Here’s a 5 Step Plan for getting the most out of the web for homework
- Understand the assignment. What’s the purpose of the task: to showcase your creative skills, or deliver some knowledge, or simply entertain…? How long is the presentation? Can you choose the format? Is this a solo task or a group exercise? Set a 5-minute timer and talk it over.
- Make a plan. Before racing off to begin, have a think about how much is involved in the whole project. Plot a timeline (and add some padding). Sketch a storyline, or make a bubble map using MindMeister. Set a time limit. For older kids, try using Trello, and Pomodoro to get the work done.
- Gather your data. Simple search is a great place to start, but don’t forget deeper resources like data.govt.nz. Wherever you look, cross-reference, check and assess – there’s a lot of wonderful stuff out there, and some fantasy, too. Help your kids learn “critical thinking” – or “don’t believe everything you read.” Oh, and one other thing: credit your sources.
- Stitch it together: Your kids could use software on mum or dad’s computer to make their magic, but consider drag-and-drop online tools like Prezi and Google Docs – they’re two of many powerful online presentation tools that make it very easy to share your finished product.
- Share it. Make the presentation available anywhere and to whichever group you specify, through Google Drive, Box, any other sharing space – or email it to the teacher. Then, get ready to present in person – search YouTube for some great videos about presentation technique!
Remember, the tools might be new, but digital homework isn’t so different from regular old homework – there’s just the potential for procrastination to be supercharged by distraction. Try this 5-Step Plan to getting homework done, and share your experiences in the comments.
You might also be interested in having a conversation with your kids about copyright, see more here.