Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Google docs

The May 2012 post Google’s Information Literacy Lesson Plans ranks high on Random Thoughts’ stats list. Is there is quite a bit of interest in these practical tools?  I tried to find out by making a personal contact and by posting requests about usage on LM_Net. I was surprised to hear from only a few people.

Several said they are considering using one or some of the 15 lessons.  A high school librarian explained:  I am in the process of systematizing the research process in our district.  I’m meeting with the Elementary, Middle and High School to get a handle on exactly what is being done at each level.  Ideally I’d like to scaffold the process, building each year.  We will be using NoodleTools as our citation making program and that has a note taking component, but we all know there is so much more than that involved.  I would like to involve all the disciplines, and have found that sometimes teachers in disciplines other than English feel intimidated with the research process.  I believe that if we can document a system it should ease their fears, (we’ll train the Teachers as well as the students) . . .  Lessons are more geared towards Middle School but I was wondering if the advanced level could be used as a refresher at the High School level.

It was great to hear from two librarians who use the lessons with my fifth grade students to teach them how to be better Google searchers.   It’s good to start young! Even primary level students prefer Google to many “age appropriate” resources.

A library director uses Picking the Right Search Terms with 6th grade.  Students “race” to find the correct answers and share their search terms with the class. I have selected 10 searches that utilize various skills, and placed them in a presentation on my Google Drive account, and the presentation is projected on the board. The kids, especially the 6th graders find Google alluring and a little mysterious, so they feel like they’re peeking behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.  She also uses Narrowing a Search to Get the Best Results with 9th grade history students.  They’ve had plenty of experiences with finding too many or not relevant results and are eager to learn. It’s discussed in terms of making their desired results “rise to the top” among all the muck. We continue to refine search strategies so they are typing keywords, not full sentences or questions, and then we limit the results in various ways. She also uses some lessons with older students, including some now in college, who rated themselves as better searchers than their peers. She plans to expand more to the high school level said by incorporating lessons in future web evaluation lessons.   These are skills that adults use in their daily lives, and we want it to move from explicit lessons to implicit understanding.

Have you discovered  Google Literacy Lesson Plans?  Are you using any of the 15 lessons?  Share your experiences by commenting on this blog.  Thank you!  

Google Literacy Lesson Plans: Way Beyond Just Google It.  Internet@Schools, Sept/Oct 2012
May 2012 post

A special thanks to: Christina Pommer (Florida); Marianne Kerrigan (New Jersey) and Mary Catherine Coleman (Virginia)



Sometimes there’s no better way to learn about something than to just simply dig in, explore and then share what you learned with others.  I spent a few winter days exploring Noodle Tools new citation and literacy features in order to help others learn about this comprehensive package.   It was a fun and very interesting experience.  It was great discovering how Google Docs and Noodle Tools are integrated into one logical package. A just published Internet@ Schools article,  Noodling around in the New Noodle Tools  will be helpful for media specialists considering an upgrade or acquiring a citation and information literacy tool.


Change!  The student tendency to “just Google it” while ignoring other resources is raises concern among media specialists and teachers. Discussions about banning or limiting Google are not uncommon.  One suggested even banning searching .com sites.  Google and web searching are not going away.

Google Lesson plans are Google’s new tool designed to help media specialists and teachers teach students how to be effective users of information.  There are multiple lesson plans for beginning, intermediate and advanced searchers are aligned with Common Core Standards and both AASL and ISTE information and technology literacy standards.

  • Picking search terms
  • Understanding search results
  • narrowing a search for better results
  • Searching for evidence for research tasks
  • Evaluating source credibility

A lesson plan map  gives a succinct overview  of each lesson; the very complete step-by-step lessons are accessible as Google Docs files. The lessons fit with standard research processes such as the Big 6. Take a look at Google Lessons. 

Thank you to Debbie Abilock from Noodle Tools for introducing me to these helpful literacy resources.

Learn more about teaching information and technology literacy and engaging, critical thinking activities for students in an online course. Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources .

Newer post with comments from Users

I’m back  to attempt another go-around of 23 things.    I just viewed  the clip by the author of Here comes everybody, a book that’s been on my ” to read” list for a while.   Some of the “things” I first explored a year ago are now routine–Delicious, Picture Trail, and Google Docs, especially.   Flicks we make with Picture Trail are receiving rave response on our school web site.  A teacher at our high school routinely has his students use Google Docs. At least a third of my online students have started blogs for their reflections, a higher percentage than I expected or saw a year ago.   I’ve explored and added content to some wikis.  A new tool I discovered is MyWebspiration, an online beta version of Inspiration.  It makes a lot of sense, is easy to use and I look forward to seeing more.  Stay tuned.

Now this is practical — and doable, even though I had to set up another account. At least it’s an account at a site I visit often! I am inspired to use Google Docs for planning our summer tech academy in the district. A great opportunity to model!

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