Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Where in the World was Ms. K-A?

I have been experimenting with various methods to help students search more effectively. I had a lesson  this week that was successful. The task was to find the location where I had taken a photograph or was the subject of a photo. I created this task in our Moodle course:

The link was to a Google Apps Form I created. Students simply entered the answer after completing the search. I asked them to screenshot the information so that they could not simply get the answer from a neighbor. I also used the screenshots later to discuss effective keywords.

I created a Google presentation of photographs which had captions. These provided the search terms. We reviewed using only the most important terms, leaving out words such as "in the." I have been amazed at how difficult it has been for my students to pare down their search terms. They often type in a complete question, which I strongly discourage.

There was a lot of "buzz" about the photos, which was fun. I heard students guessing locations with each other as they searched. 

I was able to check and give feedback immediately after they submitted their answers. As I spot checked their screenshots, I was able to help them modify their search terms if needed. Most students were very successful, correctly identifying most of the 12 locations.

I want to take this idea to the next level, in which students create the photo clues for each other.

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