
add in those that have gone extinct before that the number will be much higher.
("http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp13/
                                                                            question898.html")

4) What is a volcano?
A volcano is any place where lava, ash, and/or hot gases
escape onto the surface of the earth from below.
("http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp4/
                                                                       question1165.html")

5) Do you have any question about a volcano? 
    If you do,  where from will you send it?
I don't have a question that I did not find an answer to.
There are some very interesting questions at this site.

I'll send my question from:
"http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/top_101/
                                                                           Volcanologists.html"



 
GRADED VARIED EXERCIZES
Today's' assignment has THREE parts. You are supposed
to do them by yourselves, because the more advanced
students are working on a different assignment.

PART ONE:

Go the following address:
"http://www.indo.com/distance"
Click "query formats" and answer the following
question:
How far is Tel-Aviv from London?

PART TWO:

Go to the following address:
"http://www.cnn.com"
Click on the link of "weather" (on the left side of
the monitor (screen).  Follow the instructions, and
answer the question:

Will it rain in Tel-Aviv on Thursday? What will the
weather be like on Thursday?

PART THREE:

The following address will introduce you to a very
easy search engine. Go to the address:
"http://www.askjeeves.com"

Follow the instructions and answer the questions:
1) How many people live in France?
2) How old is Brad Pitt?

Do not forget to include the address where you found
the answer.

Good Luck!!

STUDENT'S ANSWERS:
PART ONE:
the distance from Tel Aviv to London is 2219 miles (3572 km)
(1929 nautical miles)

PART TWO:
It will not rain on Thursday and it will be sunny (about
17-6 degrees)

PART THREE:
1) The population of France is 58,804,944 (July 1998 est.)
I got the information from
http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fr.html
2)Brad Pit is 36 years old
I got the info from askjeeves.com but the address is very long
so I didn't write it, but if you want it I will give it to you.


 
AN ASSIGNMENT FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS
Now, here is a different kind of an assignment JUST
FOR YOU,GUYS!  Let's see who will do it without
cheating or asking for "a little help" from a
friend...*S*

Today you are on your own. Use your
favorite search engine and answer the following
questions (as many as you can). ONLY ANSWERS THAT
INCLUDE SOURCES ON THE NET WILL BE ACCEPTED!

1) In how many movies has Will Smith played (NOT TV)?

2) What happened to the first light bulb that Thomas
Edison invented?

3) There are three movies playing in our area:
Sliding Doors, The Truman Show, Holy Man.

Find a review on each (there are many, you know).
Which is the best of the three? Cut and paste the
relevant lines and send to me.

4) What are the official Chinese holidays? What are
their dates in the year 1999? What is the Chinese
calendar based on?

5) I am limited to $55. I would like to send TWO
gifts: a box of chocolate to my niece in PA, and a
bouquet of flowers to my sister-in-law in NJ. Find me
the sites on the web. BOTH gifts cannot cost more than
55 dollars! Send me the pictures of the gifts!

GOOD LUCK!!! 

STUDENT'S ANSWERS
1) In how many movies has Will Smith played? (NOT TV)

Men In Black
Independence Day
Bad Boys
Made In America
Six Degrees Of Seperation
Where the day Takes You

"http://www.bkbookman.com/movies/vid_will_smith.html"

2) What happened to the first light bulb that Thomas
    Edison invented?

As electricity passed through the filament it made it hot,
giving off light. But the filament would burn out easily in open
air and would turn into ash.
"http://www.gms.ocps.k12.fl.us/biopage/a-g/edison3.html"

3) There are three movies playing in our area:
Sliding Doors, The Truman Show, Holy Man.

How could I tell you which movie is the best?! 
I could only tell you which one I would prefer.

Sliding Doors sucks.
"http://www.reel.com/content/moviepage.asp?MMID=40921#critics"
"scores": 8;4;5;4;5 (from USA Today etc.)

Truman Show- The reviews are much better than those of
Sliding Doors
"http://www.reel.com/Content/moviepage.asp?mmid=41503"
9;10;8;9;9

Holy Man sucks.
"http://www.reel.com/Content/moviepage.asp?mmid=43614"
5;5;5;1

4) What are the official Chinese holidays? What are
their dates in the year 1999? What is the Chinese
calendar based on?

It's only text, easy and fast to load.
"http://www.indiana.edu/~chasso/holiday.html#a1"
It's based on the cycle of the moon.
"http://www.concentric.net/~Perish/Horosc/lunar.htm"

5) I am limited to $55. I would like to send TWO
gifts: a box of chocolate to my niece in PA, and a
bouquet of flowers to my sister-in-law in NJ. Find me
the sites on the web. BOTH gifts cannot cost more than
55 dollars! Send me the pictures of the gifts!

PA? Palestinian Authority? Public Address? 
Prosecuting attorney?
flowers to New Jersey - 24.99$ + 6.99$ = 32$ (basket full
of daisies)
"http://www.1800flowers.com/flowers"

chocolates (KOSHER!!!) to Pennysilvenia (?) - 10.95$ + 4$
(or 5.5$) =
15$
pic: "http://www.gifts-on-line.com/IMAGES-CHOC/barton.gif"
_______________
32+15=47$ total

If you want chocolate shop pages
"http://www.shoppingplace.com/chocolates/links1.html"
is the place.



