Whether or not students and teachers in your classroom, building, or school district have embraced web 2.0 tools like wikis, blogs and podcasts– chances are extremely high they are currently using the Internet for research projects. Digital immigrants may falsely assume that digital natives are naturally good at Internet research, but this is not generally true. In fact, some studies indicate that many kids rarely go beyond the first page of results from a simple Google keyword search!
The free, short (16 minute) digital movie, “Mission Possible: Successful Online Research” from Answers.com is a good resource teachers can use when helping students learn more effective Internet research skills. The video description from the publisher is:
Mission Possible: Successful Online Research, an entertaining and informative overview of the development of the Internet, essential research skills and most importantly, plagiarism issues. The movie comes with a complete lesson plan and follow-up activity.
Starting at about the 3 minute mark of the video, the “Search, Scribe, and Cite” model for Internet research is described. Time-wasting traps for students are cleverly categorized as “Outdated, Irrelevant, Incorrect, and Inappropriate” webpages. The following researching tips and skills are also covered: “Pre-search, TLD (top level domain) analysis (although it does not mention newer TLDs like .tv, .info, .biz, etc), objective vs. subjective source identification, pre-writing, and source citation.) This video is a good example of an effective digital story using narration voice-overs and still images. No video footage is actually used in the movie, except for some animated line drawing on a few slides. Starting at 12:50 of the movie, an advertisement for the answers.com website begins, but it does provide some good info about collaboratively edited sources like WikiPedia compared to other sources.
Two additional resources not mentioned in the video but also excellent for discussions about effective Internet searching and source citations are David Warlick’s free resource Citationmachine and Soople.com, which is a wizard-based interface for Google’s advanced search.
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