Usually when I take a class to the library to do research, I try to incorporate as many real life strategies as I can: tabbed browsing, social bookmarking, google searches… But that isn’t always possible when working with kids who need more structure in their lessons (or the ones who just don’t follow directions very well). Plus, teaching those skills, or just using them during class, can sometimes take up too much time.
I was facing that problem when I decided to take the class to the computer lab for some background research on Mt. Everest for the novel Peak.
That’s when I found Krunchd. You can load mutiple URL’s into their site and it will give you one web address. When students type in that one address, one window opens that allows students to scroll through all the websites you’ve inputted. Here is the one I set up for my students. See the arrows on the upper right? They move you back and forth throught the different pages, but they don’t stop you from exploring the different sites. Pretty cool.
fur.ly is another site that does the same thing, but with Kruched, you can name part of the URL, while on fur.ly you can’t. Both sites, though, are quick to set up and use with students…no learning curve necessary.
What works: This site lessens the time it takes for students to type in the address and to move from page to page. Cutting down on the time it takes to get ready to learn, the more time students have to actually learn. Plus, by loading the page with lots of different types of text, students can choose what they want to look at (words, pictures, videos, etc.)
What to watch for: While student were easily directed to the sites I wanted, they were not stopped from exploring each site. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but one of the sites I chose had videos and many student got side-tracked from the lesson by looking at videos. The videos, although educational, didn’t really help them understand their reading. For another lesson though, I can see this being a plus point.