Are “digital natives” experts at effectively finding information on the web, evaluating it and putting it to use?
“Digital natives areextraordinarily sophisticated and strangely narrow.”
Elementary Students Intractable After a year-long information literacy program,most 5th grade students continued to rely entirelyon Google and “never questioned the reliability ofthe websites they accessed.” 1 -- Vrije University Netherlands (2008)
Even when high school students found a good source...
... they did notrecognize it andinsteadlaunched a newsearch.
“Students‟ high level of browsing… at the expense of thinking about information need, planning for strategies and evaluating obtained information.” 2 -- Shu Hsien L. Chen (2003)
In 2010 Dulcinea Media surveyed 300 middle school and high school students in New York. 3
Conclusions….A majority of students: don‟t know how to form a sound search query; don‟t have a strategy for dealing with poor results; can‟t articulate how they know content is credible; don‟t check the author or date of an article.
College Students in 2010? “[S]tudents‟ level of faith in their search engine of choice is so high that they do not feel the need to verify for themselves who authored the pages they view or what their qualifications might be.” 4 -- Eszter Hargittai, et al Northwestern University Int‟l J. of Communications 4 (2010)
Not one of the 600 college students surveyed “could give an adequate conceptual definition of how Google returns results….the word „magic‟ came up a lot.” 5 --ERIAL study (Illinois 2010)
Students‟ Primary “Strategy”... wildly firing randomterms into a search box,and hoping they‟ll getlucky.
Why Teach Web Research?“[T]he millions spent to wire schools and universitiesis of little use unless students know how to retrieveuseful information from the oceans of sludge on theWeb.” 6 -- Geoffrey Nunberg, Professor UC Berkeley School of Information
An Informed Internet Citizenry“[I]nitiatives that help educate people in this domain– whether in formal or informal settings – could playan important role in achieving an informed Internetcitizenry.” 4 ---Eszter Hargittai, et al
Improving Internet skills starts with educators
Emerging research indicates that many teachers do not have the necessary skills to navigate the Internet. -- Barbara Combes, Professor, Edith Cowan University, Australia
“Students need to seeeducators modeling aneffective researchprocess and learn fromit.”-Colette Cassinelli librarian/ technology teacher Portland, OR
“Participation Gap” Students with support are finding ways to thrive in complex digital information environment. 7
A “New Divide” Students with access to librarians teaching Web research skills “take prize of better grades” in college.8
Those without access to web research training show up at college “beyond hope”….with an “ingrained coping behaviour”… “they have learned to „get by‟ with Google.”8-- University College London
There is No Quick Fix Effective web research skills cannot be learned in a week, a semester, or a year.
Not Integrated into Curriculum Research skills often are taught only by librarians are not always reinforced by classroom teachers.
“[L]leaving information literacy to librarians alone suggests a failure to understand the scope of the problem.” 6 -- Geoffrey Nunberg
Web research skills must be taught throughout primary school years to break the “culture of use” currently seen in this generation of users. -- Barbara Combes
Existing Tutorials are LackingBig6 model: created in 1987 for offline research; retrofitted to incorporate the Internet; student version not written for the way students learn today.
A New Approach? Educators must teach broad concepts and strategies, not how to use specific tools. -- Authors of ERIAL study
A New Approach?“We have shown the importance of looking at thewhole process of information seeking andcontent evaluation from the first decision aboutwhich search engine or Web site to consultinitially to the final stage of settling on a pagewith the sought-after content.” 4 ---Eszter Hargittai, et al Northwestern University Int‟l J. of Communications 4 (2010)
"Unless we can demonstrate some measurable payoff to searching, students aren‟t going to do it.” 5 - Lisa Rose-Wiles, Librarian Seton Hall University
What the Web Needs Now…A research tutorial that: is created for the Web; brings teachers along; examines the whole process of information seeking and content evaluation; offers a practical “payoff” approach; and engages today‟s students.
