Information Overload and Other Techie Bugs:
A Prescription for Healthy Internet Integration

Have you noticed that you can never find exactly what you need, but you can always find interesting, irrelevant websites? Do you need a personal assistant to help you wade through all the websites you've written on scraps of paper? Do you have more bookmarks than books? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need Dr. Lamb's prescription for Information Overload. This session will help you find the "best of the net" and provide realistic strategies for integrating Internet resources into classroom activities.

This web page is a companion to a conference presentation.


Technology Overload

Have you ever tried to “answer” your remote control?
Are you tired of all the flashy, trashy, irrelevant websites? Let’s find practical, relevant sites!
Are you already running as fast as you can? Let’s find a personal assistant!
Do you have more bookmarks than books? Let’s get organized!
Do you have more ideas than time? Let’s choose the best!
Do you get butterflies thinking about kids and Internet? Let’s get prepared!

You need a prescription for Information Overload! This session explores the "best of the net", managing overload, realistic integration strategies, and finding what works.

Best of the Net

Rather than viewing the Internet as a huge, unmanagable collection of resources, identify a set a resources that can help you find quality materials. Look for tools in the following areas:

  • Search Tools
  • Teacher Resources
  • Tools & Calculators
  • Learning Environments

Search Tools

What you really need is your own personal assistant to help you locate materials for children, teens, and adults. Instead, look for websites that can help you with this job.

Ask yourself what you're really seeking. If you have a category of resources you need, use a directory or guide and find your topic. For example, a guide would help you find online news resources. Use a search engine when you have a specific topic you seek. For example, a search engine could help you find information on hurricane preparation. A meta engine will search multiple search engines at once.

Get started with the following links:

Teacher Resources

Look for teachers resources in the following areas: teacher sites, subject area sites, television sites, textbook sites, and best-of link sites.

Teacher Sites

Television & Video

Textbooks, Tradebooks, Software Publishers Sites

Best Of Awards Links

Look at your favorite sites. Check the awards on the page. Click on the award. Look for the links.

Tools and Calculators

Find a teacher resource builder. Look for puzzlemakers, worksheet makers, story problems, converters.

Learning Environments

Find a your teaching assistant. Locate online collaborations, WebQuest, tutorials, case studies, simulations.

Managing Overload

Remove the Pain

Plan ahead - get a scan converter, get speakers, preview as class, and group students or schedule the lab.

Get Organized

Organize your bookmarks - search tools, starting points, professional tools, and topical. Find a starter site. Create pages. Work your way up - paper, bookmarks, word processor, and web pages. It’s easier than it looks!

Limit Options

Preselect 3-4 general sites. Create worksheet - site, questions. Print out pages

Reduce Pressure

Focus on a standard, a question, an info need. Avoid stuff you already have!

Fly Away

Connect to outside classrooms - epals, projects, sharing

Revive Curriculum

Draw on student interests. Match curriculum to student interests

Handle Plug-in Pain

Are they worth it? Real Audio, Real Video, Shockwave

Techie Stuff - Drivers, Plugins and Tools

Use Multimedia

Provide variety - Audio, Video, Graphics

Find a Friend

Email friends, use teacher chatrooms, locate lesson websites.

Ten Techie Bug Ideas

Realistic Integration Strategies - Know your bugs!

Bug: Limited data

Use real-world data. Collect data. Share it with others. Compare data. Draw conclusions.

Bug: Need practice

Give students practice. Match to ability levels. Create worksheet guides. Provide a challenge. Expect results.

Bug: Slightly off

Modify a website to fit your needs - Different grade, country, emphasis

Bug: Linkrot

Update a broken site that’s good. Fix linkrot. Locate new links. Email webmaster!

Bug: Boring Reports

Use a webquest.

Bug: Need review

It’s fun, but it’s also a good way to review

Bug: Resource limits

Expand your curriculum. Beyond the textbook.

Bug: Too much info

Start with database. Apply the info - letter to protect, place in habitat, write a poem. Compare the findings

Bug: Keeping up

Bookmark classic sites. Visit regularly. Mark specific pages - NASA, Smithsonian, PBS

Bug: Maintain fun

Incorporate themes - bulletin board theme, computer in learning center, handouts, printed web pages. What’s cool to kids?

Find What Works

If you’ve been sitting in the waiting room…it’s time to help yourself! Start with what you already do…Love That Dog, Sharon Creech.

I’m nervous

What if kids get into something bad? Use “kid sites”. Provide a specific site and activity.

I’m hiding

Look for sets of info that are easy to use

I’m uncomfortable

I feel like a fish out of water. Try a large group activity.

I’m not “cool”

I feel like I’m in the wrong century. Combine old & new Books & Internet

I’m a klutz

It doesn’t work for me. Find sites that others suggest. Email & Lists.

I feel pressured!

Try email. Do it regularly. Ask an expert. Post results.


Just try one thing. - a special day, a contest, an email activity

  • Teacher Tap: Daily -
  • Read In -

I’m different

There’s something for everyone!

Let’s Go! - X-Ray Self-Check

Are you ready for the piranha? or at least a few goldfish?
Are you fired up? at least your pilot light is lit, right?


Created by Annette Lamb, 3/03.