Jessica Parker (2010) wrote that it is important that educators rethink and revisit vital principles of education so technology is incorporated and their view of learning change to appreciate the new learning experience of constructing curricula that is interactive and motivational. In the 21st century, learning and research has significantly changed because of the influx of information that is available on the Internet. Students no longer have to go the the library and read through multiple paper books, encyclopedias, journals, and magazines to retrieve information to compose a research paper. Search engines retrieve the same data from multiple sources in seconds. Because there is a plethora of information, it is essential that it goes through a filtering and weeding process to determine fact from fiction as well as relevance to the subject matter being researched. It is critical that any information to be utilized is accurate, relevant, verifiable, and from resources that are considered authorities in the field.
Learning effective ways to seek out desired information is imperative. There are four steps to gathering data that can be utilized in research: search, identify, evaluate, and cite (SSCCTLC,2002). These skills require students to hone in and fine tune their critical thinking skill set.
When conducting research, use a reputable search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, USA – official website of the United States, and LOC – the Library of Congress. These are just a few of the search engines that are available on the web. Search engines are only as smart as the information entered (SSCCTLC,2002).
Also, use key words or phrases to give the search engine enough information to retrieve the relevant data and narrow down the amount of data that will be returned (Media Awareness Network,2010). Phrases must use quotes and be in the correct order like “cherry wood table”. To further narrow the amount of data retrieved, use Boolean commands. For example, you want information on tables made in High Point, North Carolina, in the 1800s. Your search should be “tables” AND “High Point” AND “1800s” and all three words must appear in the data retrieved.
Students must recognize and identity if the search yielded the information they desire to include in their research. It is also vital that they know the source of the information, where did it come from; the author or authors of the information, their background, and their credentials to ensure credibility; recency of the information, how current is it; and how often is the information updated and maintained to ensure relevancy (SSCCTLC,2002).
Because search engines will retrieved millions of results based on the keywords entered, students must examine, determine, and make judgments regarding the information retrieved. Is it true, factual, relevant, detailed, vital, and complete? Or is it useless, insignificant, opinionated, incomplete, and inaccurate? Review the first two pages of retrieved results and review them in order to exclude or include based on other keywords that will ensure that you have the information desired(SSCCTLC,2002).
It is very important for students to learn proper citation (SSCCTLC,2002). Passing off someone’s work as your own can lead to serious consequences. Whether intentional (on purpose) or unintentional (accidental), it is the students’ responsibility to credit the words and works of others on their papers.
To be successful in asearch on the Internetcan take multiple attempts but there are several million online documents with no master database to keep all data verified and organized (Media Awareness Network,2010). These helpful tips will ease some of the burden of reading thousands of documents.
(Media Awareness Network,2010)
Sources are the materials or information that will be used in research. There are three types primary, secondary, and tertiary (UMD, 2010). Primary sources are original materials or works that were written during a specific period of time. Secondary are works that comments on or evaluate primary sources. Tertiary is information about or a listing of the secondary and primary sources.
Examples of primary sources as compiled by University of Maryland University Library (2010).
Examples of secondary and tertiary sources as compiled by University of Maryland University Library (2010). Secondary and tertiary sources are interchangeable based on the area of study.
Wikipedia is a online encyclopedia that anyone can create or edit content at anytime, from anywhere. The creators of Wikipedia freely admits that it is a collector of information and it should not be used as a primary source for scholarly research (Wikipedia, 2011). Richardson (2010) writes that Wikipedia promote collaboration in the construction of truth and knowledge where individuals engage and interact to create new knowledge.
According to Pacifici (2002), research sources must be reliable, accurate and credible to ensure acceptance in academia. She believes certain domains ensure the researcher that the information obtained within it can be trusted.
Information retrieved from reputable websites like news media, newspapers, and magazine can utilized with a high level of trust (Pacifici, 2002). Authors and contributors should be check to ensure that they are authorities in their field. Do others use what they have written as reference? Are they degreed? Do they have contact information which encourages questions? Is the information well written and professional? These are all clues in whether or not the information the information is relevant for use in research.
Because information is changing faster that it can be retrieved, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can assist in keeping it current and research relevant. According to Richardson (2010), it is a key building block for curriculum for personal learning as well as research. It feeds information as it is updated on the website of the feed consistently keeping individuals of the most recent information available.
How to Search theInternet Effectively Unit 3 Scenario Cheryl Gross American InterContinental University
Agenda • Introduction • Effective Searching • Types of Sources • Wikipedia as a Source • Source Verification • Strategies for Tracking Sources Fluidity • Conclusion • References
Introduction• Educators must rethink and revisit how students learn and how research is performed (Parker, 2010).• Significant change in learning and research.• Explosion of available information – Internet.• Important to filter and weed information.• Information must accurate, relevant, verifiable, and from credible sources.
Effective Searching Methods• Search – using a reputable search engine.• Identify – desired information.• Evaluate – fact or fiction, relevance or insignificance.• Cite – giving credit where credit is due.
