Project 1: Vertical Files
Currently the Resource Centre has a collection of vertical files which students and teachers have created while conducting research projects. It contains a list of reference materials which the students used in conducting their research. These files are currently restricted to materials contained in the resource centre (Encyclopedias, Magazines, etc.). We are in the process of adding URL's to these vertical files, as students begin to use the Internet as an integral tool for research projects.
Over a period of time, this could become a very elaborate list which will save new students enormous amounts of time in locating their resource materials on the net. The majority of time spent researching on the net involves performing a series of searches in which you may get as many as 100,000 hits depending upon how refined your search string is. A great deal of time is then spent exploring this list of sites, in order to locate a site which contains useful information relating to the students research topic. Many of these sites do not contain information which is of interest to the student doing his/her research. Therefore much time is wasted browsing these inappropriate sites looking for useful information.
We believe that the addition of bookmarked web sites will be beneficial to students as both a time saver, and an alternative resource for conducting research. As each individual on the web has his/her own list of bookmarks of sites of importance or interest to themselves, the vertical files, on a larger scale, will be a bookmark file for students in the school. With the ever growing popularity of the Internet, we believe that it will become an increasingly important asset for students in doing research and a significant resource in the education of students.
This is a research course in which students are required to complete two research papers. Students use materials which are located in the resource centre as a basis for their research papers. Some students are currently taking advantage of the Internet as a resource for their research by visiting the public library which provides free Internet access to students wishing to use it. We believe that the Internet will be used on a much larger scale as a resource for these students when the students are provided with Internet access in the school.
A part of the students' assignments in each of their research projects involves their creating a vertical file of all resource materials which they used to conduct their research on their particular subject. Once students gain access to the Internet, they will be encouraged to add any URL's which they used as a resource in their projects to these vertical files. Initially, this is where we suspect that the majority of the URL's added to the vertical files will be from.
Currently in our high school there is a lack of career development materials which aid students in choosing the career path which will shape the rest of their lives. We believe this to be a very important area. Students should be given access to as many career development materials as possible. No where else in a person's life is this type of information more important than during the course of the high school program when students begin exploring the extensive list of career possibilities, to choose one for themselves. A lot of this information can be found on the Internet. One of our goals is to create a file containing a list of URL's which will direct students with these alternative avenues in career exploration, will make students more aware of the areas that are available to them, and equipped to explore a career area that will ultimately guide and shape the rest of their lives.
Other Curriculum Courses
Basically, any of the curriculum courses may involve the students having to research a particular subject. This research may not be as extensive as the projects undertaken by students participating in the Language 2101 course, but students will be using the Internet as a research tool. These students, from time to time, will be making use of the vertical files and will be encouraged to make additions to these vertical files if they locate any sites on the web in which they find timely and useful information. We believe that over time, these vertical files will have grown to the extent that all students will have the potential of benefitting from them during the course of their high school program.
Access to the Internet through the STELLAR Schools program will contribute to the success of this project. Currently students wishing to use the Internet as a research tool, have to visit the public library on their own time, nor have the time to explore this alternative avenue of resources.
We believe that students will take advantage of having Internet access in their own school, and will be more capable of using the Internet as a research tool. Teachers then can easily take their research class to the resource centre as they currently do, and students will have access to this important resource right at their fingertips. This project is centred around enhancing our vertical files through the Internet. So it cannot be stressed enough how providing students with access to the Internet will determine the success or failure of the project.