Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thing 16 -- Student 2.0 Tools

I think that the Assignment Calculator and the Research Project Calculator have been fairly well publicized and I have glanced through them in the past, although never in quite as much detail as I did for this Thing.

I will definitely keep the Assignment Calculator in mind should we have college students looking for help in organizing research. It looks like excellent, in-depth information for serious students. I was curious about the suggestion that by choosing a specific topic, the assignment calculator would provide specific targeted information, so in experimenting with it, I made my theoretical research topic in the area of health services. I agreed with the suggestion; the "Research Quickstart" sections did provide suggestions of specific web sites and reference titles that probably would have been useful had I been seriously looking for information on health services.

The Research Project Calculator, targeted more toward high school students and teachers, seemed like it would be of more use at my library based on the people we have asking for information. I will definitely refer students who are looking for help with different aspects of writing a research paper to the Research Project Calculator--and could definitely open it up with them and help them navigate the steps. I occasionally offer workshops to homeschooling families on various aspects of doing research and using the library. I believe that I could use the Research Project Calculator as a tool for putting together a workshop on the stages of the research process--and I could envision such a workshop being in two parts, one targeted for the students, and one for the parents who are teaching them. I will also share the web site with a teacher who is on my Library Board and the staff at the school library; the site, along with the posters and handouts, seemed like they could be very useful tools for teachers.

I did come up with one question skimming the information, though; one tip on keyword searching stated that if you enter two words and get 0 or very few results, you should type AND between the two words to get more results; I wonder if they didn't mean OR?

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