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Too Much Information
There IS such a thing as ‘Too Much Information’! When students begin ‘researching’ on a particular topic, they all too often type in the topic and choose the first link in the list. We need to help guide these students to better resources that they are able to access. One quick way is to teach students how to search by reading level on Google.
Conduct a Search By Reading Level
My students will soon begin learning about the Revolutionary War. When I ‘Googled it’ I was given a long list of websites and images. This is NOT what I want my students doing. They will inevitably go to wikipedia, ‘read’ information, become overwhelmed, and ultimately copy sentences. Thus driving me nuts. As I would like to avoid the whole frustrating process – for both our sakes – I am teaching them some basic search skills.
So here’s what I got when I typed ‘Revolutionary War’. Notice that along with images and videos along the top bar (below the search box) there are ‘Search Tools’. This is what I want!
When I choose ‘Search Tools’ a secondary ‘bar’ appears on the next line. Choose ‘Reading Level’.
Doing this will result in the ability to choose ‘Basic’, ‘Intermediate’, or ‘Advanced’. For my 5th graders, I encourage them to choose ‘Basic’. Explaining that the items that will be displayed will be closer to their reading level.
It’s as easy as that to find information my students can access on the Internet. There is a lot of information out there, we need to arm ourselves and our students with the necessary tools to wade through it.