Strategies for Computer Use with GSS

GSS has two types of computer/technology aspects:

  1. Students can read the materials on computer display, and
  2. Some investigations involve using computer software, Digital Earth Watch or SalsaJ (formerly HOU-IP) software.

1. For reading GSS books

a. For in-class reading, show the reading material with a single classroom computer with large screen display (such as LCD projector) and have all the students read that display. This has a number of advantages such as needing only one computer, option of students reading the material aloud, or having immediate discussions of certain questions that might come up. You can have students silently read a page with the assignment to pick a sentence or two that contains a key idea that is especially interesting to them. Then have volunteers read their chosen sentences and explain why it is of special interest to them.

b. For reading as homework, you need to find out how many students are able to use a computer at home for doing homework. For those students that have computers at home you can have students take the book home on CD-ROM or access the file from the GSS website. Students who do not have use of computers at home will need printouts of the specific pages that are the reading assignments.

GSS books are in Combined Online and Hardcopy Design (COHD) style for easy of reading both online and in paper.

2. For investigations using software

a. Reserve a computer lab and depending on the number of computers available, have one student per computer or pairs/groups of students share computers.

b. Use a single classroom computer with large screen display. Have students take turns doing the "driving" with the whole class watching and discussing results.

c. If most students have access to computers at home, assign the investigations as homework and loan CD-ROMs to the students to install the software on their home computers.

d. Use a combination of any of the above approaches. For example, use strategy (b) for introducing the investigation and then (a) or (c) for student work.