Saturday, March 22, 2008

#16: Assignment Calculator & Research Project Calculator

Wow! These are great tools, especially for middle school and high school, when students are learning how to 'do research'. Having worked in an elementary and a middle school, I can see where the handouts especially, would be very useful. In particular, I really liked the 'What is Research?' and the 'Taking Notes' handouts in the Resources section. But, most districts don't provide instruction by a media specialist after the elementary grades, so in reality, the research instruction falls to classroom teachers, for the most part.

In the public library, we don't really get the chance to help traditional students with most of the steps in the research process. Unfortunately, we see a lot of students the night before a paper is due, desperate to get any information on their topic. The concepts of planning, note taking, and evaluating sources aren't usually considered in their panic to get a book on their topic. We do have a lot of community college students using our library, though. Often, these are adult learners back in school after a long period of not doing any research or writing papers. We tend to see them earlier in their research process, so I think they might really find this helpful.

I haven't been able to transfer the use of this assignment calculator to any projects I'm responsible for, in the library setting. Most of my projects are task-oriented, rather than research-oriented, so a simple calendar/timeline is usually enough for my needs.

I do think these assignment calculators would be great to add to our teen page, though.

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