Unit 9: Research Tools

While I’m waiting for our IT department to open the door so l can have Firefox installed and then experiment with Zotero, l’ve checked out the SLV databases and Google docs! With each program task l learn, l think ‘this is amazing’ – the range of applications and the possibilities out there for myself and students. And now it’s online research and Google docs!

Access to online databases from school or home 24/7, whether they be the school’s, SLV’s or public libraries, is a fantastic resource that people need to be made aware of. I’m sure if students or teachers can’t find an appropriate database through one of these avenues, they’ll find them in another. I’m all for promoting the range of institutions people have access to. On each occasion l’ve referred library clients to these databases, they’ve been quite astounded with what they offer. On a school level, we could improve our promotion of these databases. I think they would be useful for middle and upper secondary students.

Ergo is a wonderful resource. I’ve used it at a guide for my study and research skills classes with Year 7 and Year 8 this year. All the students now have it on their favourites bar! Some aspects are probably more appropriate for older students, however my aim is that now that the younger students are aware of it, they will have grasped the ‘6 steps to better research’. If the students remember these steps each time they research, what a great start!

Google docs make sense. When watching the You Tube clips, l found myself saying ‘Yes!’ as l’d often wondered about the whole management and time spent on emailing attachments. We’ve used a library blog for communicating ideas amongst the library staff. I’d be interested in trying google docs for a similiar purpose, also for when we’re collating procedures. I could also see it’s use in the classroom when everyone’s working on a similiar topic. I’ll certainly keep it in mind for when the occasion arises and look forward to exploring it further.

I’ve installed Firefox, although l don’t get any further when l try to use Zotero. A call to our I.T. department will hopefully shed some light on this problem. I was introduced to Zotero in the recent web conference and think it would be very useful for older secondary students. So for now, l’ll move to the next task. Exciting to see what’s in store……..

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2 Responses to Unit 9: Research Tools

  1. PLN team says:

    Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with Zotero, but it’s great to read these very practical ideas you have for making use of some of these tools.

    Thanks for posting,
    (for the PLN team)

  2. Tania Sheko says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Love your blog, and have enjoyed reading your reflections. Good luck with Zotero, and congratulations to you for surviving such a steep learning journey. I know that students and teachers at your school are reaping the fruits of your experience.

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