Researching 2.0

A few weeks ago, Richard Byrne over at Free Tech for Teachers, posted a great piece [Textbooks, Wikipedia, and Primary Source Research] on the use, reliability and validity of Wikipedia. I was inspired  by the post and replicated the activity in my classroom this past week. I presented the lesson as a challenge to the students. I am a teach-against-the-textbook educator anyhow, and challenged them to challenge the text. We also explored the validity of the Wikipedia articles they were researching.

I also took Byrne's advice and followed up with a GoogleDocs assignment. Using GoogleDocs Forms the assignment was so easy to assess. This truly was a great piece of web 2.0 technology to bring into the classroom.

The assignment turned out amazing. We discussed how my student's teachers were slamming Wikipedia in their classes. I was surprised at how their teachers were telling them no Wikipedia, but giving them no direction on where else to go on the Internet. This is where I know that I fall behind other educators. Often we assume that our students (especially high school level) know how to research. However, when we take away one of the best pieces of information, at least a starting point for research, where will they go? This is a question that so many of my fellow bloggers are addressing with new classroom 2.0 technologies.

What's your answer for where students should go to research?
Click here to link to the Google Form that I used to assess my students on this activity.

More to come...

Mike Meechin


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