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Helping Students Sift Through Information Overload

by Deborah Yaffe

District Administration

Article excerpt

Research revolution in schools

Research skills have always underpinned academic preparation, and they are threaded through the Common Core language arts and literacy standards from kindergarten through high school. But the Internet’s speed and ubiquity have created new challenges, educators say.

Our take

Building Research Skills From K-20, and Beyond

Research skills are critical for students of all age levels, but instructors are challenged to ensure that students are able to identify reliable and credible sources, understand what the information is telling them, and communicate what they have learned in meaningful ways. Yes, there is ample information available to today’s students, but that’s both a benefit and a potential problem if they don’t have the skills to navigate and screen all of these inputs. In what ways should your instructors be incorporating research skill-building into their curricula?

While the sources of information have changed drastically, the underpinnings of effective research really haven’t. Students must be taught how to evaluate sources of information, how to identify credible sources, and how to analyze and synthesize information. These key aspects of research should be embedded into assignments whenever possible to allow students to see real-life implications of how such inputs can be used. In addition, teachers should make sure that students don’t just view research as a “Google search.”