“How do you activate engagement, motivation, and interest with research tools?” Researching and sharing meaningful findings can be daunting for students. That’s why two tools, GoogleScholarandTour Builder, can be used to create a virtual tour of student learning.
During a recentTCEA Google Educator Level 2 Bootcamp, participants learned ways they can use some lesser-known aspects of Google’s suite of tools available to students to enhance engagement. “If students are not paying attention, they are not engaged; and, hence, they are not learning” (Pat Wolfe, as cited inDigital Media in Today’s Classrooms). If students are not engaged, they simply report facts and information without real meaning (Source). Google tools likeScholarandTour Buildermake learning more engaging for students of varying ages.
Teachers say a top priority in today’s classrooms should be teaching students how to “judge the quality of online information.” A significant portion of the teachers surveyed report spending class time discussing with students how search engines work, how to assess the reliability of the information they find online, and how to improve their search skills. (Excerpt from Pew Research study How Teens Do Research in the Digital World)
Tool #1 – Google Scholar
Not familiar with Google Scholar? Scholar can be a boon to high school students keen on researching a topic. It provides one virtual space where they can find scholarly literature and locate documents through the library or via the web. Furthermore, publications, authors, references, and citations can be searched and accessed. Google Scholar boasts adetailed set of support documentsfor learners.
Scholar offers students access to high quality research, a level above a traditional Google search. Combine this approach with an information problem-solving approach (e.g. Big6, Super 3) orGuided Inquiry Design (shown below).
Students can interact with research data in a different way. They can learn to situate research within a geo-spatial context.Tour Builderenables students to create a virtual tour of their research data, adding photos, text, and video as needed. This map-based approach enables students to organize their research according to location and impact, which is appropriate for a topic likeAfrican immigration in colonial America. They can combine research, life stories, images, and video to make a compelling case for their research thesis.
As you can see, Google Scholar and Google Tour Builder together can provide access to sources and offer a way to create interactional research conclusions. The next time you consider creating a research assignment, move beyond more traditional approaches.