SweetSearch Web Research Tutorial An e-book with 16 Chapters that include: instructions summaries videos links quizzes posters
Foundation of the Tutorial Studies of students‟ Web research skills. Studies of habits of skilled Web researchers. 9
Table of ContentsIntroduction Chapter 1: How a Skilled Researcher Behaves Chapter 2: How the Internet Works Chapter 3: How Search Engines WorkCopyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Table of Contents Understanding Your ToolsGetting Started Chapter 4: Planning and Adjusting Your Research Chapter 5: Using All of Your ResourcesCopyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Table of ContentsSearching, Searching, Searching Chapter 6: Using Special Search Functions Chapter 7: Digging Deep in Search Results Chapter 8: Keeping Track of Your SourcesCopyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Table of ContentsKnow the Source of Your Source Chapter 9: Finding and Using Primary Sources Chapter 10: Are You Looking at a Counterfeit?Copyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Table of ContentsEvaluating Your Sources Chapter 11: Who Wrote This? Chapter 12: Why Did the Author Write This? Chapter 13: When Was This Written? Chapter 14: Thinking CriticallyCopyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Table of ContentsSynthesizing Your SourcesChapter 15: Turning Many into OneChapter 16: Avoid Plagiarism; Paraphrase & Quote CorrectlyCopyright Dulcinea Media, Inc. 2011-12
Prototype of Chapter 4http://litteacher.com/sweetsearch/chapter-4/
Quiz Questions for Chapter 4How can students gain an increased understanding of anassignment before they begin researching?Why is it important for students to write down questionsabout their research topic?What are some good methods for identifying searchterms?Why is it important to adjust your search terms after youbegin searching?
Activities for Chapter 4Take a recent homework assignment and rewrite thehomework assignment in your own words.Write out questions that you have about your assignmenttopic and from these questions, choose the most importantwords from these questions.With these words come up with keyword search terms incombinations of two or three.Give two examples of keyword bias using the termsabove.
Prototypes of Chapter 11http://litteacher.com/sweetsearch/chapter-11/
Quiz Questions for Chapter 11What are some of the reasons that the top results in asearch engine may not be the most authoritative results?How can you learn about an author or publisher?Why can‟t you necessarily trust the content on a websitethat ends in .Edu?Why is Wikipedia not a source on which you can entirelyrely?
Activities for Chapter 11Choose three websites and write down the name of itspublisher and management team.Research the publisher and management team online andwrite down what you find.Enter a search term in Google and using just the firstpage, write down the name of the publisher and ormanagement team for each site. Evaluate if the publishersare experts in the search term you entered.
Works Cited:1. Els Kuiper, Monique Volman and Jan Terwel. “Students use of Web literacy skills and strategies: searching, reading and evaluating Web information.” Information Research: Vol. 13, No.3, (September, 2008.http://www.informationr.net/ir/13-3/paper351.html2. Shu-Hsien L. Chen. “Searching the Online Catalog and the World Wide Web.” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, 41 1 (September 2003) 29-433. Mark E. Moran and Shannon Firth, “A Study of Students Online Behavior,” March 2010.http://blog.findingdulcinea.com/2011/06/a-study-of-students-online-research-behavior.html4. Eszter Hargittai, Lindsay Fullerton, Ericka Menchen-Trevino and Kristin Yates Thomas, Northwestern University, “Trust Online: Young Adults‟ Evaluation of Web Content° International Journal of Communication 4 (2010), 468–494 1932–8036/20100468 http://ijoc.org/ojs/index.php/ijoc/article/view/6365. Steve Kolowich, Searching for Better Research Habits, Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2010http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/09/29/search
Works Cited:6. Geoffrey Nunberg, “Teaching Students to Swim in the Online Sea,” The New Yrok Times,February 13, 2005. http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/infolit.html7. Project Information Literacy Smart Talk, no. 3, John Palfrey, "Rethinking Plagiarism in the DigitalAge?" September 1, 2010.http://projectinfolit.org/st/palfrey.asp8. UCL. “Information behavior of the researcher of the future”: 11 January 2008.http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/reppres/gg_final_keynote_11012008.pdf9. Media Post: Google Research Focuses on Search Failures, September 21, 2010http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=136114&nid=118854
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