EdTech Conference Workshop Outline


Presenter: Melissa Brace
Time: 2:15-3:00pm
Room: B125

Title: Research Projects in the New World of Technology

Discuss how technology has changed the methodology for research projectsfor both teachers and students
    • The way that most of us learned to research is obsolete. Many students today don’t know what a card catalog is or understand the hours upon hours that it took to pour through dozens of books to find the nuggets of information needed.
    • Today, everything is instantaneous. Students want everything now and get frustrated by “slow” tasks or “long” tasks.
    • The key is to develop the same skills of being able to gather a collection of data, then paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize it into original thought.
    • While the typical research paper is still a key element of nonfiction writing, the majority of research products can be more creative.
    • 21st Century Learning Skills is the new “buzz” phrase. “Media Literacy” is a component of the VA SOL. Students need to be technologically literate in today’s world.
    • For those of us who long for the ways of yesterday, one major plus of veering away from the standard research paper is that grading can be more interesting. Our students can teach us as much as we teach them.
Helpful tips and ideas on how to integrate technology into research units of any content area. Explore available tools and products that help make the research and grading processes“less painful” for our students and ourselves.

    • Online Researching - Can be both a positive and negative without preteaching.

    • Documenting sources for pictures & information
        • Attached URL of the actual source of the photo. Remind students that Google is NOT a source!
        • Go through basic lessons on copyright and plagarism
        • Set up an easy way of tracking information
          • Example for Spotsylvania County Teachers
            • Destiny
              • Resource lists
              • Books
              • Website
              • Citation creator
              • Standards Search
            • Google Docs~
              • Create folder for your students.
              • They can create students accounts and be added to your folder
              • Either use template forms or create your own tracking sheets.
              • Have students save one with their name to the folder to track the research steps or information.
              • Amazing opportunities with Google Docs. Summer is the perfect time to play with it J
          • Students should have their topic narrowed and listed at the topic.
          • Each time they locate information.
          • They should summarize/paraphrase information, copy the URL, date accessed.
          • This way as they work, the information is recorded and focus is on putting things into their own words and tracking the sources.

      • Citation Machines– ONLINE. Gone are the days of wondering where to put the period and what to italicize.
          • www.easybib.com MLA is free, but APA has a fee. Even has a tool where you can look up frequently cited materials by research topic.
          • www.citationmachine.net Both MLA & APA are free, but does have a few annoying pop-up ads

Discover a variety of project/product ideas for the differentiated classroom and review actual student samples.

Project ideas:


  • The list can go on forever. This isn’t my forte, but my fellow teachers use webquests all the time in the their classrooms to research biomes, genomes, life cycles, etc….

  • Now, many people think this is tricky, but there have been some very creative math teachers out there who’ve created webquests to present real world problems for students to solve using the new math concept.
    • For example, research prices on specific items to find the average, mean, median, etc. One example I saw was a list based on a household grocery list which required the same webbased research, but required multiple step equations and problem-solving.


Checklists and Rubrics: