Magazine article Internet@Schools

SEARCH, RESEARCH, DISCOVERY, in Life and in Learning

Magazine article Internet@Schools

SEARCH, RESEARCH, DISCOVERY, in Life and in Learning

Article excerpt

Delve," "dig," "examine," "inquire," "investigate into," "look into," "probe," "explore," and so on. All these sorts of words have something in common. They are synonyms for the word "research." At face value, "research" would mean "to look or search again," but if you did look again, you'd find that the Frenchderived "re"' in this case was more of an intensifier rather than a placeholder for the word "again." This means that "research" is more than just a search (and not so much a searching again), it is a "careful" search, a "very closely seeking out." In any case, the "systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions" from Google is a good working definition, Merriam-Webster keeps it straightforward with "a careful or diligent search." ("Diligent" means "a steady, earnest, and energetic effort")

This all goes to show that research (even on the word itself) can be interesting, it can be pleasurable, and there can be unexpected but yet enlightening results. And though Google can help, upon further investigation, it's no surprise that Google is not the only tool out there. There are plenty more. And depending on what you are carefully seeking, you will find a variety of different research tools,

For you, for your colleagues, for your students or for your own pursuits-and in celebration of research-we provide here a mixed bag of some useful tools for learning in the area of search, research, and discovery for life and learning.

PROQUEST. ProQuests collections span 6 centuries (imagine that!), all disciplines, and the diverse content types needed by researchers. It provides one of the worlds largest collections of dissertations and theses; three centuries of newspapers; more than 450,000 academic ebooks; collections of important scholarly journals and other content researchers need such as data; and unique digital vaults of primary source materials. Its renowned abstracting and indexing enables researchers to find sources more easily in their area of study. A good place to start is by looking at ProQuests offerings for libraries and academic searches.

STEMSCOPES. This one is from Accelerate Learning, a company that is the outcome of a project by Rice University to develop PreK-12 STEM content, started with a science curriculum called STEMscopes. Founded by Vernon Johnson and Reid Whitaker and adopted by the entire state of Texas (this is big!), the STEMscopes program is now used by more than 1.5 million Texas students. At ISTE 2014, it was announced that STEMscopes-which is aligned to the NGSS (the Next Generation Science Standards)-is now available nationwide. The site also offers a STEMcoach section providing hands-on investigations, ready-made lessons, chats with other teachers, videos, etc.

WIKIPEDIA. Only 25% of students visit a library, while eight in 10 students turn to Wikipedia as their first source of research. Currently, English Wikipedia alone includes 4,604,945 articles of any length. Each day, content is increased with more than 800 new articles. The combined Wikipedias for all other languages greatly exceed the English Wikipedia in size, giving a combined total of more than 18 billion words in 32 million articles in 287 languages. The English Wikipedia alone has more than 2.6 billion words. Consider: This Ls more than 100 times as many as the next largest English-language encyclopedia (Encyclopaedia Britannica), and more than the enormous, 119-volume Spanish-language Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana. How do we know this?: en.wi

ANSWER UNDERGROUND. Answer Underground gets students help-last Students post questions to their group, and classmates and teachers collectively answer. This very cool mobile app gets them high-quality answers, providing students with homework help right when they need was set up to develop and release an educational iOS app designed to help teachers and students find information via group Q&A. …

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