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Search• Use a reputable search engine, subject directory, or subject specific resources. – About - www.about.com – Google - www.google.com – Bing - www.bing.com – Yahoo - www.yahoo.com – U.S. government information and services - www.usa.gov, www.irs.gov, www.usps.gov, www.fedstats.gov – Library of Congress - www.loc.gov – Internet Public Library - www.ipl.org
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Search• Use key words or phrases. – cherry (487 million results) – “cherry wood” (1.7 million results) – “quality cherry wood dining tables” (3 results).• Use Boolean commands (“AND”, “OR, and “AND NOT”).
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Identification• Identify – desired information.• Know its source.• Know its author(s) and their credentials.• Know the recency of the information.• Know the frequency of the updates.
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Evaluation• Evaluate – examine, determine and judge. – Fact or fiction. – Relevant or insignificance. – Vital or useless.• 1st two pages of search results should yield best matches.• Narrow your search with other keywords that can be included or excluded. Exploring for data on roses, exclude results that have information on Rose Kennedy.
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Citation• Citation – giving credit where credit is due.• Avoid plagiarism – use of others’ words and works as your own without proper citing.• Intentional or unintentional has consequences.• Resources available to ensure proper citation. – www.citationmachine.net, www.easybib.com, www.workscited4u.com, and www.apastyle.org.
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Things to Avoid with Query Keywords• Use nouns, not verbs.• Use 6 or more words.• Use phrases with quotation marks (“prenatal vitamins”).• Spell cautiously, considering alternative spellings of the word.
Effective Searching Methods (cont’d) –Things to Avoid with Query Keywords• Do not use articles (“the,” “a,” or “an).• Do not use pronouns (”it," ”he,” or “she”).• Do not use conjunctions ("or,” "and,” or “but”).• Do not prepositions (”from," ”in,” or “to”).
Types of Sources• Source – origin or provider of information.• Three types of reliable and credible sources. – Primary – original works created at a period in time. – Secondary – are works created after the original works, about them. – Tertiary – information about or collection of primary and secondary sources.
Types of Sources - Examples Primary Sources• Articles published in peer- • Period newspaper articles; reviewed journals; • Photographs and patents;• Artifacts from time period • Proceedings of meetings, (furniture, clothes, money, conferences and symposia; jewelry, fossils, and tools); • Records of symposia,• Audio and video recordings; conferences, meetings,• Diaries and journals; government agencies, and organizations;• Email communications, interviews, and websites; • Surveys results and speeches;• Letters and original • Works of architecture, music, documents; art, and literature.
Types of Sources – Examples (cont’d) Secondary Sources Tertiary Sources• Biographies and histories; • Almanacs and fact books;• Bibliographies and references; • Chronologies and• Criticisms and commentaries; bibliographies;• Encyclopedias and • Encyclopedias and dictionaries; dictionaries;• Journal, magazines, and • Directories and guidebooks; newspaper articles; • Abstracts, indexes, and• Monographs, except bibliographies for locating autobiographies and fictional secondary and primary works; sources;• Textbooks and websites. • Manuals and textbooks.
Wikipedia as a Source• Online encyclopedia• Contributed to by unpaid volunteers• Anyone can create and revise content• Collector of information• Not a primary source
Source Verification• Should be reliable, credible, trustworthy, and accurate.• Domain address is the key to who is sponsoring the website. – .gov, .us, and .mil are federal, state, or military sites in the United States. – .com and .net are commercial sites. – .edu are academic institution sites. – .org are usually represent nonprofit organizations.
Source Verification (cont’d)• High level of trust can been bestowed on data from: – Recognizable news media websites (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, etc.) – Newspaper and magazine websites (AJC, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Time, etc.)• Check the credentials of the author(s) (degrees, honors, published, referenced, and contact information).• Is the information being sold or is there free access?
Strategies for Tracking Sources Fluidity• Information must be current and relevant to be useful in research unless classical like Bloom’s Taxonomy or Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development.• Information changes constantly.• Use of RSS feeds assist with tracking changes to information. – Google Reader, Diigo, news groups and outlets, weather sites, search terms, and weblogs.
Conclusion• Students must use accurate, trustworthy, reliable, and current information to perform research.• Correct methods must be utilized to search, identify, evaluate, and properly cite data found.• Sources used must be obtained from primary sources with secondary and tertiary sources as support that can be checked for accuracy.• Verification of those sources are essential to ensure acceptance.• Use of RSS Feeds can assist in keeping students abreast of the most current information available.
ReferencesMedia Awareness Network. (2010). How to search the internet effectively. Retrieved from http://www.media- awareness.ca/english/resources/special_initiatives/wa_resources/wa_t eachers/tipsheets/search_internet_effectively.cfm.Pacifici, S. I. (2002). Features - getting it right: Verifying sources on the net. Retrieved from http://www.llrx.com/features/verifying.htm.Parker, J. K. (2010). Teaching tech-savvy kids. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, A SAGE Company.
ReferencesRichardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, A SAGE Company.South Seattle Community College Teaching and Learning Center (SSCCTLC). (2002). Teaching students to effectively use the internet. Retrieved from http://dept.sccd.ctc.edu/tlc/resources/teach.html.University of Maryland University Library. (2010). Primary, secondary and tertiary sources. Retrieved from http://www.lib.umd.edu/.
ReferencesWikipedia. (2011). Ten things you may not know about wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ten_things_you_may_ not_know_about_Wikipedia.