This week in eSchool News there is a concern that technology is having a negative impact on students' research abilities. The article, Web Literacy: Where the common core meets common sense, identifies a major concern that students' quick approach to just "google it" is hindering their ability to solve complex research problems. Do you agree with this concern? What activities are you doing with students to reinforce effective research skills?
I don't think that's a legitimate argument. The fact is technology has made research much more simple, and because of that fact these so called "research skills" are simply no longer needed in a majority of cases. How is the information that a modern day student finds in 5 minutes any different then the information you and I spent hours pouring through books in the library to find at their age? I think the real issue is that how we conduct that research has changed and that we need to be teaching students how to pick through false information online to get to the real answers they need to know. Google is an incredible academic tool, and used properly it will make us more efficiant researchers not the other way around.
I agree. Research is so much easier now due to the use of technology. But, we do need to teach students how to effectively use the internet for research and how to discern good sources from the not so great. There is so much information at our fingertips now and kids are very skilled at getting it, we just have to help them be able to access the best of it.
When working with higher ed, many faculty members still will not allow Internet resources to be used in papers, and demand that only printed materials be referenced. K-12 is doing a good job of teaching students to find resources on the Internet and to validate them before referencing them. Why do you think higher ed is still reluctant?
In my humble opinion, those professors who will not permit Internet resources are those who do not know how to check their legitimacy. The plagiarism aspect runs rampant at the college level as I'm sure it does at some high schools, but generally those instructors do not realize they can check the sources through a number of Internet services such as "Turnitin." Also, for whatever reason some of those reluctant to allow Internet resources are also reluctant to allow students to use laptops or IPads in the classroom.
You would be amazed at how many students ask me at the beginning of the semester if I permit use of laptops in my classes. I always state that of course they may use laptops and any other mobile devices that will assist them in acquiring knowledge from my class. But, in all fairness, I actually ask them to use these devices in my teaching strategy.
I thought my statement might draw a response from you, Karen. It will take instructors like you to take up the challenge and let our college students use the technology they have "under their thumbs." I am just so glad that we are all continuing to learn right along with our students.
Do you have teaching strategies that include using cell phones in the classroom? I'd love to hear more.
Oh, you are soooo crafty!!! You knew I would have to respond to that.
But, actually my strategies for using the cell phones in class are nothing new. I have just borrowed from others a lot more savvy than myself. But, to answer your question, they use it to look up data we are discussing and need a current figure so research is big. Of course, I use it for polling in the classroom a lot. They like that because they feel like they are on American Idol, I think. But, I like it because it elicits a quick response to see what the attitudes are on a wide range of ideas. Getting direct feedback on what is on their mind gives all of us the ability to expand our way of thinking.
Now, the strategy I do not want them to engage in would be the texting of answers among themselves while taking a test. The more likelihood of them using it in an ulterior way would be to take a picture of my test questions and forward them to a friend in the next class hour. So, these types of activities have me on the look-out. I am aware of the ability for them to store answers and data in their phones to draw upon later, but I do allow them to use them as calculators in the event they forgot their graphic calculator. It's very difficult working with CPI and not use a calculator to figure out the changes.
I look forward to learning about more ways to use cell phones in class so hopefully you can bait others to join in.
I LOVE that today' students can quickly find the most current research. Our digital native students have embraced technology, and turned it into a collaborative tool to share and synthesize concepts. Too often the teacher is intimidated because we can't keep up.
Teachers do need to be wary of the potential for students to use technology to cheat, but it is crazy to think we should return to the days of library research using outdated materials.
eSchool News reported in an article, "Teachers concerned about students’ online research skills," (November 5, 2012) that students are relying too heavily on Internet search engines to find answers to their research questions.
The article states: "While 77 percent of the teachers said they believe technology provides an overall benefit—primarily access to more resources—the majority also said online research can be overwhelming, distracting, and make it difficult for students to find credible information."
What's your opinion about the use of online research by students? Do your concerns mirror this article? Please share your thoughts.