Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Students and Researching

I came across the following infographic from Education Database Online Blog about students using technology to research.

Digital Research Infographic

A lot of the points I agree with. Students in primary and intermediate schools all use Google and Wikipedia for researching. Most of the researching I see is of a poor standard
  • students ask questions in the search engine
  • students don't know what key words are
  • a lot of what is found is regurgitated in a PowerPoint or a Keynote with words students obviously don't know the meaning of
  • it is all lower end thinking, there is no new knowledge or meaning
What I don't agree with is that Technology is making it harder for students to research. In my travels my observations are is that teachers do not teach research skills, they assume that students know how to research. Researching is considered Googling! The statement that the amount of information is overwhelming is due to the poor research skills that turns up millions of results. Another statement that it is harder for students to find credible sources is also down to teaching students how to recognise from URLs what looks like credible sites, and then searching the page itself to see if it is a reputable site.
Is the internet distracting? Are devices and their apps distracting? Yes they are! So now we have to teach self control to students, and reinforce on task behaviour.
I disagree with 'technology is damaging students' attention spans'... if anything it is improving it. In the last two weeks I have been in six different schools. My observations were of engaged, interested students who were learning. All of the schools were using devices to differing levels, all have had to discuss with students about appropriate use of devices and apps. Several teachers have told me that in particular several of their boys who were not doing well in traditional classrooms have been turned around with using devices.
I believe that technology is making it easier to research if you have the skills. Devices and apps like Evernote that allow you to store, cite and organise information needs to be taught to teachers and students alike. Google runs a free online PowerSearching Course which all teachers should do.

Let's teach the basic research skills! The following links are to a Higher Order Thinking Resource wiki that I am developing, that makes use of Graphic Organisers to scaffold student learning


Gemini Jen NZ said...

Hi Jacqui, I am a new follower, having had your site/s recommended to me today by colleague from another school and I can see that this blog will become my go-to for anything ICT. I love that you have so many practical tips and ideas - your research post is very timely as I am about to set a focus on research at the start of next term. Looking forward to learning a lot from your expertise! Cheers!

Jacqui Sharp said...

Thanks Jen, hope it all helps!

download ebooks said...

Thanks for sharing the infographic, Jacqui! It's surprising to know that according to it most students don't know how to use Google. Also, thanks for teaching us the basic research skills, didn't have Evernote before but I now do thanks to you.