Big6 Research and how Technology Helps

The Big6 research process model has been the process we use in our building (with our librarian) with our students, and now I have used it as a student myself. I find one part that is tricky to apply and also tricky to teach is sub-stage 2.2: Select the Best Sources. There are so many potential sources given all the databases, search engines, and information sites a user can access. One way technology helps in selecting sources is the rating systems that many online sources use. For example, at the Discovery Education site, which both teachers and students can use for research, you are told how many times each video was downloaded, how many times it was rated, and also what average rating it received. This can help sort videos based on other viewers’ opinions of their quality. Then the researcher can view the best videos to see if they have the content that is most needed.

Sub-stage 5.1: Organize from multiple sources, is also greatly aided by technology. I now have students take their notes on the computer. This allows them to arrange and sort them as they take them. This can also be done with physical notecards, but the online version allows the researcher to view the flow of the notes in a much more applied manner as it relates to the paragraphs that will be generated based on the notes.

Sub-stage 5.2: Present the information has been revolutionized by technology.  The plethora of options that are now available give the researcher endless flexibility, whether they plan to present live, or through a recorded document/file. It also makes it much less burdensome to make multiple types of presentations for different purposes, which would often had been overwhelming in the past.

Overall, Big6 is a reliable process that, when followed, results in higher quality researched products, while technology is a facilitator that brings flexibility and efficiency to following the process.

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