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Grocery Cart In Aisle Let's Go Comparison Shopping
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| Introduction
| Lesson Plan | What Is It? | Unit Pricing | Cost Per Serving | Other $ Savers | References

To navigate to any part of this document, select on one of the components below:
Introduction       Overview of Site      Why Use This Site      Next Steps 

Introduction
This website is designed to give viewers the experience of going to a grocery store.  It is intended to provide them the basics of comparison shopping, including the importance of brands, forms and sizes of products, the basics of calculating unit prices and cost per serving, and research other money saving options.  These basic skills will allow viewers to have a positive, cost effective shopping experience when they head out on their own.

Overview of Site
The Let’s Go Comparison Shopping website is arranged into eight main pages.  Viewers can move among any of these pages by clicking on the appropriate category heading on the navigation bar at the top of the page.  The Home Page serves as an entrance to the site and includes a welcome message from the author.  The Introduction, which you are presently reading, serves to explain the basics of this website, its overall design, its pedagogical reasoning, as well as how the site reaches various types of learners and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Lesson Plan is created as a guide for educators, students or anyone else who may wish to use this site and includes learning objectives that align with NYS Family and Consumer Sciences and National Educational Technology Standards, a sequence of activities, as well as rubrics to determine the levels of student learning.  The What Is It? page contains a video, article and activities that explain what comparison shopping is and how brands, forms and sizes impact pricing.  On the Unit Pricing page, viewers learn about unit pricing, unit price tags, and how to calculate unit prices.  The Cost Per Serving, allows viewers to determine the most cost efficient way of pricing products.  Viewers will learn why it is necessary to calculate using an alternative method, rather than unit pricing. The Other $ Savers page gives viewers the opportunity to research other ways to save money in the grocery store and share their results on an audio podcast and by creating a digital story with others.  The References page lists where images and information were found, showing viewers that it is necessary to cite your sources.

Why Use This Site (use readings and text)
Let’s Go Comparison Shopping was created as an interactive tutorial that would reach and engage a wide variety of learners, create a constructivist learning environment that fosters critical thinking, and could be accessed by a wide audience. 
 
Students will be exposed to an array of multimedia including text, audio, video, graphics and websites.  At each different section, viewers partake in various tasks to allow them to become active participants in the website.  Some of these tasks include taking a quiz, completing a handout, creating an audio podcast, and creating a digital story.  Annette Lamb’s, “Technology and Multiple Intelligences” website states that Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences “requires addressing individual differences and providing a range of activities and experiences to facilitate learning.” 
 
The Let’s Go Comparison Shopping website encompasses many of the intelligences by catering to their differences.  Verbal/Linguistic learners can hear audio recordings of videos, write voice narration, create and listen to voice podcasts, and contribute to the written and speaking aspects of the digital story.  Logical/Mathematical learners are given many chances to stretch their minds with the unit pricing and cost per serving calculations they are presented with.  Visual/Spatial learners are given the opportunity to see the information that is presented to them, work with Inspiration and create images for their digital stories.  Musical/Rhythmic learners can choose the background music for or create a musical podcast as well as work with the video and audio digitizers for the digital story.
 
According to Boethel and Dimock, as “the process of building new understandings is rooted in what we previously have experienced and understood” (1999, pg 7), it is important to trigger students’ prior knowledge.  Prior to starting this quest for knowledge on comparison shopping, students will have participated in a class brainstorming session to help activate the knowledge they had locked away.  This would also allow students to generate questions, explore scenarios and clarify any misunderstandings prior to moving on.  In order to begin the Other $ Savers activity, students are asked to use mind mapping software to brainstorm and build on their ideas and to show the interrelationships of ideas and concepts.   Learning activities will scaffold on one another, so that there is a seamless transition from one section of the site to another. 
 
The Concept to Classroom article, “Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning,” emphasizes student constructed, inquiry based, collaborative learning that will allow students to build on their prior knowledge to develop real life skills they can use to solve any problem they may encounter.  This site allows learners to be “active creators” of their own knowledge and to learn about a central concept at their own pace.  The activities all use real world numbers and products many of the students in a Foods class would encounter.  The skills they are learning can be utilized beyond the classroom, beyond the grocery store – they can be used when students shop for a college, for a car and for a home.  Comparison shopping is a transferable skill they can take with them beyond the walls of the high school.

Boethel and Dimock state, “Technology is a catalyst for change in classroom processes because it provides a distinct departure, a change in context that suggests alternative ways of operating. It can drive a shift from a traditional instructional approach toward a more eclectic set of learning activities that include knowledge-building situations for students.”  By taking what could normally be taught from a textbook using traditional teaching methods and constructing a new environment for students, I am shifting the responsibility of learning over to them and giving them ownership.  Students are often restricted to accepting what teachers say, however, when they are in the driver’s seat, they have control over what, when and how they learn.

The nature of this web site allows for interaction of students.  While they generally move through many aspects of the lesson individually, they have the opportunity to ask their neighbor questions and to clarify questions they may have.  Based on the Concept to Classroom article, “Constructivism promotes social and communication skills by creating a classroom environment that emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas.”   Students use one another’s strengths to complete their tasks, they bounce ideas off one another and they help each other out with technical issues that arise.   

This web site was designed based on the design concepts and ideas presented in Robin Williams and John Tollett’s, “The Non-Designers Web Book.  From the first page to the last, the primary goal making it easy for my viewer’s to find their way to and from any part of the site.  A clean, simple home page was established that stayed consistent and is contained within the 800 by 600 pixel viewing screen.  You will see “one-size surfing,” as every page stays within an 800 pixel width, avoiding horizontal scrolling and having to resize your screen to view the contents (pg 138).  The navigation design was well thought out and stayed consistent throughout the site.  Beyond the home page, repeated the use of a navigation bar with a shopping cart logo was included at the top of the pages which helped to add “a comfort level of familiarity and orientation” (pg. 145).  A “back to top” button and Next Steps button located at the bottom of the page further aided navigation.  The inclusion of links was very selective and any external links open in new windows (pg 151).  Each and every link was checked to make sure it worked, to avoid frustration and having viewers leave the site.    The use of color was simple and worked well with a crisp, white background color.  The Colors that were used were browser-safe, making them viewable by any browser.  Overall, the site was designed with simplicity, repetition and ease of navigation in mind.

In order to make this site accessible to a wide range of viewers, it was created in compliance with ADA regulations.  This was accomplished in a number of ways.  There is always a good contrast between the background color and the text color, allowing those with visual difficulties to see what is on the screen.  The text itself was an easy-to-read Arial font that can be viewed by all browsers.  Those images that were present included alternate labels to identify what the viewer is not seeing if the image did not load.  All videos and audio elements included text versions for those who have difficulty viewing them.  Additionally, all the downloadable worksheets and handouts had web page equivalents in case the user did not have the software necessary to download the file. 

In order to make this site a success, a great deal of effort went into making sure it not only relayed the content in a constructivist manner that would allow students to expand on their prior knowledge and use their critical thinking skills, but reached a wide variety of learners and viewers. 
Happy Navigating!  Enjoy the site!

Next Steps: At this point, you should proceed to the Lesson Plan

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