Online tools to help with research
Web 2.0 tools in the information skills process
In this first phase, define exactly what the task is asking you to learn about and to do. UseVisuwords2 for the meanings of key words in the assignment. Merriam-Webster’s3 Visual Dictionary Online, or The Visual Dictionary4, can help place terms in a broader context.
Not sure about other key words? Use Google sets5 to find related terms you may wish to research. Look at videos to see how others have defined your topic, or create your own short definition video at Wordia6.
Choose the best search engine7 for your information needs—if you want Australian information, Study search8 may suit. Onlineresearch tools9, such as Library Spot10, will give an overview of your topic. The Quality Information Checklist11 can help determine if a resource has reliable and expert information. Remember to search other people’s favourite sites on your topic and to share the best sites you visit, at Delicious12. Create a bibliography usingBibMe13 or Son of Citation Machine14.
Use contents, menus, and indexes and keep evaluating as youselect information15. Highlight and add sticky notes at Diigo16 orMyStickies17. Select relevant parts18 of a website. View main ideas by pasting text into Wordle19.
Before writing20, consider your purpose, audience and the format for your assignment. Make a mind map to see how ideas in your topic relate to each other, with Text2Mindmap21, Bubbl.us22 orMind4223. Use Exploratree24 to collect research findings. For group work, plan together25 and use tools and strategies26 to foster collaboration. Thinking tools27, Dabbleboard28 or a Flip book29 can help record your thoughts when you read or view a video.
Show others what you’ve learned. Create a collage30,drawing31, flip book32 animation, screen recording33or slide show34. You may wish to create free online surveys35, block posters36, diagrams37, educational game38s, interactive posters39, or a prezi40presentation. Create an online debate with Power League41 or aMap42 or build a free website at Yola43. Make a cartoon strip44 or an interactive web comic45.
If you want to assess your own work, take a look at Teacher helpers: assessment and rubric information46 to see what many teachers look for when marking assignments. Evaluate and edit what you have written and ask your friends to comment, using Bookgoo47. Create a significant image, video or document for your topic and invite people to comment in a collaborative VoiceThread48. Finally, if you’ve worked collaboratively, evaluate your own teamwork49contribution.
Keep yourself safe and secure online50.
© State of NSW, Department of Education and Training, 2010 CopyrightLast updated: August 2010