Saturday, March 28, 2015

Information: To filter or not to filter?

Making it easier for children to use digital information does not always prepare them for real life tasks.

Filtering information to make it more kid-friendly takes several forms. A recent Japanese study found that students were more successful when given information that was presented in an organized way. For example answering a multiple choice test based on what different sources said, by providing the students with four sources. But when asked to determine the answer to a simple question that involved selecting relevant pages from a fictitious Website, the majority of students--more than 90% of elementary and 88% of middle school students--could not answer the question.

Analyzing the results, professor Kazuo Nagano concluded, "(students) need to acquire skills to filter disorganized pieces of information to find solutions, whether online or in the real world." Read more

What information do you provide your students? Disorganized or filtered?

Try this challenge with students: What is the year-round temperature of Fauntleroy Creek? Start here--  This is a real Website and the information is only three clicks away. For younger students, start at #1 or #2.
This is a browsing activity--searching through "disorganized" (unfiltered for students) that is bound to be frustrating. If the students know the answer is only 1 or 2 clicks away, it helps. This is one way to scale the activity without overly filtering it. What links are most promising for getting to the answer?

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