Edudeaf: Brief Review of Use of Online Newspapers and the Web

Key words: Curriculum Materials, General Information, K-12

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Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 11:32:33 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Brief Review of Use of Online Newspapers & the Web

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF


As I mentioned in the earlier post I wrote a BRIEF review today. We have an ISP (Internet Service Provider) in town through our local newspaper. The major corporation is Infinet. Anyway a representative from the newspaper asked me if I would use it in my classroom for a month and give him some general feedback on the value of using such a tool in the classroom.

I think it is general enough that anyone could apply it as a rationale to use online newspaper services or even the Web in their class. It is written for a specific audience and would need to be changed and adapted if someone wanted to use it as a rationale. Nonetheless, I believe it addresses some key points on why to use such services.

If anyone is interested in reading it drop me a PRIVATE NOTE. If more than five to ten folks want to see it I'll post it to the list. If not I'll send it to them via private mail.


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Deaf Education Home Page Document: 1 2

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 09:52:53 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Comments on KY Connect (fwd)

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi folks, Several people responded to me personally :) and a few on the list :( and asked for a copy of the review. It's simply my thoughts or a review of the service I used.

----------------------------Original message----------------------------


One of the greatest values of a service such as Kentucky Connect is the immediate accessibility to up to date information regarding current events. While this information has traditionally been available by having newspapers in our classrooms KY Connect allows teachers and student immediate access to other information that is relative to the topic. Newspapers will never be totally replaced by computers, nor should they be. However, the instantaneous feedback of germane data, found by using the Herald Leader archives and Web search engines, hurdles students over a more tedious task of research into an instant and efficient means of searching and collecting information. Students now have the opportunity to read an article, search the archives for related articles and have access to more information than what a daily newspaper contains. They have years of editions of the newspaper at their fingertips. This increased access to articles provides an extensive context in which to read and understand a current article.

The strength of this information base lies in its diversity and the numerous ways it can be used by teachers to enforce the curriculum which they are teaching. One of the major components of KERA is the integration of knowledge throughout subject areas, the use of information for meaningful purposes. A newspaper covers all areas of the curriculum and is a valuable tool for teachers of Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Math, History as well as other subjects. A teacher is not teaching one topic for the sake of rote memorization or the acquisition of isolated skills. Rather learning is occurring which encompasses collecting information, reading for meaning, analyzing data, synthesis of facts, organization of material and application of knowledge. All of this can occur within one lesson while students of all ages are constructing projects relative to their level of learning.

An important factor of using online resources is that much of the information can be adapted to various levels. It is ONE resource, ONE tool that can meet the needs of students from kindergarten to those who are seniors. Projects can be developed for primary students that involve using headlines and captions. Intermediate students can begin using research skills to find and compare and contrast related articles. Middle School students are able to use the online newspaper and archives to search for information to develop their student created projects for various classes. High school students have instant access to current events across the state, nation and world to use throughout their course of study as well.

One area of student achievement which has suffered over the past decade is that of reading. Students do not read as often for pleasure, to acquire information or to learn. Reading skills have declined across America. KY Connect and the use of the World Wide Web are means to promote reading for all of the above purposes. The graphics and the immediate feedback both provide reluctant readers additional reinforcement as they attempt to uncover and understand the world around them. Often motivating students to WANT to learn, to WANT to read is a challenge for teachers in every classroom in the United States. This new medium will provide students who are accustomed to Nintendo, Sega and other current technology an innovative and contemporary avenue of reading.


One of the most valuable places I believe this technology, KY Connect, can be used is in fourth grade where students are studying their state and the history of it. Access to the archives for the purposes of finding articles on education, government, community, crime, entertainment etc. is invaluable as students look at our state of Kentucky today and how it was in the past.

The development of research and study skills is an important part of the Language Arts and Library program. Online research is not meant to replace other more traditional means of information collection. Rather it is an additional tool students need in their toolbox that may enhance and extend the amount of material to which they have access. Proficiency in these skills is critical to students who choose to be life long learners.

Other important classroom uses which have been alluded to briefly are ways it can be used in various subjects. Following are examples of ways one might see traditional print copies of the newspapers as well as KY Connect used in a classroom. KY Connect can become the reading text for the day. It can provide figures, statistics and facts to be used in various math calculations for purposes of critical thinking and problem solving. The online information provides the latest news relative to events and issues around our world which are crucial to Social Studies. Weather data and links to related resources furnish students with current facts to use in the area of Science. Community events and local information are vital to the education of students as they learn about their neighborhood or their city and how this affects their life.

Students in my classroom used KY Connect within the Language Arts and Social Studies areas as we studied Communication in the month of May. As we talked about mass communication we discussed the role it plays in our lives and how different our lives would be without it. It became obvious that the distribution of knowledge and information was a critical part of our lives. It opens up not only our community to us giving us a broader understanding of our city but brings the entire world to our doorstep and desktop. It is an essential part of our daily lives that enables us to learn about ourselves and the world around us. We do truly live in a Global Community as we approach the 21st century. Gaining information and access to that world wide village is possible via KY Connect and the other resources it affords.

Students accessed the Herald Leader daily and chose articles to print and use for their reading assignment that day. Articles were taken home and used as a part of homework. Students read and reported to other students about their articles. They often illustrated the articles to show another means of communication - - visual communication void of text.

This year we had access to this service for one month, the month of May. It was amazing the proficiency the children in that class developed in using KY Connect and the Web. Our school is fully networked and plans to subscribe to this service for the following school year. We have purchased software that will allow computers throughout the building to access the modem and use KY Connect. We are excited about the unlimited possibilities for students as well as the endless number of ways teachers can use it to design instructional projects that will have substantial impact on student learning and achievement.

Increased student achievement is at the center of KERA. KY Connect offers to teachers an exciting, motivating and meaningful way to accomplish this continued and immutable goal.

Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major