 
LIVE PARTICIPATION ON THE WEB (King Hussein's death)
Hello everybody,

You have heard the sad news about the passing away of
the Jordanian monarch (king).
Your assignment today is much simpler, as it is
partly in Hebrew.

Go to the following address:
"http://www.netvision.net.il/hussein_king_jordan/index.html"

Click the box where it says (in Hebrew) "light
candles in his memory" and do so. You can scroll down
and see your name appear (you will find mine, too).

When you are done with this assignment,  go to the other
box that says "letters of condolences" (again, in
Hebrew). Click. Here, I would like you to choose the
English part. Write a letter of condolence to the
royal family and the Jordanian nation. Follow
instructions....See how important it is to have an
e-mail address?

Those of you that finish in time, please copy and
paste the letters that you wrote, and send them to me
(you can't send a Bcc).
Thanks

STUDENT'S ANSWER
This is what I wrote to the Jordanian palace:

"This is a grievous time for us all,
Muslims, Jews and Christians.
However, we can all be proud of the
man who was, and will forever stay in
our hearts.
Cancer has always been an enemy to us.
It has now interfered with royalty and we see that
it is something we cannot control.

I know I got a little carried away towards the end.. Well,
anyway.. :)



 
LEARNING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S CULTURE
Hello everybody,
This is the week of St. Valentine's Day. It is pretty
big (especially in the US).

Click the following address, learn about the origins
of this holiday and answer the questions.
"http://www.holidays.net/amore/story.html"

Questions:

1) Who was LUPERCUS?
2) What is the connection between LUPERCALIA and
    VALENTINE'S DAY?
3) Why is the holiday called VALENTINE'S DAY?
4) Why was the date moved to Feb. 14?
5) What are the customs of this holiday?
6) Do we have a similar holiday? What time of the
    year  do we celebrate it? What are the customs here?

Enjoy!

STUDENT'S ANSWERS
1) Who was LUPERCUS?
A Roman god.

2) What is the connection between LUPERCALIA and
VALENTINE'S DAY?
The holiday of Valentine's Day probably
derives its origins from the ancient Roman feast
of Lupercalia.

3) Why is the holiday called VALENTINE'S DAY?
Legend has it that the holiday became
Valentine's Day after a priest named Valentine.

4) Why was the date moved to Feb. 14?
Valentine was beheaded on February 14th,
the eve of the Roman holiday Lupercalia. After
his death, Valentine was named a saint. As
Rome became more Christian, the priests
moved the spring holiday from the 15th of
February to the 14th - Valentine's Day. Now the
holiday honors Saint Valentine instead of
Lupercus

5) What are the customs of this holiday?
Sending cards an/or flowers to your sweetheart,
and taking them out to dinner.
 

6) Do we have a similar holiday? What time of the
year    do we celebrate it? What are the customs here?
T"U BEAV
and I have no clue what time of year it is.
As I heard in class, August. :)



 
PEER TEACHING ASSIGNMENT
Hi,
In this assignment you will build a homepage of your own. 
BEGINNERS' ASSIGNMENT
(1) First of all go to the address :
http://www.homestead.com
(2) Click on the "Sign Up" button.
(3) Click on the "I Accept" button.
(4) Fill in your details and use your hotmail address as
     your E-Mail
(5) As your user name and password use your Hotmail user
     name and  password
(6) Click on "Sign Me Up".
(7) Click on "Take Tutorial"
(8) After reading the tutorial go to "Take Me To My
     Homestead" and
     there click on "Create Homepage" and then "ok".
(9) Click on "New Express Page".
(10) Follow the instructions on the following pages.

Check out the page we built on
http://www.homestead.com/zohardaniel

FOR THE ADVANCED STUDENT
Follow steps 1 through 8 on the Beginners Assignment.

(1) Click on the "New Editor Page".
(2) Wait a lot...
(3) Follow instructions.

Check to the page we built on
www.homestead.com/zohardaniel/index2.html

Good Luck,
         Daniel Zohar & Elad Meidar

 Almost everybody has managed to start and operate a
                               homepage...!!!! GREAT!

                    Add the URLs to your homepages as links....Enjoy!!!
                 You may continue and develop your homepages as much 
                   as you like, as long as you want. GREAT FUN!!

                                   1) Omri Ceisler
               http://www.homestead.com/omrix/index.html

                                   2) Gabzu Liron
               http://www.homestead.com/gabzuliron/index.html

                                   3) Yonatan Geva
               http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/greece/669

                                   4) Amir Gutman
               http://www.homestead.com/amirgutman

                                   5) Adi Masas
               http://www.homestead.com/masasadi1/index.html

                                   6) Meidar Elad
               http://members.xoom.com/Diabetics

                                   7) Ziv Noy
               http://www.homestead.com/zivnoyzivnoy/zivnoyzivnoy.html

                                   8) Tal Rosenberg
               http://www.geocities.com/Petsburg/Zoo/4774

                                   9) Roi Benshlomo
               http://www.homestead.com/roee/index.html

                                  10) Liat Lazarovitch
               http://www.homestead.com/liatl/liatl.html

                                  11) Zohar Daniel 
               http://www.homestead.com/zohardaniel

And this one is mine.....

                                  11)Alisa Glickman
               http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/1877