DEC Scan Journal : November 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 4 November 2011 27 According to Frand (2000, p. 15), ... being in touch with friends and family at any time and from any place – is of utmost importance. Projecting forward to these students entering high school, it is likely they will demand involving, dynamic and personalised content experiences that can compete with the likes of Facebook (CIBER, 2008), or its evolving and future equivalents. Our students prefer interactive systems and ... trying things out in the digital space, monitoring the reaction and adjusting accordingly (Rowlands, I. & Nicholas, D., 2008, p. 31). In his PowerPoint presentation about evidence based practice, Knowing and showing how school library programs help students learn (2004), Dr Ross Todd advocates that educators make use of exhibitions and product displays, as well as student self assessments of learning, by: • putting up ‘the story' of learning, as well as the products of new learning • letting the ‘voice' of students tell the story. These points helped to clarify and analyse my research results, and to shape this article. Todd's final message at his 2010 Guided Inquiry session was also encouraging: Just do it. And thus, I plunged into The research river (FitzGerald & Laycock, 2010) with both feet first. Aims, context and participants In Terms 1 and 2 of 2011, Stage 3 (Year 5-6) students at Penrith Public School researched endangered animals in science and technology, with the aim that they would use the factual information from group and individual research experiences to produce new information products. Their presentations would involve persuasive elements, and would aim to have genuine influence on the extended school community about the plight of the world’s endangered animals. An online blog (Endangered animals: beyond the rainforest, 2011) was set up to document the programming and planning for teachers, collate appro- priate online resources required for weekly research, indicate where the explicit teaching of various aspects was required, and (eventually) to host the completed Web 2.0 products to an international online audience via the internet. Each class would also introduce themselves in a jointly-constructed message (Figure 3). Figure 1 Kuhlthau’s Model of the Information Search Process (2004, p. 82) Figure 2 Small group collaboration to create a storyboard An online blog ... was set up to document the programming and planning for teachers, collate appropriate online resources required for weekly research ...