Friday, December 4, 2015

Looking at Reliable Sources and Easy Bib.

I recently collaborated with a few sixth and eighth grade teachers.  In this collaboration, students learned and reviewed how to use EasyBib (a great tool to use during research).  Students can use EasyBib to gather their notes and create a bibliography of the resources they used.  Our school has a subscription to EasyBib.  Each student has their own account, in which they can store their notes and bibliographies they have created.  They use their school Google account to access their EasyBib account.

Finding and identifying credible and reliable sources was another topic covered.  When completing research, it is important to use credible and reliable resources.  We discussed using the acronym "REAL" as a guide for evaluating sources.  The acronym can be broken down into phrases for steps in the process of evaluating sources.

Each of these steps aids in the process of determining if the source is credible or not.  Questions to consider while evaluating the source include:
  • What is the ending of the web address? (.com, .edu, .org, .net, .gov)  Which endings are considered more reliable?
  • Am I able to understand the content?  Does what I'm reading make sense to me?  What is the purpose of the website?
  • What makes the author or owner an expert in the information presented?
  • Are there any broken links?  When was the site last updated?

Students became more aware of the resources they were browsing.  I enjoyed seeing that they were applying the steps recently discussed in the beginning stages of their research.

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