Probably the most striking revelation I had as a result of Walden's "Supporting Information Literacy and Online Inquiry in the Classroom" (EDUC6712) is that what I thought I knew about my student's internet searching skills was outdated. As digital natives, my students have more experience "Googling" than many teachers do. However, experience doesn't always lead to efficient online research. After all, most students simply put a few key words into the search bar and then view only the first few hits in the results list. As anyone who has ever used a search engine knows, there is more to finding relevant information than entering one or two words. Even domain names, such as '.org' or '.edu', can provide many clues to the accuracy of the online information. With the tremendous expansion of the Internet and the open accessibility, our students are exposed to much more misinformation and personal opinion than to accurate and beneficial content.
Through this course, I have learned that my students need to be taught the QUEST process of questioning, understanding resources, evaluating, synthesizing, and transforming (Eagerton & Dobler, 2007). By practicing the skills required for each step of the QUEST process, my students will learn to conduct efficient searches, find accurate information on dependable sites, assess and integrate information from various sources, and present their findings in a clear and concise manner.
As a result, one of my professional development goals will be to study the QUEST process further. Eventually, I hope to fully integrate this process into all of our problem-solving activities in the classroom. My goal is to immerse my students in the processes of asking essential questions, finding reliable resources, evaluating and combining information from different sources, and transforming it into a clear and concise presentation. With these skills, they will be better prepared to be productive citizens of the 21st Century.
Eagleton, M. B., & Dobler, E. (2007). Reading the web: Strategies for internet inquiry. New York: The Guilford Press.