Lately, I've been looking for ways to utilize technology to accomplish what we as English teachers have traditionally done with index cards for the source card and note card component of research. So far, working with other teachers, we've found three methods that seem to work. Special thanks to Tim Reger and Jen Moyers who worked through this process and created the materials shown below.
If you're only interested in giving your students one option, Google Slides (the first of the three listed below) is the simplest and the easiest to check and grade.
What we did in class: Before we got into the options for the students, we went over the basic concept of using source cards and note cards. We found that it was really helpful for them to have a firm grasp of what they were trying to accomplish prior to showing them different ways to accomplish it. We talked about the importance of pulling single pieces of information for the different notes, and the teacher assessing the project told the students to pull direct quotations only (instead of paraphrasing information). When I taught research, I had them take that approach, too. It kept them from making as many mistakes when it came to quoting and citing in their essays. We used the diagram below and explained the significance of choosing subjects and how the use of those subjects would ultimately help them shape their research papers. Then, once they seemed to understand the way that note cards work with source cards, we moved on the the specific method options.
Slides was a simple option, and it was easy for students to access and turn in on Classroom. Even if you don't normally use Google Classroom, you might want to use it for this assignment so that you can easily share the template with students. Otherwise, you can just share the template with each student and have the students make a copy. They can share their completed source and note cards with you when they finish.
Overall, I liked the way the tag/label features worked better on the Keep and Evernote options, but the Slides were a simple, visual way to organize information, and the Find feature (command + F) worked when students wanted to sort their information according to subjects.
K. Ashley Dickson-Ellison is a former high school English teacher (who is now an instructional technology teacher) interested in exploring the integration of trending young adult literature into the English classroom experience. Ashley is also a member of the podcast Unabridged; check out the podcast site below.
Please note: All ideas and opinions are my own and do not represent my current or past employers.
© K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All thoughts and ideas are the author's and do not represent any employer.