Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Internet Research - Section 4: How to Find Anything Online

 

Even after we had talked about the importance of keywords, and gone through the whole process, when the students actually got their computers and started working, I discovered that they would read the task and immediately started typing. There was no writing of keywords on their papers, and "refined" keywords were -- in their minds -- non-existent.

They had gotten into a "find the answer" frame of mind, challenging each other to be the first to find an answer, while I felt like a top, spinning around the classroom, repeating over and over, "What were your key words?".  They only started filling in key words when I stopped the class, and stated that "no key words meant no grade" - a threat that I loathe to have made because it puts me in that authoritative place. Even then, I am not sure that the keywords they finally filled in are the actual keywords they used.

I had failed to make the purpose of the assignment clear, "This is not about finding answers but about becoming better at searching". Yes, I did state it at the beginning of the lesson, but apparently not well enough.

Next time I teach this lesson, I am planning on students not getting their devices until after they have filled in their key words for each task. I will also have this be partner work with only one device per pair, where the non-typer becomes the search monitor, responsible for ensuring that the initial keywords used correspond to what is actually typed. I am also considering adding a rationale component, where the pair has to explain the choices. 

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  Adjustments to Practice: Lesson learned
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Internet Research

Unit 2: Online Science Research
Lesson 1 of 3

Objective: Students will be able to develop a search strategy and identify keywords to become more effective online researchers.

Big Idea: Internet research can be invaluable, if you know how to do it.

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