Thursday, April 3, 2014

Digital Research Part 1: Teacher Guided

At a recent Edcamp, I facilitated a discussion about student research online. At the beginning of the session all of the teachers agreed that students have poor research skills. In addition, teachers felt unsure how to help students develop the research skills they needed. Based on the ensuing discussion at the Edcamp and input from other teachers, I think there are at least three ways to help students effectively conduct research online. In this first post I will focus on teacher guided research strategies.

#1 Link List

Perhaps the most basic method is creating a list of links for students to click through. This could be as simple as creating a list of hyperlinks on a Google document. Or it could be something more visually appealing like creating a Blendspace lesson. This website allows a teacher to drag-and-drop resources onto a grid that can be shared with students via a shortened url. Students can then proceed through the lesson one step at a time. I have included a link to video tutorial on how to use Blendspace.

#2 Google Custom Search

Another option is for a teacher to create a Google Custom Search Engine.  This Google tool creates a unique search page which limits student searches to a list of websites the teacher chooses in advance. An advantage to this choice is that it allows students to practice their searching skills with a small set of web pages that have been vetted by the teacher. I have included an online tutorial below created by Nancy Minicozzi.

The next blog post will describe how to teach students how to do online research using Instagrok.


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