Resource Material for the IT PGCE:
finding Internet resources

On this page you will find details of the 'Finding Things Out' session in which you find Internet-based resources.

Learning objectives About this session Products of the session
At the Institute    
Task Timetable Links to other sessions
In the classroom    
Misconceptions Classroom examples Teaching point
Other Resources    
DfEE Schemes of work Software links and tutorials Books/Papers


Learning objectives

The learning objectives for this session are that by the end of it you should:

  1. know that different search engines will produce different results from the same search string;
  2. understand that this happens because different search engines use different strategies;
  3. know where you can find resources for teaching IT to KS3 pupils;
  4. understand better the difference between the subject I(C)T and the use of ICT to aid learning in other curriculum areas;
  5. understand better the content of the IT National Curriculum and the DfEE Key Stage 3 Schemes of Work.

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About this session

In this session you will use a variety of search engines to find teaching and learning resources and examine a number of existing collections of such resources - including the two main 'government approved' sites for such resources - TeacherNet and the Teacher Resource Exchange.

When you are looking for resources, you will find that there is confusion on a number of the sites you search between resources for teaching the subject IT (i.e. the National Curriculum for IT) and resources which use ICT to aid the learning of other curriculum areas. In sorting the former of these from the latter the objective is that you will come to a better understanding of the differences between them.

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Products of the session

The sites you find today will be evaluated in the session on October 1. Sites which are then considered useful will (together with your evaluation of them) form the 'evaluated links' section of the IT PGCE web site. (Please note that this is not in the password-protected area of the site.)

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At the Institute

The task

Your will work in pairs, to find one lesson plan or resource which you would feel to be of use in the teaching/learning of four different strands of the IT National Curriculum and units of the DfEE scheme of work for IT at Key Stage 3 - i.e. each of the resources will be targeted at one strand and one unit of work.

To do this, you will use a variety of search engines and in addition search some existing collections of resources, including those which are part of the Teacher Resource Exchange and TeacherNet. A list of these sites can be found on the 'resources' page for this session and information on the ways in which search engines work - and where to find more information on this - can be found on the 'background' page (which can also be accessed from the 'Software links and tutorials' link above).

During the session each pair will be given three strands/units to research. A table showing how these are distributed amongst the groups can be downloaded. On the study day you will individually find a resource for the remaining strand which you feel would be of use in another unit of the scheme of work. (Another benefit of this activity is that by the end you should be familiar with the units of the DfEE schemes of work for IT at Key Stage 3.)

At the end of the session you should be prepared to discuss the ease/difficulty of finding your sites using the selected engines and collections of links.

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The timetable

The session will start at 2:00 and following a brief introduction, you will have until 3:30 to work on the 'searching' task for the three allocated strands/units. In the final half hour we will discuss teaching of this aspect of IT capability in the light of your experience today.

You should then use part of a study day to find the remaining resource.

The four resources you found will be evaluated in the session on the 1st October.

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Links to other sessions

This session links most directly to that on evaluating Internet resources where you will evaluate the resources found in this session. It also links to the session on using the Internet in schools, where issues that arise when children search and use the Internet will be discussed.

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In the classroom


Most misconceptions in this area relate to the beliefs that all search engines search the whole web - and in a similar way. A useful list of these misconceptions, and the answers to them, can be found at Michael's Internet Finding Tips - Common Search Myths.

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Classroom examples

Lai Ching Lin produced an interesting exercise to introduce children to searching both the school Intranet and the Internet. You can see the worksheet she made to explain how to use Internet Explorer, and that for the 'Treasure Trail' activity in which the aim was to become a 'super surfer'. There is also an informative teacher's page which not only has the answers but also sections on introducing the lesson and potential problems.

The Ambleside school site has a 'three rule' tutorial to show children how to search the net using AJKids as an example.

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Teaching point

I have seen people teach this topic by giving their pupils a list of instructions on how to find a particular site. At the end of the lesson they claim that the pupils can now search the Internet - but there is absolutely no evidence for this. All that the lesson has shown is that they can follow instructions. So... when you plan your lessons you need to have at least one activity which will let you see whether your learning objectives have been met. For example, having shown pupils (say) how to narrow down a search to find a particular site, you could then set the task of finding another one (without help) and see who succeeds.

This point is important and not limited to this topic. For example when teaching children how to construct a database, teachers also often give a list of instructions - and then claim that because the pupils have followed them they can construct a database.

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Other Resources

The DfEE Schemes of Work

You should look at the following units of the DfEE schemes of work:

Key Stage 2: unit 6D, Using the Internet to search large databases and to interpret information;

Key Stage 3: unit 2, Information and presentation.

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You should read the attached extract from "Ofsted Subject Reports 1000-2000: Secondary Information Technology" (, which indicates what Ofsted believes pupils should be taught in the area of 'Learning from information resources' - good stuff.

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This page is maintained by Tim Brosnan. Please send any comments to:
Last updated on 14th June 2001 .