(by Diana Beabout)
Welcome to Week 2! This week is all about utilizing online tools to find information in various formats. We have more information available to us than at any time in history so having strategies for locating and curating information is key. It can be, as they say, “trying to drink water from a fire hose”. Because of the vast amount of information available, research and curation are important components of digital literacy, and essential when teaching students how to use the available tools.
To give you an idea of how much information is being shared and consumed online, check out the site called Internet Live Stats. You will get a real-time count of the number of internet users, websites, and Google searches happening at any given minute on the internet. [see my screenshot]
Online Research Tips
As we take on the huge task of sifting through the internet here are a few helpful sites:
- 5 Must-Have Google Search Tips for Students
- 31 Google Advanced Search Tips
- 8 Ways to Hone your Fact Checking Skills
- Pew Research Center (A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world)
- 10 Research Tips for Finding Answers Online
How are research skills addressed at your school?
Who provides the guidance and support for students?
Tools for Curation
When we have found the information that we were looking for, it is a good idea to keep it in a place that we can find it. Otherwise, it can be a little baffling when we do look for it at a later date. This is why it’s good to have strategies for keeping all of the goodies we find. Using online curation sites can really help to keep yourself organized. Here are a few options:
- Wakelet is a curation tool because it allows you to keep a variety of media you find (including articles, documents, videos, images, Tweets, and more) in one convenient news-feed. Additionally, there are options for sharing and collaboration.
- Padlet is a multifaceted tool (not just for curation of research). You can create and share digital bulletin boards categorized in any way you choose. Pick between your favorite way of storing your research with mind-maps, shelves, or news-feed when organizing your content.
- Pocket is a place to keep tabs on all your interesting articles in one place, for future reference. Read a blog that you like whilst on your phone, save it to Pocket, and know that you can find it again. You can easily group articles by tagging and built-in search functionality makes finding those articles easy.
- Toby: Better than Bookmarks is a Chrome extension (coming soon to Firefox and Microsoft Edge) that helps you organize your tabs on every new page. Toby is a visual workspace where you can organize tabs into collections or save a whole session in just one-click. Use tags to organize your collections or create notes for your to-dos.
Please share any other curation tools that you would add to our list.
Checklist for the week
- Check-in with the My Courses page to see your readings for the week.
- Ensure your blog is set so that you approve comments as you receive them. A part of your assessment is commenting on other participant blogs so they must be visible to the public.
- Write a reflective blog post on this week’s content and comment on at least one of your cohort members’ posts.
- Add the URLs for your blog post and one of your comments to your grade sheet.
- Consider sharing your blog post on social media with the #COETAIL hashtag so your peers can see when you post.
- G.E.T. participants see the Google Education Trainer Tab for more information.