Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, leadership, research on the web

Back-to-School Research Tips: Use Curated Online Databases

September brings the start of a new school year, and once classes begin, it’s not long before the first research reports and projects are assigned. To get started, your child will head right to his or her computer; however, adult assistance at home ensures that a student uses quality sources, as well as develop stronger 21st Century research skills.

Just about any time digital kids search for information at home, they fire up Google. While their teachers use substantial classroom time and energy introducing students to the best online research resources, children often need assistance, not to mention frequent reminders about applying these research lessons on their home computers.

As often as possible adults should remind children that results from Google — as wonderful as Google searching is — provide a huge number of links, many of them of questionable quality. A better way to search for information is to access library online resources and databases — the crown jewels of student research (Links at the bottom of this post will take readers to a few libraries that describe their virtual databases.) Searching in these databases decreases quantity and dramatically increases quality — which, in turn, improves the caliber of a student’s assignment. A web page chart at Illinois Institute of Technology compares  Google searches and database inquiries. A library tutorial from Western Oregon University also compares research on Google and online databases.                       Continue reading “Back-to-School Research Tips: Use Curated Online Databases”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, family conversations, leadership, parent child conversations, parents and technology, reading

Reading Promotes Leadership Skills — Even in a Digital World

As parents, children, and teachers prepare for the start of a new academic year, many may enjoy reading the Harvard Business Review blog (HBR Blog) post For Those Who Want to Lead, Read. Parents of digital kids may want to take the time to share this short, thoughtful. and well-written article with family members as a back-to-school activity.

In today’s digital world, many people — including individuals who consider themselves literate — are not reading books as often or as deeply as in the past. In this HBR Blog post, John Coleman notes that reading digital chunks of content is far more common today. He provides inspiring examples of leaders who are well-read and describes in detail how reading benefits individuals who aspire to lead. Plenty of links take readers back to the sources of information that are mentioned in the article.

Best Quotes (Choosing only two was really difficult.)

  • Even as global literacy rates are high (84%), people are reading less and less deeply.
  • … Deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.

For Those Who Want to Lead, Read concludes with recommendations that can support people who want to read more. After you peruse these suggestions, take a few minutes to think about how you might encourage the people in your family (or your students) to develop and maintain a deeper and more literary reading life?

You can also check out the post, How to Raise a Lifelong Reader at the Common Sense Media website.