“Google it”

“The digital shift where we’re seeing information in different forms”

When the teachers say: “Write a research paper.”

Students hear: “Google it.”

It’s no secret that today’s students conduct their research mostly through search engines. When you’ve got everything you could ever want to know right at your fingertips, why bother combing through online databases or poring over reference books?

“Some teachers report that for some students, ‘doing research’ has shifted from a relatively slow process of intellectual curiosity and discovery to a fast-paced, short-term exercise aimed at locating just enough information to complete an assignment,” says Pew Research Center.

It is the same as reading a comic book of the 70’s. It was scorned by the teachers but now the comic is accepted as alternate reading material. 

We have to take notice of learners preferred choices and guide them to make the most out of it. 

The world is evolving very fast and the “traditional” approach will not be the same as the “traditional” approach of the previous generation. 

On the downside the big problem is how to find credible resources.

Three in five teachers agree that although today’s technologies provide access to a much greater depth and breadth of information, they also make it harder for students to find credible sources of information. In fact, more than 40 percent of students say they have trouble evaluating sources when researching, and many are entering college without learning basic research skills like how to find and vet information from a wide variety of respected sources.

Here is an excellent example how these modern challenges can be redirected.

To help college instructors bring their high school students up to speed, a librarian created a series of mini-podcasts on how to do research and made them available for instructors to assign as homework. 

The podcasts, which range from 2 minute segments to 15 minute discussions in different formats, address topics such as how to use databases or what peer-reviewed research is. It explains what research entails and why students should seek out scholarly sources. It helps them be good Knowledge Constructors, a crucial element of the standards that college and universities are looking for. 

Podcasts are a great way to slip in extra instruction.

You can make a podcast, upload it to the course page and students can listen at their own time and as often as necessary.