Students using Google Scholar for their academic research are in for a rude awakening. Google Scholar does not vet (eg verify their sources, not peer/scholar-review, etc) their "scholarly" articles. It could be totally bogus research. Bolding and underlining are mine, not the NYT.
"...but Google Scholar does not vet the journals it indexes. The journals are giving rise to a wider ecosystem of pseudo science. For the academic who wants to add credentials to a résumé, for instance, publishers also hold meetings where, for a hefty fee, you can be listed as a presenter — whether you actually attend the meeting or not" (Kolata). Reading the whole article, it's obvious that there are many ways to "pad" your resume with fake academic accolades.
Fake news has, unsurprisingly, permeated into fake research articles.
This underscores the need for cross-referencing your sources, and using REAL databases, such as JSTOR, EbscoHost and ProQuest. Our school has a school membership with the National Library Board, and this includes access to over 101 authoritative and specialised databases and ebooks. Access is possible 24/7 for most of these sources.
Furthermore, it is really obvious to me as a supervisor, both Extended Essay (EE) and Personal Project, when students have searched Google Scholar and read only the abstract. There is an absence of in-depth knowledge of the article, both in the EE when it is cited in-text, and when I verbally asked them for further details.
Academic rigour and variety of sources is required to fulfil the 12 marks for Criterion C for Critical Thinking (Research) and 6 marks for Criterion E: Engagement (Research Focus), That's a total of 18 marks out of 34, 53% of the total marks possible. See the assessment overview table below.
Students will need to click more than 2 times to find the appropriate and relevant sources.
International Baccalaureate Organization.”Assessment: Overview.” Guide Extended Essay. International Baccalaureate Organization, Oct 2017b, .https://ibpublishing.ibo.org/extendedessay/apps/dpapp/tsm.html?doc=d_0_eeyyy_gui_1602_1_e&part=2&chapter=2&query=abstract#N1_3_7_2_4_4_6_3_3_1. Accessed on Nov 4 2017.
Kolata, Gina. "Science: Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals". New York Times. New York Times, Oct 30 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/science/predatory-journals-academics.html. Accessed on Nov 2 2017.
PebbleGo is an online database for the early years, and this is the first year the school is subscribing to it.
To connect it to the current Y2 about jobs in the community, I had students work in groups of 3-4. Students shared one iPad and were assigned a job and had to research it. As they worked together, they wrote down key points on mini-whiteboards.
There are several advantages to PebbleGo:
- students are introduced to databases at an early age and learn that there is an online alternative to the Internet
- it is very focused on specific topics that are relevant to the early years, regardless of the curriculum
- it is fact-based which is the basis of inquiry-based learning and suited to this age level
- there is an audio component to every article and subject headings. This helps both native and EAL students to learn words from linking the pronunciation to the written word and visuals. For example, it was evident after this task that many Y2s did not know the word veterinarians, or did not know it was the full version of vet.
Students were engaged with searching in PebbleGo, and collaborated well with each other in collecting and sharing information.
Here is a video to give you a visual on this lesson.
The last week was Curriculum Enhancement Week (CEW) in the secondary school, but some students did not participate. From them, I had four students who did not and offered to help me in the library. For some time now, I have been toying with the idea of identifying every picture book, and eventually I hope, chapter then nonfiction books by the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes (IBLPAs).
First, I sat with the students as we went through some picture books and reviewed the traits of both IBLPAs, and how to see evidence of them in the books. I also had a last option, " This is just a great picture book", because, hey, sometimes a book is just FUN to read and we don't have to learn anything from it.
After we did this a couple of times so that I knew we were all the same page, I let the students do it on their own. Each time a book was done, a sticker was stuck to the inside front cover of the book. The purpose of this was so that teachers or students who are just browsing can see right away, without a computer, what IBLPAs are in each book. This fosters spontaneity and serendipity in browsing the books, as well helping those who don't want to search the online library catalog, a way to search manually for IBLPAs.
Then I created a Google Doc with all the IBLPAs. This was so that students could cut and paste the relevant ones into the subject headings of each book without errors and more consistency.
I then created a short video for the students to follow. Instructional videos seem to engage students and adults more, as we all become more visual learners. Also since they will not finish all the books in one week, it is likely I will have to train other students to do the same task, and perhaps even some parent volunteers. For this reason, I decided to make a short video.
I gave students administrator access to the catalog. This was because they needed to edit library records and I wanted to track which individual student for accountability reasons. After doing a couple of books, I checked in with the students to make sure they were doing it correctly, which they were.
Although they did not finish, I will get two more Y11 students who will come in weekly to help complete this task, as well as two parent volunteers. I hope to finish at least the picture book section by the end of the school year.
Our collection of library books for the primary mathematics is growing and we are ordering more for next semester. To make sure that teachers are aware of them and can find them, I made this instructional videos for teachers. I will also share it with students, Y3 to Y6, and parents.
To ensure teachers are aware of this video, I've added it to the Daily Communication that all Primary staff are expected to read on a daily basis to avoid a constant deluge of emails.
Ms. Dawson's Y4 Class also did reviews of many of our new primary books on mathematics. They were all collected in a Padlet where you can read these reviews.