Developing Web literacy in collaborative inquiry activities

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Dept. of Theory and Research in Education, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Computers & Education (Impact Factor: 2.63). 04/2009; 52(3):668-680. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.11.010
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Although many children are technically skilled in using the Web, their competences to use it in a critical and meaningful way are usually less well developed. In this article, we report on a multiple case study focusing on the possibilities and limitations of collaborative inquiry activities as an appropriate context to acquire Web literacy skills in primary education. Four 5th grade school teachers and their students worked with collaborative inquiry activities on the subject of 'healthy food'. The project was aimed at both the development of Web literacy skills and content knowledge building. Data from a variety of sources were collected: videotaped and written lesson observations, interviews with teachers and stu- dents, teacher diaries, student questionnaires, and student assignments. The teachers appeared to be able to carry out the program to varying degrees. Contextual factors that influenced the realization of the pro- ject's goals and results were the adequacy of the research questions formulated by students, students' inquiry skills, and the teachers' teaching styles. Students' learning results show that it is possible to teach Web literacy skills in the context of collaborative inquiry activities. All classes show knowledge gain with regard to the subject healthy food and all classes but one show knowledge gain with regard to Web lit- eracy skills. Although many students show adequate use of particular Web searching, reading and eval- uating skills after the project, inconsistency, impulsiveness and impatience are also typical of their Web behaviour. In the context of collaborative inquiry activities teachers are challenged to deal with the par- adox that they want their students to be active knowledge builders with help of the Web, whereas the Web seems to invite students to be more or less passive searchers.

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Available from: Jan Terwel, Jul 30, 2015
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    • "Constructivism suggests learning is experiential in that people create knowledge and draw meaning from that knowledge through their own experiences and ideas (Dewey, 1933/1998; Kolb, 1975). From a constructivist perspective, learning is both cultural and social involving social interaction and collaboration with learning peers, as well as interaction with more knowledgeable individuals within society (Biggs, 1996; Kuiper, Volman, & Terwel, 2009; Pontecorvo, 2007). For this experiential learning process to be sustained and developed, Vygotsky (1978) argues that learners will progress from one educational task to more challenging tasks only through improved self confidence in their ability to be successful in various problem-solving experiences. "
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    • "Most of the studies were only reporting on the advantages derived from the general educational use of web-based resources. Such studies have provided a great deal of information indicating that, use of the web-based technology resources: facilitates students' attainment of educational goals [8], [11]; increases students self-confidence on issues relating to content learning and ICT skills [13]; expand students conceptual horizon of issues from local to global perspectives; and, facilitates students understanding and appreciation of the diversity of human values and its consequent effect on peoples' perception and thought [13]; enhances students web literacy, searching skills, web reading skills, web evaluation skills, use of appropriate keys to locate web information and understand their limitations and possibilities [15]; attracts students attention and motivates their learning interest as they consider hand-on-technology amazing; thereby, making the learning process a fun [13]. Even though existing studies as cited above reported the usefulness and need for the integration of web-based technology resources in educational practices, not much is done to explore the use of the web-based resources in particular pedagogical designs and subject areas in relation to teacher education and TPACK theory. "
    06/2013; DOI:10.2991/icista.2013.14
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    • "Within teacher education, student teachers have to do research, which takes place within their own practice during internship or practice at school, but is not necessarily something that they would engage in themselves, especially not as they have to choose one research question as a group. This relates to the finding of Kuiper et al. (2009), that a shared purpose is a precondition in research projects. Therefore, the relevance of conducting research should be evident for these student teachers. "
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