Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Are Your Students Standing On The Shoulders of Giants?

If you visit Google Scholar right now you will see the tagline, "stand on the shoulders of giants." This is something that I mentioned a couple of times while talking about search on Tuesday at the TIE Conference. Google Scholar allows us to see what other researchers have cited in their works. Middle school and high school students may find the material on Google Scholar is above their reading levels, but the concept of seeing what others have cited can definitely be applied to K-12 classrooms.

Two ways students can stand on the shoulders of giants.
Create a Diigo group in which your students share links that they find throughout the year when researching for your class. Save these bookmarks from year to year and have your students consult that list before searching elsewhere. That could save them time on researching the basics of a topic and show them what others have found useful before going to look for more in-depth material. 

If you're asking your students to deliver a slideshow presentation to their classmates, your students can probably find a completed slideshow rather quickly by searching for .PPT files in Google or visiting a site like When students find those slideshows the challenge becomes finding more information than can be found quickly through a Google search. The challenge is to bring their own ideas to the presentation and go beyond the basics.