ISTE 4: Using Mind-Maps to Help Conduct Effective Research

Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer

This week I am diving into the fourth ISTE Student Standard: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “What are ways in which students can use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources?”

I recently started teaching sixth and seventh grade students the research process using the Big6™ Research Model, you can read more about that experience in my last blog post. During that lesson, I found that the students’ biggest challenges were some of the skills I thought would be the most simple. The most notable being, the ability to identify keywords that would help them conduct their research. The students were able to formulate several questions related to their science fair topic but when asked to select three to five keywords based on those questions, they struggled. My intended goal for the students was for them to review their questions, determine how those questions were related, and extract a number of succinct terms that will allow them to conduct … Read More

ISTE 3: Teaching Research Using the Big6 Model

Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Carol E. Davis
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Carol E. Davis

This week I am looking at the third ISTE Student Standard: Research and Information Fluency through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “What are ways in which students can apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information?”

Coincidentally, our middle school science teacher approached me recently, asking if I could guide her students through the research process as they prepare their science fair projects. While I have taught several stand-alone lessons on conducting research, I have never taught those skills as a thoughtful, comprehensive unit. I took to the Web to discover how other educators teach various information literacy skills and through my research, I have discovered that I am not alone; it is not uncommon for librarians to lack confidence in their implementation of research skills in their program. Dr. Michael B. Eisenberg, founder of the Big6™Skills and Janet Murray, well-published and respected school librarian, have indicated that a surprisingly few number of schools have a comprehensive information literacy program. They found that many programs are “irregular, partial, and arbitrary” (Eisenberg, 2011, pg. 10). … Read More