Posts Tagged ‘Research Process’

January 7 Webinar: Questions, questions…

January 4th, 2010 Comments off

An essential question is the touchstone of any research project, the jumping off point for the research process and an overarching theme for the venture. This webinar will look at the whys and wherefores of the essential question, the importance of the foundational questions and getting students started on research projects. The webinar will be co-presented by Sylvia Norton, Maine’s School Library / Technology Planning Coordinator, who will take a walk through MARVEL, Maine’s Virtual Library.

Please join us on Thursday, January 7th, at 3.15 or 7.15. To register for or join the webinar, click on the ‘Webcasts’ tab above and follow the links. See you there!

November 5th Webinar Notes

November 7th, 2009 Comments off

Thanks for everyone participating in the webinars on Thursday, it was great to see so many people sharing info and getting involved in looking at using search tools more effectively. Helping our students by developing the skills of the initial search for information can give them back some time that can be devoted to deepening their projects, as well as increasing their success in finding useful, appropriate information.

Here are some of the items we touched upon in the webinar sessions:

A social bookmarking site that represents a great leap forward in quickly locating pertinent and interesting sites. Powered by users, delicious is a great use of social networking that students can tap into to help their search for information.
The bookmarks are user-generated, and information is added to these bookmarks in the form of tags, which is how users search the network. Users can be added to your network, which you may want to do if you find someone who shares similar tagging procedures.
Tag bundles can be created to store bookmarks in an easy to find place, as well as making your bookmarks more accessible to other delicious users.
To create a new delicious account, a user must have a yahoo account.

Google Wonder Wheel

Found under the selection ‘Show Options’ once a search is underway, this is a great tool for developing a visual of a search, as well as providing pathways a researcher can take to find more detailed, focussed information on a topic. The wonder wheel search can be traced forward and backward, which takes away the need to constantly use the back button or history menu when conducting a search.

Google Advanced Search

Allows users to find sites that have exact words or phrases being searched for, date range (particularly useful when researching current events) and sites generated in a particular language. The advanced search also allows users to locate sites similar to one they have found useful, and other sites that link to a particular site, helping a student to find related sites quickly and easily.

Google News Archives

A collection of news reports on reputable news media sites, arranged in date order and featuring a timeline that shows the frequency of results by date. Many of the initial results show sites that need payment to access the information, however under the advanced search option, searchers can select the ‘no price’ option to locate results that can be accessed instantly and without the need for credit cards.


The most popular video sharing site contains an amazing number of videos that students can access to deepen their understanding of a topic. Videos are a great tool for gathering reflection on an event or issue, and also for creating an entry point for a research project. Historical events  from the past 50 years are very well represented, in the form of news reports and eyewitness accounts.
Uploaded videos are tagged in order to be located from a number of search entries, and placed in categories which can be accessed by users under the channels selection. In addition, many videos are part of user-generated playlists, which makes a wider search easier to conduct, bringing related videos together in one place.
As with delicious, YouTube is a social networking site that is proving valuable to users being able to locate varied and interesting results from many sources. The ability to create comments and responses to videos means that students can share their knowledge about a topic, contributing the depth of information carried with a video on the site.
Users with accounts can save videos they find useful and interesting, build their own playlists of collected videos, and upload their own videos to contribute and gather feedback.


Another instance of a social network, where users can upload and share photographs and images, tag them with information and labels, and create sets for ease of location. Viewers of the images can comment and download the image for their own uses. It is worth noting here that many of the images are copyright protected by the uploader, however a search can be conducted for images that have a Creative Commons license, allowing viewers to download and use images according to the rights set out in the license.
A useful locating tool for images in Flickr is the Groups, which have been created by users and allow other users to join and contribute their images that relate to the subject of the group. A search for groups can narrow down the location of useful images, as well as opening up ideas that may have not been known when the initial search was begun.

Google Earth

Although it was not covered in the webinars, the use of Google Earth as a means of locating information is growing in importance, due to the mass of information contained in the layers that is added to daily, as well as information contributed by users to the Google Earth Community message boards. Searching for a particular piece of information or running through the themed forums can produce results that students may not have been able to locate on websites.

Helping our students to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of online research is something all educators should be concerned with. In future webinars, I will be exploring the structuring of research topics and the evaluation of resources, which will utilize some of the skills focussed on in this weeks webinar. I hope you will join me in the webinars on January 7th, 2010, when I will be exploring the development of effective questioning and the first steps of the research process.

A recording of the Nov. 5th Webinar afternoon session can be found here.

A recording of the Nov. 5th Webinar evening session can be found here.

November 5 Webinar: Directed Use of Research Tools

October 31st, 2009 Comments off

3951143570_20b4eccd3f_bThe entry points for locating information can be the key to finding appropriate, detailed and timely resources. With simple modification of practice, and more directed querying, online tools and applications on the MLTI image can become powerful additions to the research process. This webinar will examine search tools both familiar and less commonly used for research, and explore how educators can use these tools with students to produce more effective results. Participants may want to create accounts for Delicious, YouTube and Flickr in order to take full advantage of the information offered in this webinar.

Joining this webinar

Make sure to choose the correct time for the webinar you want to attend and click on the link provided (links will be provided the day of the event).

Thursday, November 5 – 3:15pm Webinar

Thursday, November 5 – 7:15pm Webinar

Please follow these steps to connect to the meeting:

  • Click on the link for the webinar you want to attend.
  • Enter your name in the box when prompted.
  • In order to listen and speak during the meeting, you will need to be connected by telephone as well as the Internet. To help you connect by phone, a box will appear asking for your phone number so the Connect conference room can call you back. If you have a telephone with a direct-dial phone number, please accept this option, enter your phone number, and we will call you right back.
  • If you have a telephone with no direct-line phone number (if your phone is only reached by a switchboard), please click on CANCEL when the call-back box appears, then dial-in to the meeting using this access combination:
    • Dial-In: 1-800-201-2375
    • Pass-Code: 714892

To participate in the web conference, you will need:

  • a computer with a broadband connection to the internet (Cable, DSL, or WiFi); Dial-Up will not work!
  • Adobe Flash Player (Flash 7 or later) installed on your computer; most computers already have the Flash Player installed – however, if yours does not, or if your Flash Player is in need of updating (version 6 or older), you can download the player for free from Adobe by clicking on this link:; this is a safe and quick download.
  • An open phone line; we recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone.

Image by Stefan Le Du, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Sharelike 2.0 Generic License.