Web Literacy Basics II | Why Do We Use the Web?
By creating survey questions and conducting research about your community's Web use, you will learn how to contribute, collaborate, use open practice, and share with others.
Web Literacy Skills
21st Century Skills
- Compose rich surveys and questions.
- Collect and analyze data from the community.
- Collaborate on a website sharing data openly.
- Beginner web users
- Internet-connected learner computers
- Internet-connected instructor computer w/ projector
- Shared document
- Data collection tools, e.g. online or paper surveys
In this lesson, your learners will:
- Brainstorm questions for a community research project about why they use the web.
- Assign each other questions for the project.
- Ask one another their questions.
- Record their results y remixing this Thimble project.
- Connect their results by creating links between their remixed webpages.
- Reflect on their learning.
Do the activity on your own to become familiar with basic collaborative and open research practices in the work.
- Follow this link to the Thimble project for this activity.
- Click on the green "Remix" button in the upper right-hand corner of the window to go into the project's code.
- Click on the "Tutorial" pane next to the "Preview" pane in the upper right-hand corner of the coding window.
- Follow the steps in the tutorial to complete the activity. You may also need to check back here and complete some of the steps in this lesson plan to successfully finish the Thimble project.
You may also wish to set up an account (or several) on Thimble that you can share with your learners. This will save time later when they are ready to remix today's project.
2. Introduction5 minutes
Welcome your learners and explain that during today's lesson, we'll design, conduct, and share our own research on why we use the Web. The big idea is to help one another - and the larger world - see how and why we go online to meet our responsibilities and needs for learning, entertainment, and communication. If we understand how we use the Web, we can match what we learn - as well as what we want to learn - with our findings. We can also share our results online to help others better understand how we learn, communicate, and participate on the Web as a community.
To catch a glimpse of how the world uses the Web, share Internet Live Stats with your learners.
While it's amazing to see how much information the Web produces as a whole, today we'll focus on why we, as individuals and as a community, use the Web.
Explain that we'll start by brainstorming questions together that we think are key to understanding how and why learners like us use the Web. Tell learners that we'll put our questions on a shared document so we can collaborate - or work together - in the open - where everyone can see the questions.
You should feel free to adapt this project to make any sort of basic research project more collaborative, open, webby, and - most importantly - accessible and relevant for your community.
3. Brainstorming Questions10 minutes
Ask your learners a broad question like, "If we wanted to know more about ourselves as Web users, what questions would we ask one another?", or, "What questions could we ask ourselves to find out who we are as Web users?", or, "What would be cool to find out about how we use the Web?" Help learners generate questions like these - and feel free to use a couple as examples to get the brainstorming started.
Encourage learners to pose questions with responses that can be tallied numerically or as a "yes" or "no" - there's no need to collect personal information in today's activity.
Be sure to record all of your learners ideas on a shared document with a chat or comment feature. However, this part of the activity can be done with markers and poster paper, as well, if technology access is limited.
- How many people use mobile devices?
- How many people use desktop computers?
- How many people use both?
- How many people have made something - like a meme, piece of music, or webpage - online?
- How many people have bought something online?
- How many people have learned something online?
- How many people use apps?
- How many people use web browsers?
- How many people use both?
- How many apps do you use in a day?
- How many websites do you visit in a day?
- How many times do you check an app or website a day?
- How long do people spend online a day?
A question could allow for multiple responses, like, "What are the different devices you use to get online during the day?", but should not be personal or private, like, "What is your wifi password at home?"
4. Assigning Questions15 minutes
Next, explain that we're going to answer some of these questions and conduct and share our own research.
Invite learners to sit at their computers and to visit the shared document you used to collect their questions. Ask learners to use the comment feature or chat to mark questions that they would like to research. Encourage them to collaborate and negotiate so each learner (or pair or group, depending on how you adapt the activity) has a question to answer.
Learners can use the chat and/or comment features of your shared doc to work out their assignments in the open. Remind them to follow community norms in reaching agreements on who will research each question and facilitate conversations so that they end with consensus, not conflict.
Once learners have decided on their questions, ask the group to order the questions in a way that makes sense. Which question should be asked first? Which questions go together? Use prompts like those to order the questions meaningfully.
Later in the activity, learners will sit at computers in order of their questions.
This part of the activity can be done without computers, as well, using markers or stickers and questions collected on poster paper instead of on a shared document.
5. Conducting Research15 minutes
After learners have collaboratively self-assigned research questions, give them about 20 minutes to collect data from the classroom, club, or community.
Before you set learners loose, ask if there are any questions about how to collect data. Answer those questions and make suggestions about tools learners can use to keep track of their peers' responses. Depending on your community norms and practices, learners might use their computers or take notes on a smartphone or with paper and pencil.
Also make it clear that learners should only collect responses to their questions. They shouldn't collect any other information about their peers, link responses to their peers' names, or use any such information in reporting results later in the activity.
To respect others' privacy in the community, learners should collect the minimum data necessary to do their research.
This is a good place to pause and break between classes and sessions if you are running out of time.
This part of the activity can be as low-tech or high-tech as your community's level of access allows, but it's also fine for an individual learner to pick a data collection method that works for her.
6. Sharing Findings30 minutes
The next part of the activity is described as an online activity. However, your learners can create a series of posters instead of a series of webpages to share their findings and post their work inside your room if technology access or local norms prevent you from sharing work online.
Once learners have collected their data, ask them to sit at their computers in order of their questions and to go to the Thimble project for today's activity. Post your shared document or hand-written ordered list of questions to help learners find their seats.
The Thimble project is a webpage that shares survey results. Each learner will use Thimble to remix the page and
- Change the question.
- Change the possible answers.
- Change the results.
- Change the link to the next question at the bottom of the page.
To make their changes to the project, learners should hit the green "Remix" button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. That button will take them into the code for the project. Once learners are in the code editing screen, they will see a "Tutorial" tab in the upper right-hand part of the screen. By clicking on that tab, learners will be able to see a tutorial that will guide them through all the changes they need to make to the page.
Be sure to go over the tutorial - and how to access it - with your group and help learners who experience difficulty reading and writing to remix the project. learners can certainly help one another, as well, to practice collaborating.
Point out to learners that the tutorial will ask them to change the link to the next question on the bottom of each page. They should change the link and its text - the question it links to - so that it matches the question and the published URL, or Web address, of their neighbor to the right. The learner with the last question should link back to the first question.
After learners finish remixing their pages, they can publish them on Thimble and share them online to help other community members - like peers, teachers, administrators, club captains, and mentors - figure out how best to teach the Web in your community.
To publish a remix, you hit the "Publish" button in the upper right-hand corner of Thimble's code-editing screen. learners will need to share their published URLs, or Web addresses, with peers to their left so each page can link to the next in the research project.
7. Reflection and Assessment30-40 minutes
Grab the first learner's URL, or Web address, and project it or write it in a place every learner can see. Give learners about 15 minutes to visit that question and then read through the entire research project by following all of the links to the next questions.
If you did this project offline, post learners' findings in order around the room and invite them to take a "gallery walk" to read each other's research.
Finally, facilitate a reflective discussion of learners' experiences with research, collaborating, and sharing research openly on the Web.
Before you begin, remind learners of community norms about kindness and encourage them to talk about their own learning, not about other people.
Use questions like these or develop your own.
- What did you learn about our community today?
- What surprised you about our data?
- Who else needs to see this research? Why?
- Based on our data, what are some tools teachers and mentors could use to reach and teach us on the Web?
- Based on our data, what are some common interests we share that our teachers and mentors could use to reach and teach us on the Web?
- Based on our data, what are some things that our teachers and mentors are using on the Web that aren't working for us?
- What was it like to collaborate on such a large research project?
- What was it like to negotiate who researched each question?
- How did dividing the work help or not help us get this done?
- What would this project have been like if we each had to do the whole thing alone?
- How did knowing that we would share our results impact our work?
- How did knowing that our community depended on us to do our research impact our work?
- How do you feel about publishing your research openly? What good could come of it? What concerns do you have about it?
- What else would you like to research like this?
- How would this project have been different if you didn't have a webpage or model to use for reporting your results? How is remix helpful? What do you gain or lose by beginning with someone else's work for remix?
You may ask learners to document or record their answers for assessment. Be sure to help each learner find a way to share what works for her, as well as for you, so you can gauge her learning about today's topic without a particular tool (like paper/pencil) blocking a learner's expression.Next activity→The Web Is a Tool for Learning
Summarize the journey the packet takes. You can submit your evidence in in the form of a video with some of your peers taking on different roles within the journey or as a written summary of what is happening.
By creating survey questions and conducting research about your community's Web use, you will learn how to contribute, collaborate, work in the open, and share with others.
Steps to Complete this Task:
- Click on “Tutorial”.
- Follow the steps in the tutorial. The tutorial will walk you through how to make changes to the code
- Once you are finished, you can save your work and share it. Log into your Webmaker account and hit "Publish.”
21C Skills: If you successfully complete the above, you will practice the following skills:
The skills that you have learned through this activity can be recognized and validated by earning credentials or badges.
Through a partnership with the Open Badges Academy (OBA), you can earn over 15 Web Literacy and 21st Century Skills credentials or badges. Once you earn them, you can share the credentials/badges via your social media or resume or use them to connect with others.