My blog post this week has taken some time to get started – in between finishing the research, a long weekend, and taxi duties – I’ve procrastinated, delayed, cleaned, written the heading and saved it as a draft, and…then I read Seth Godin‘s blog post ‘Trying to please’ in which he asks “Who is your marketing or your product or your effort trying to please?”
I realised that I was trying to write ‘the perfect blog’ instead of ‘Lynn’s PLN’ blog and that is what I hope you are reading now. So here’s some of my thoughts on this week’s task of Research Tools.
Plagiarism in the classroom is something that I think everyone would be aware of whether it be within your own school, university, college or online. Certainly there are a lot more online tools available now to assist in detecting circumstances of plagiarism, but we also need to go on ‘gut feeling’. Does this student normally write with such flair and cite their sources so precisely? Is this one similar to one received last week, last month, last year? Do students realise the disservice they are doing themselves by copying somone else’s work and passing it off as their own? These are things that have all gone through my mind when I’ve been asked by a teacher to assist in locating the “original” piece. Often just typing a passage into Google Search is enough in some cases but it’s good to have some other online tools to offer staff now. The student doesn’t need to know that their work has been checked either, because every now and then someone will surprise us by producing a magnificent piece from the heart. We do have a good little tutorial linked to our library website that we have used with senior students called “You Quote It, You Cite It”.
Due to our current staffing levels we find it difficult to offer enough sessions on effective research methods to all classes. Some of the examples shown this week will be great to pass on to the classroom teachers to enhance their methods (and maybe change a few) of research with students. I especially liked the Springfield Township High School Google Search Posters which were very colourful and engaging for primary and secondary students. The ergo website is a fantastic source of research ideas and the presentation we organised for staff last year was very well received. I especially think the “Learn skills” section is valuable for students as a basis for classroom research on all topics.
I did sign up for Diigo but at the moment I’m using Delicious and will look at whether to import my bookmarks to Diigo at a later stage.
When reading about the Google Custom Search Engine and trialling it for myself, I was very impressed by how quick it was to find relevant results matching my search terms. I was actually doing some research into ‘student engagement in the classroom’ for a TPL group and they were very impressed with some of the findings. A great filter tool for schools, as well as to aid in cybersafety I should think. It reminded me of Weblinks which we subscribe to for educational websites both primary and secondary.
So on to bibliographies and I trialled Bibme by entering ten items for a unit of work on refugees linked to our current Year 7 novel ‘Boy Overboard’. It was very easy to use and certainly would be a great help to those struggling to understand how to set out a bibliography. We have a fairly comprehensive bibliographies guide for students on our library website and the teachers are often referring students to this link which is pleasing to hear. This is my link to the finished bibliography using Bibme – http://bit.ly/bqw9Ub
Zoho promotes itself as an online notebook that could be used for portfolios, with pages available for various medium, and I’m going to give it a try for my next performance review process. This has also made me think that I need a new way of presenting my finished review and I will certainly go back to the presentation tools from previous weeks for some ideas nearer the time.
Week 7 has now come to a close and to finish off may I congratulate Will Richardson who this week celebrated his 9th year of blogging and is more motivated than ever to keep blogging as he sees them as “a way of digging more deeply into what I’m thinking and seeing”.