Jeff Utecht

Students Today: Search, Discover, Create

There was a time not to long ago when we taught students how to sort and organize their files. How to create folders inside of folders and basically do what we do in the physical world to our digital life. Then came the Internet and its endless websites. We tried to organize them but there were too many. So we turned to something different…. we stopped trying to organize the web and we started searching it. Search is the skill of our era, a life skill that once mastered opens up all sorts of opportunities. Do we teach search in classrooms and schools?

Along with search is understanding web resources like Wikipedia. Research from 2013 shows that not only is Wikipedia better than any other Encyclopedia but that now it’s even more relevant than your textbook. Come explore the real learning possibilities that Wikipedia has to offer and why we need to be teaching every student how to use it properly.

This session will focus on the skills and strategies of search. Participants will walk away with K-12 lesson plans, ideas and classroom routines they can start using tomorrow in their classroom to teach students the skill needed most in today’s connected world. The skill of search. For more background on this session read Jeff’s journal article from the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

Possible Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Understand how search works on the Internet
  • Understand how and why you can trust Wikipedia
  • Create lessons that take advantage of the abundance of information on the Internet
  • Develop strategies for assessment in the world of Google
Intended Audience

This session is best suited for:

  • Elementary educators who want to better understand how to use Google and the web with their students in innovative ways.
  • 6-12 Humanities, English, Social Studies, History, Current Events educators. We will cover math and science but it will not be the focus on this session.
About Jeff

Jeff Utecht is an educational technology consultant, educator and author. He holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Technology as well as his administrative certification through Washington State. Jeff began his career in the Elementary Classroom at a public school in Washington State. In 2001, he was the recipient of a Bill and Melinda Gates Grant called the Technology Leadership Program. This marked the beginning of his journey with technology and learning.

Over the past 10 years, Jeff has taught at International Schools in the Middle East and Asia. Moving from a classroom teacher into technology facilitator roles and administrative positions, Jeff began sharing his passion for learning via his blog The Thinking Stick. Jeff has authored chapters in numerous books, worked as the educational consultant for a wiki company, and began speaking at schools and educational events around the globe. He has worked with politicians in Washington DC and participated in The Educational Project at the invitation of the Prince of Bahrain. In 2010 Jeff was invited to present at the first TEDx conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Jeff is a Google Apps Certified Educational Trainer. In tandem with his values of collaboration and open source, he created the Google Ninja Program. This free program designed to support students and educators in their learning of the Google Applications is now widely used around the globe. It is Jeff’s belief in learning and future generations that continues to drive his passion.

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