The Internet for Research

What is Using the Internet for Research?

22198770.jpg In recent years, the Internet has become a wonderful tool for conducting research of just about any kind. Information about any and all subjects can be found instantly simply by using a web search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Ask Jeeves. Web search engines are information retrieval systems that find information stored or posted on the World Wide Web. The Internet also facilitates more sophisticated methods of researching, allowing searchers to access archives and information from libraries and universities around the world. Unlike printed research materials like encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, other reference books, and the physical collections of libraries, Internet research resources can be immediately accessed, easily updated, and there are few limitations to accessing material from anywhere in the world. In addition, educational and informational websites, blogs, and wikis can be used to find information on a wide variety of topics. Most newspapers now feature online articles, making researching current events easy and efficient. Many scholarly journals and periodicals also offer online applications which allow researchers to access any article of interest, though subscriptions are often required. Whether research is of a quotidian or academic nature, the Internet has become an invaluable tool for those seeking to find current, exhaustive and detailed information about any imaginable subject.

2-432992df696bc.jpgLearning Theories that Guide the Use of the Internet for Research

The Benefits of Using the Internet for Research

classroom_experience.JPG There are many benefits of using the Internet for research, the two most notable being the accessibility of information and the efficiency of the research process. The use of the Internet for research has hugely amelorated the problem of the "inaccessability of information." No longer is it necessary for researchers to make long journeys to libraries, universities or other centers of learning to obtain information about particular subjects. For anyone with Internet access, the answer to just about any question is just a few clicks away. The Internet has also made it possible for people to discover, in many cases almost instantaneously, information about any given subject, at any time of day, from anywhere in the world. Anyone with a computer and Internet access can find information about nearly every imaginable topic immediately and without even leaving their own homes. The efficiency provided by Internet-facilitated research is unmatched by any other method of conducting research to date.

Many would argue that the Internet's emergence as a source for information has lead to the "democratization" of information. Before the Internet became a widely-used source for accessing information, many people did not have the opportunity or ability to find information they were seeking. Libraries, though usually free to the public, have limited hours during which they are open. People who work many hours, do not have adaquate means of transportation, or for other reasons cannot access a library are now able to explore topics and learn information through the use of the Internet. Without having to purchase a set of encyclopedias (which can become outdated in a matter of a few years), or a plane ticket to an exotic destination, people can learn about places they would never be able to see in person simply by researching those places online. They can also bring information to life through the use of online images, videos, or even through Internet-facilitated communication with others in different parts of the world.

The Challenges of Using the Internet for Research/ Special Guidance for Using the Internet for Research

It is important to learn how to best use search engines to narrow your results as much as possible. It can be very difficult to wade through the pages of potential source material only to find it isn't useful.

Further, it is important to check your source material. Be sure it is legit. Anyone can create a website. However, not everyone is qualified to create websites of real academic value. Be sure you use only sites that were created by recognized academic/ scientific/ etc. institutions or by academics and specialists in their field. You may have to do a little additional legwork in the event it is not immediately evident. When possible, use primary source material.

Also, sites like Wikipedia should not be considered reliable source info. This is because anyone can post to a wiki site and edit information- even if the information is not accurate.

Moreover, the teacher and students both need to be aware of proper netequitte and dangers to students online. Computers can easily fall prey to damaging viruses if one is not careful. But more importantly, students need to be weary of online chatrooms, blogs, etc. when doing their research. Students should never give away their user names and passwords, nor should they ever give out any personal information about themselves to strangers. For more information on internent concerns and dangers, click here.

Internet access is also not necessarily accessible to everyone. Those without home internet access must turn to other locations to provide online service. Schools may not have sufficient computers to accomodate large scale use by its students. Though libraries might provide computers with internet access, it may not be realistic for a student to go to a library due to distance or time constraints. Additionally, web research can be difficult for those who are new to it. Adults and children alike who are only now exposed to online research may need help in using it effectively

Research on Using the Internet for Research

Using the Internet for Research Lesson Ideas

History Lesson:

Use the internet to search for events which happened on your birthday. It doesn't have to be the same year. Pick 3 and give a 1 paragrah summary of each even. Please pick events which are more history based, i.e. I am not interested in current musical/ tv/ movie artists/ actors. If you have any questions, please see me! Be sure to list the year!

Anthropology Lesson:

Use a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, to search for "keyword images" of different cultures. Search images under topic keywords such as "African Men," "Asian Women," "Indians," etc. Make note of the types of images that you find, especially the images that appear at the top of the list. Do the images generally convey positive messages about the culture/gender in question? If not, what sorts of messages do they convey? Who do you think has the authority/power to decide what images are shown and what images do not appear?

Geography and Cultures:

With the help of the teacher, use the Intercultural E-mail Classroom Exchange to meet students in other parts of the world. Make a new friend and lean about their culture!

For more ideas, click here.

Using the Internet for Research Links

Using the Internet for research.
A "How-toGuide" on internet research from NMSU.
Teacher's resource for intergration of the internet into your classroom.
Google Search Engine

Examples of reliable interent sources:
Eye Witnness to History
NPR- National Public Radio
The History Channel
The Discovery Channel
Discovery Kids
The Smithsonian Institute
How Stuff Works
National Geographic for Kids