Daily Photo — “Pre-PowerPoint NASA, c.1960s”
Use the photos posted in this feature for writing prompts, warm-up activities, drawing templates or as part of a photo analysis.
With more and more traditional encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia Britannica going out of print and focusing solely on digital content, more of our students are relying heavily on the more open source, user created Wikipedia for their research needs. While the content and quality of the articles on Wikipedia are often most of editors of Wikipedia strive to maintain its factual accuracy and integrity. I don’t believe Wikipedia should be the end all to research, it has certainly changed the way we conduct that research and as it becomes relied on more and more in academic settings, it has been shown that Wikipedia‘s accuracy has even improved over the years as well as containing much more content than any traditional encyclopedias ever dreamed of. Today’s infographic examines some of these trends and facts regarding Wikipedia‘s impact on research.
If you are looking for a nice, simple app for biographies, you might want to check out People HD. There is nothing flashy about this app, but it does provide short and simply written biographies of over 100 key figures from world history. Personalities as diverse as Joseph Stalin and John Lennon or Stephen Hawking and Confucius are included and all time periods and careers are included as well.
People HD allows students to select an individual and read a short one page biography, see a timeline of their life, and read select quotes from the individual. While this is not a treasure trove of information by any stretch, People HD would serve as a great introduction to some of these personalities, as a lesson supplement, or as a way for students to narrow choices for research topics, or for reading more in-depth biographies of these individuals.
The developers of People HD are always looking including more biographies, so keep an eye out for more updates!
Also of interest:
There’s a constant struggle, both for us as educators and for our students when researching to make sure that we are always attributing sources of our information and giving credit where credit is due. But when is this needed? How much can you paraphrase or change the source material before you no longer have to cite the source, and how much it too much original material to include without attribution. Today’s great infographic tries to help by showing and relating both extremes and all areas in between, just as the characters from Harry Potter would! [VIA]
The focus of high school in the United States today is, for better or worse, to prepare all our graduates to move on to college in some shape, way of form. But are they truly prepared when they get there? The case can be made that they are not as fully prepared as we (or they) think, even with more rigorous standards and testing. Today’s infographic examines some of these statistics and makes the argument that high school graduates are not truly prepared once they enter their schooling life after high school. [VIA]
Students rely on the Internet and websites more for information in research than any other source. However, can they know that what they find on the Internet is reliable? Teaching and practicing information literacy requires that we not only teach students how to find information but also how to critically analyze its validity. This is where a tool like the website evaluation wizard can come in handy.
This tool, at first looks like a self-running model, but don’t be fooled. What the evaluation wizard does is a simply guide the student through the website evaluation process. Have them cut and paste the URL of the site they wish to analyze into the wizard then click on each of the criteria on the left hand toolbar. Each criterion opens a dialogue box with guiding questions that students answer to determine the validity of the information they have found:
While this evaluation wizard is not all-inclusive – students will still need to make their own judgments about the website’s validity and accuracy on their own – it does provide a good basis to begin analysis. Students will be able to print out their “reports” and evaluation and should use this wizard to show a critical analysis of their web sources at least once through their research process.
Who said chemistry can’t be fun? Seriously, who said that?? Well if you ever do hear someone utter those dreadful words, you might want to direct them to the Periodic Table of Videos site put out by the University of Nottingham. Led by the wild-haired Professor Martyn Poliakoff, the team of chemists and researchers has created short videos for each of the 118 known elements on the periodic table.
The Periodic Table of Videos helps to show viewers not only the elements in their natural and pure states, but also in a brief time provides information about each element’s use, properties, and in some cases experiments are conducted with the elements. Things even go BOOM sometimes, which I know it a big plus for some high school students!
You might consider the Periodic Table of Videos in any chemistry or physical science class as a short intro to studying the periodic table, for element research, or even as a “element of the day” feature in class since the videos themselves are relatively short – ranging generally from about a minute and a half to about 4 minutes long. Alternatively the Periodic Table of Videos is a site you might simply recommend to students as a supplement to their regular classwork as they are all easily accessible and provide a great deal of information.
The only downside to using these in school, depending on your district policy, is that all the videos are hosted on YouTube, so even though they are embedded on the Periodic Table of Videos site, the code to play directs filters to YouTube. Check with your administration and IT Departments about workarounds.
Also of interest: