One of the basic aims of education in general is to teach us how to be a life long researcher, how to discover new fountains of knowledge and illuminate our lives. Knowledge itself is based on research and every discipline be it philosophy, science, technology, art or humanities, they all have one common pillar which is research.
With the advance of technology, the nature and means of research has completely changed. It becomes now much more easier to conduct a research and collaborate with people whom you have never met before and in real time. The resources you might need for back up are ubiquitous online and with a single click you can have access to an ocean of knowledge. This ocean, however, requires an expert crew to guide and direct the ship to safety. The crew we are talking about here are notbody else but teachers.Those are the real people whose job, if done effectively, will change the whole equation.
We are living in a digital world where new sources of information ( blogs, websites, wikis, ..ect ) are sprouting up like mushrooms. If left to themselves, students will definitely drown at the most in this ocean of information, or their learning will be handicapped acquiring new dismal habits such as plagiarism, dependence, and indolence at the least.This is where the importance of teaching students about effective research fits in. We can use the same technology that our students love to teach them about how they can conduct a research and collaborate with each other.
There are some awesome tools for this purpose but before you start exploring these tools you also need to bear in mind that there are certain important things that you as a teacher need to seriously address. Plagiarism and Correct Citation of bibliographies are top among them all. In this regard I would recommend that you read the following articles :
Plagiarism Tools Every Teacher Should Know about
6 Free Tools to Easily Cite Resources for Teachers and Students
Now that you have learned about how to properly cite resources and bibliographies in a research paper and are equipped with the right tools to detect plagiarism in your students work, you can head over and dicover these great research tools. Remember that after you learn you teach and we want students to learn about these tools too so make sure you share with them.
1- Read Cube
This is a desktop application that offers a new way to organize your research literature. You can create your article library instantly, import PDFs and download related articles. It also recommends relevant articles to your research automatically.
This is a great tool for researchers. It helps them capture information and create useful documents. You can also organize your data into Shelfster projects by dragging and dropping your saved links.
This is a great search service. It allows users to search a topic and instantly get lists of facts on it such as links to further information, videos, images, and even quizzes.
This is where you can find research papers on different subjects. You can also share yours and connect with other researchers from all around the world.
5- UN Data
This is a website that gathers statistical databases from different United Nations agencies and puts it handy for users to access from a single entry point so that anyone can research and download the date that they need without going to individual websites.
I have already reviewed this great website HERE. It provides a number of research tools such as presentation tools, office tools and many more and all for free.
I think most of you are familiar with this tool. Diigo is a must for every educator, it provides a safe platform where you can connect with other teachers and educators and also organize your findings online.
This tool allows users to create bundles where to add links and data they find online. Bundle also lets users share their bundles with others.
9- How to Do Research
This is a great map I have already shared before. It is provided by the folks at Kentucky Virtual Library. It features important research processes and walks students through each one of them. Check it out it is great.
10- Think Binder
This is another great website for students. It lets students create and join different study groups where they can share and exchange links, draw on a whiteboard and share files.
11- Bookmarking Websites
This is a list of some of the best bookmarking websites for teachers and students. You can use these tools to highlight, annotate and bookmark important URLs you want to work on in your research.
12- Sticky Notes
Sticky notes tools are pivotal to every research you do online. They allow you to add notes and comments to things you find online. Check out some of the best tools I have collected particularly for teachers and educators.
Wkipedia is a great resource that researchers have recourse to when collecting data for their projects. There are some important tools that teachers and students can use to get the maximum of this resource , check them out.
14- The Entire Guide to Google Search Features
Google is number one search engine online and knowing how to effectively use it to conduct a search on the net is an important skill every researcher needs to master. Check out that guide to learn more.
15- Specialized Search Engines for Educators
Google is a great search engine but it is not the only one out there. There are actually some other awesome search engines that few of us know about. These can also help you in preparing your research. check them out.