Friday, March 10, 2017

Trace the Evolution of Phones - A Search Challenge for Students

A couple of days ago Alexander Graham Bell's drawing for his telephone patents was the featured document in the Today's Document feed from the National Archives. Take a look at that drawing and you might start wondering, like I did, about how many changes and improvements to that design have been made since 1876. The patent search option in Google Scholar can be used to help us find out how many subsequent, related patents have been filed since Bell's 1876 patent. In the following video I demonstrate how your students can use Google Scholar to trace product development through patent research.

Applications for Education
Using the patent search function in Google Scholar can be a good way for students to attempt to trace product developments over time. In this case the challenge for students would be to find the major, subsequent innovations in telephone technology. Of course, the concept can be applied to almost any product that has been patented at some point in time. Read more about the strategy and application here.