I decided to perform a little experiment on myself during this journey of discovery. I intentionally delayed looking at the Module 1 expert searching ‘how-to’ information, so that I could collect my untrained choices in this field search. In a way, I was trying to imagine how a child might approach an internet searching task, what impressions they may have about their ability to ‘search’ as appose to ‘surf’, and what feelings they may encounter when they aren’t making any head way with the task at hand. As an adult who has had computers in their life for more than 20 years, I have never been taught how to search and had not given any thought to the mathematical system lying behind the search button. Foolish me!
Google Searching – looking through a child’s eyes
(Prior to using Module 1 ‘how-to’ Information)
To begin with, I approached this task as if I was doing a general, everyday search for something…. a ‘layman’s search’ if you will. I started with my key elements of topic/age group/learning area, and structured the search string like this –
inquiry based learning primary school geography
Whether I used primary school, middle school or elementary school, my results clocked up to 4 million hits, with topics ranging from Scholarly Articles, Geospace, ACARA, AGTA, and finishing with resource shopping and Pinterest, all on the first page. I applied double quotation marks, only knowing that this could help but did not know the correct procedures, grouping the string into obvious groups.
“inquiry based learning” “primary school geography”
Funnily enough, the same articles popped up from previously, but the results were not helpful at 62,000 hits. Too many, too random, and if I was in class, my research lesson would been over. So, I have had enough of this time wasting, frustrating task and I don’t like it anymore (my student impersonation). After having a taste of what it could be like for students to go around in circles, I am off to inform myself with Module 1 ‘how-to’ information. It is easy to see why we might lose some students so early on in a research task. A lack of online researching skills could lead to disheartened students.