Helping kids learn through researchPresentation Transcript
Helping Kids Learn through Research: What Parents Can do to Help
What is Research?
Research is a process that involves knowing you need information, knowing where to go to find that information and then knowing how to use that information to meet your needs.
The Internet is not the only source for information today. There are other electronic resources that can meet our information needs more fully and more efficiently.
It is important to use information ethically when we do research, even from the youngest age.
What resources are available when doing research?
Print resources including books, magazines, and encyclopedias.
Electronic resources including Internet websites and online databases.
Primary resources including letters or interviews.
You have many options!
What online resources are available?
A website is information posted by an individual or a group about a topic. It can be searched using any search engine on the Internet.
An online database is a group of reference materials paid for and hosted by a specific organization. The material has been edited, often by experts in the field, before being placed online.
What is the difference between a website and a database?
Websites can be produced by anyone from a 1 st grade class to an educational institution.
Information on websites can be extremely reliable or not at all reliable.
Websites can be produced for the purpose of making money or for the purpose of educating or both.
Not all websites are written by an authority in the field.
Databases are reference materials that have been gathered by professionals.
Information on databases is extremely reliable because the people who put them together depend on their credibility in their fields.
Databases are paid for by organizations so their primary intent is to inform.
Databases cannot be searched using an Internet search engine
Best Online Resources to Begin With For Your Child
DISCUS : South Carolina’s online library; www.scdiscus.org
StudySC : Information about South Carolina culture, history, geography, and more. www.studysc.org
SCIWAY : South Carolina’s place to go for information related to all things about our state. www.sciway.net
What is the difference between Google and a resource?
This is a question students ask all the time and they may ask you.
Google, and other search engines such as Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. are ways to search the Internet for sites containing information about topics.
Google and other search engines do not provide us with actual information. Therefore, we can never credit Google as a reference source.
Once you find a site that is applicable to you and your research topic, then you have found your source of information.
Some Kid-Friendly Search Engines (start with these before Google)
The benefit to these is that they are hand chosen to include appropriate information for students rather than “crawling” the whole web.
How do I know if a website is reliable?
There are some key questions to ask when deciding if a website contains reliable information:
Do you know who is sponsoring the site?
If so, is this person an authority on the subject? How do you know?
Are there lots of ads on the page? If so, then the primary purpose of this site might be to get you to buy something rather than give you information.
Is there a way to contact the people who produce this site in case you have further questions?
More questions to consider…
How up to date is this information? In a book there is a copyright date, on a webpage there should be some indication of how recently the information was updated.
Does the information on the page concur with other information that you know to be true about your subject?
In general, trustworthy websites end with .org, .edu, or .gov
Websites ending in .com or .net are usually intent on selling a product or information or the person providing the information on the website has paid to have the website hosted.
What about Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is edited by users of the Internet.
Most information on Wikipedia is reliable but not everything is.
Because it is a type of website called a “wiki”, it can be edited by anyone who has an account, including you or your child.
Be cautious when an article says that some facts have not been checked yet.
Bottom line… Websites can look pretty and look reliable, but there are many factors to rely on when determining if a website actually contains good, useful, accurate information. Let’s look at some sites together to determine if they are reliable or not. Don’t be fooled by the “official” looking address of this site. Let’s take a look at what could be wrong. http://www.thomasedison.com/ Now, here’s a good one: http://edison.rutgers.edu/
A Few Final Tips for Parents
Encourage good note-taking, not copying .
Be sure to remind your child to credit where he/she got information. Part of learning to use information ethically is to say where it came from, even if your child is a 1 st grader.
If you use a picture from a website or book, you must also credit where that came from.
Sit with your child during research. Talk together about whether a website is reliable or not.
Encourage your child to think about the information they are gathering. This helps them to determine how to best use the information when it comes to project time.
Research is Fun! Working together from an early age on proper research skills leads to less frustration as children age. When kids know where to go for information and how they are allowed to use the information they have, they have a lot of fun looking for new facts and applying them!