Karen Janowski quoted Brian Crosby from his blog title, "learning is messy' and Cathy from South Carolina, suggests that we "muddy the waters." Are you willing to get messy with us?
Sylvia Norton, from Maine's MARVEL, says "I think we spend a lot of time talking about quality information but not always walking the talk when it comes to expectations in student work and what we accept without question"
Are you wiling to take that step this year and dip your own toes in the water? Here's your homework:
Find you own state's database collection (paid for by your taxes!). As Cathy said, these are your "free search tools." Who doesn't like a great bargain? You may go to your school library site or you may go to your public library site if you don't have a direct link already in your own bookmarks. You may need a public library card number or some other state identification number.
Now, think of something you are wondering about. Is it your aunt's newly diagnosed illness, is it a question about Iraq, is it the history of a neighborhood fixture, is it something about a book you've been reading this summer? Search in these state funded free resources and see what you find. If you can, we'd love you to do the same search in some other places too, maybe Google, maybe findarticles.com, maybe Wikipedia...
PLEASE share your results. The only way we can continue to learn is by using what Worldbridges.net calls "open source learning" where we all add to the body of knowledge and share, after all this is Teachers Teaching Teachers!
Add a New Note to our Google Notebook that lists your state, your urls used, the names of the databases you used, your search request and most importantly your results and reactions !!
Come back next week, same time, same place and let's see what we can collectively learn. Let's all get messy this week!
Google Notebook for August 22, 2007 Teachers Teaching Teachers:
Now for some show notes and thoughts:
Where should our students be starting?
Cheryl from Maine says: I would love our school librarians to use Marvel first and not answer kids questions in Google until they have done a Marvel search!
Kevin from Florida says: " I do think there is value in students 'starting out' in wikipeida to get the juices flowing....."
Troy from Michigan discovered that one FindArticles search had 1/3 of the links on the first page requiring money to open them. "One concern with Find Articles -- to what extent does that site represent the full range of periodicals and journals available? Moreover, what about the advertisements that are present on that site?"
If we are encouraging students to blog for voice, action and sometimes response, isn't it important that we teach them to arm themselves with accurate and reliable information as a starting point?
Courtney from GALILEO in Georgia says, "... facts and past research - databases; someone's first-hand perspective - blog postings
LindaN also made an important point, "I think it depends on the depth of background knowledge the kids have on a topic."
Sylvia from MARVEL in Maine, reminds us, "I've never had a parent show up for a parent conference because they were worried that their kid didn't pass information literacy."
Later Sylvia also noted, "I do see adults every day who do not know how to find and use good accurate information as part of their daily problem solving."
What do you think? We want to especially thank Joyce Valenza and everyone else who is helping to bring this important topic to the blogosphere and the attention of teachers and librarians and vendors!
Here are the links from the text chat in time order:
Library Terms That Users Understand
Google Notebook link for Teachers Teaching Teachers notebook for Aug. 8 and Aug. 15 discussions
Joyce Valenza's students explain it - Databases are Different!
Texas State Databases
Georgia Public Library Service
Public look at the Google Teachers Teaching Teachers notebook
Direct link to GALILEO, Georgia State Databases
Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Trade vs. Primary Sources from Springfield Township High School Virtual Library- an amazing resource!
Brian Crosby's blog, a fourth grade teacher at Agnes Risley School in Sparks, Nevada.
Wesley Fryer's blog
A trail is a collection of web pages, assembled and annotated by any Trailfire member, on just about anything under the sun.
Joyce Valenza's blog NeverEndingSearch on School Library Journal
Lee Baber's blog
Courtney's list of state funded virtual libraries