January 2017: Research with Videos! Research with Friends!
As we continue our research, my challenges becomes- how do I keep making research interesting for my students without making it so loose that there is no structure. Thus far, I have not introduced online research due to the fact that I wanted to ensure that my students had further honed their note-taking skills while look at books. With online research, you not only need to have several digital citizenship lessons ahead a time, but you need to spend time talking about how to actually locate an appropriate source.
To keep us going and get the discussion flowing more freely, I introduced researching with a buddy within these last two weeks. We talked about what that should look like, did some modeling, and discussed about how the most important thing was that students were discussing how what they learned could relate to our ultimate classroom.
In addition to buddy research, I also introduced taking notes using videos. This was our bridge into online research. Videos can be a powerful tool for students to learn from. With features such as closed captioning and the ability to create Playlists in YouTube, all of my students, regardless of reading ability, have been able to get something from the videos that they have watched. During this time, we also talked about using different search terms and brainstormed a list of ways that we might be able to find exactly what we looked for when searching.
While students have had the option of taking notes in a document, on paper, or in any other way they choose while watching videos, many have chosen to use videonot.es while watching videos. I found this tool rather beneficial for students because it let them load a video on one side of the screen and take notes, which record the time the student is at in the video, on the other side of the screen. This way, a student does not have to constantly flip back and forth with their screen. In addition, when the student is finished, it saves to their Google Drive to allow them to revisit. Although there have been a few snags with saving and accessing our finals on different devices, it has been incredibly beneficial to many of my students.
As I had a class meeting towards the end of the day today, we talked about our next step which is getting into online research and what else we could do to make things more interesting and give students more control. Here are some of their suggestions: