3 ways students can develop solid online research skills

Today’s students don’t know the world without the internet. They spend days and nights on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat but hardly know how to translate all this information into learning. Gen Z doesn’t necessarily think critically about what they find online.

As educators, we can teach the academic side of the internet to them.

Why is it so critical?…Read More

Online research program offers first ever covid-19 independent study

Pioneer Academics, the college-accredited online research program for high school students, has launched Pioneer Open Summer Study (POSS), a free program that gives any interested high school student the opportunity to participate in independent studies about COVID-19. An international online program, POSS brings teenagers together from around the world to examine a shared challenge through a scientific lens. The rigorous enrichment program, developed by Pioneer’s Academic Panel, allows students to develop and apply critical thinking and STEM skills in one of four study areas:1) Age of Plague: Medicine, Society and Epidemics, 1348 & Beyond; 2) Pandemics and Globalization: Economics, Culture and Policy; 3) Pandemic Epidemiology: Societal Impacts and Strategic Response; and 4) The Forces Driving Socio-Cultural Evolution.

POSS students will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring COVID-19 and will benefit from conducting independent studies while building teamwork and leadership skills. The open program allows any student who forms a study group of five to ten people – along with a school advisor or teacher who will monitor progress – to register as a team. Students can access teaching recordings, study materials, independent study guidelines, and have “office hours” with Pioneer Academics’ alumni. Teams already registered are located around the world, including Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, India, and China. There are also cross-country teams with members working together from different countries.

Visit https://pioneeracademics.com/pioneeropenstudy to learn more about POSS.…Read More

How online research can make the grade

Not too long ago, the golden rules for high school and college students turning to the web as a research tool were simple: Treat digital content that’s never been in print with suspicion. Be careful what you Google. And thou shalt not touch Wikipedia. But the web has grown up a bit in the past few years, and the presence of digital research journals, fact-finding social media tools, textbook exchanges, and eReaders have made it a much more complicated landscape for students, CNET reports. When things have shaken out, it might be a world where free-for-all online information hubs are accepted—or, if proponents of “collaborative knowledge” have their way, even embraced. “With more and more people using (Wikipedia), it has done a better job of being able to self-correct than in the Wild West days of when it first started up and you had no idea who was vouching for any of this stuff,” said Chad O’Connor, a consultant and adjunct professor of communications at Emerson College. Wikipedia should not be used as a primary source, Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh acknowledged. But he added that the foundation has started an experimental outreach with some U.S. universities to bring faculty and students into the corps of Wikipedia contributors, specifically with regard to articles about public policy—one of the site’s more contentious areas. Meanwhile, just as the academic community has started to accept the inevitability of sites like Wikipedia, the web is also about to foist what might be the biggest complexity it has encountered since the advent of the free-for-all encyclopedia: As the school year starts, the recent proliferation of question-and-answer sites—like the brainy Quora and the soon-to-be-everywhere Facebook Questions—might prove to be students’ next last-ditch time-saver and teachers’ next digital bogeyman…

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Study suggests Wikipedia is accurate … and a little dull

Eight out of 10 students say they use Wikipedia for background knowledge.
Eight out of 10 students say they use Wikipedia for background knowledge.

Wikipedia enthusiasts may have a new way to argue their case to professors skeptical of the online encyclopedia: Cancer researchers said in June that Wikipedia was nearly as accurate as a well-respected, peer-reviewed database, although the wiki entries were a bit more boring.

Yaacov Lawrence, an assistant professor in Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Radiation Oncology in Philadelphia, examined 10 types of cancer and compared Wikipedia’s information to statistics in the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query, a peer-reviewed oncology database.…Read More

Journalism students turn to Wikipedia to publish stories

Fifty-two percent of students said they frequently used Wikipedia for class work.
Fifty-two percent of students in a recent survey said they frequently use Wikipedia for class work.

College students know the online resource of which they dare not speak: Wikipedia, the voluminous internet encyclopedia demonized by many in higher education—and a resource that two University of Denver instructors use as a centerpiece of their curriculum.

Denver journalism students are writing Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation as readers move to the web en masse.…Read More