Technology has the ability to transform a culture (cite this). A pair of technologies has undoubtedly changed modern society: search engines and mobile devices.
Look at a group of people interacting. What are the odds that someone in the group will pull out their phone to look up some information? This is the transformation, we are able to instantly access information in the moment we are wondering something. Our actions and decisions are impacted by the infusion of the information we discover.
Let us not pretend that this technology does not exist. It does and our students will have access to it for their whole lives. This ability will only get better.
Being able to search effectively is a life skill.
Sometimes we take for granted that young people know how to use a search engine. They do not. This is a skill we need to practice with students.
My husband, Barton Keeler, teaches high school English. Wanting to have students do research and be able to answer essential questions he realized that he needed to do searches with them. His daily warm up is to have the students practice the gamified website www.agoogleaday.com. This provides an opportunity for students to daily tackle a question that can answered through advanced searching techniques.
How did you find your answer?
The students explain their process. When the students are stuck is the perfect opportunity for students to collaborate together, persevere, and use critical thinking skills to derive other methods of finding the answer. These conversations happen in partners, small groups and whole class.
I love it when I (the teacher) am not able to solve the agoogleaday.com challenge and a student is able to teach me how to find the solution. – Barton Keeler
Common Core Standards
Below are only a few of the Common Core standards that support students conducting internet research and understanding advanced search techniques.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.B Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.8 and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
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