The Internet is a vast and overwhelming place...and you are totally using it wrong!
Being able to sort through Internet Sources efficiently and accurately is no longer a school skill, it is a life skill! Think about it...buying a home, a car, a lawn mower, researching colleges, music, news...these are all parts of daily life that benefit from good search techniques and digital literacy!
Follow along below to begin to work on your digital literacy skills!
Good Research Skills: 8 min (source: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/6-online-research-skills-your-students-need)
1.Check Your Sources
The Skill: Evaluating information found in your sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context
The Challenge: While most kids know not to believe everything they read online, the majority also don’t take the time to fully evaluate their sources, according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The same study showed that, on average, kids as young as 11 rate themselves as quite proficient Internet users, which may inflate their confidence.
2. Ask Good Questions
The Skills: Developing and refining search queries to get better research results
The Challenge: Students will enter a search term, say, “Abraham Lincoln,” and comb through pages of results that aren’t related to their research (think Lincoln beards, Lincoln Logs), rather than narrowing their original query (“Lincoln assassination”).
3. Go Beyond the Surface
The Skill: Displaying persistence by continuing to pursue information to gain a broad perspective
The Challenge: Studies have shown that when using a search engine, kids often stop at the first search result, which they deem the most trustworthy.
4. Be Patient
The Skill: Displaying emotional resilience by persisting in information searching despite challenges
The Challenge: Today’s students are used to information on demand. So when they can’t find the answers to their questions after they’ve spent a few minutes poking around online, they may grow frustrated and throw in the towel.
5. Respect Ownership
The Skill: Respecting intellectual property rights of creators and producers
The Challenge: Increasingly, young people don’t see piracy as stealing. One survey found that 86 percent of teens felt music piracy was “morally acceptable.”
The Answer: SEE BELOW
6. Use Your Networks
The Skill: Using social networks and information tools to gather and share information
The Challenge: Some kids don’t understand the line between sharing information and plagiarizing it. A survey by plagiarism-prevention firm Turnitin found that the most widely used sources for cribbed material are sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, and Ask.com.
Brainstorm - where do you start your research?
I have a secret, and it is almost cheating!
Where to access:
This is the single most important resource that you have at your disposal, and it will follow you through high school and beyond. Seriously. Remember, information found through GALILEO almost always checks out as accurate, responsible, and up-to-date.
Citing Sources - the most fun you'll have today!
- Why cite sources?
- How to cite sources?
- Listen to and ask your teacher. They may have you use a different citation format, or require/not require specific parts, but this is still a necessary skill for responsible, and legal research and reporting.
- Remember: citing sources isn't just about creating a bibliography/works cited page! It is also about in-text citations of others' work.
I know that you are super excited to start researching, but there is one more important step to this process...organizing your notes!
- Get in the habit of building an annotated bibliography, or at least taking good notes and documenting where you found them.
- It can be as simple as an ongoing Google Doc. Name it a title relevant to the research topic, copy and paste relevant links as you find them...BUT INCLUDE A SHORT SNIPPET ABOUT THE PAGE!
- An annotated bibliography will become your references list as you develop your work.
You have a topic, you have a reputable, reliable source, and you have pointers on organizing your information...now use them!