I have been in a lot of classes lately working with students. We have been focusing on using CC licensed material and acknowledging the sources used in assignments/research by attaching bibliographies.
The whole idea that whilst being safe – which has been a focus of the school this year – is paramount there are other considerations. One of these considerations means that anyone using internet resources is required to deal with the work of others fairly.
The students here have a very highly developed interest in what is fair and in fair play. So tapping into the idea of fairness that we worked on improving their understanding of what they can use in their own work and how they should attribute what they have used.
After looking at sites that offers CC licensed material they were surprised that they can even use the Google search tool to find appropriately licensed material. As always it is very gratifying to see them all happily using the CC images options once they went ahead with their work.
This was followed up with how they should be noting the references they use and writing appropriate bibliographies. We have always taught them how to include bibliographies (but only occasionally and in a few classes) with various levels of success.
This year we have again been going through the steps of where they go to find the information they need and then how to cite the materials.
In the past, once they leave that particular class, they have often forgotten a few things and, if they are not reminded by the teachers, not being sure of the right way, they often just leave out the something that might be a bit more difficult to work out. This seems to be preferred that rather than try to cite it and get it wrong, they don’t cite it at all.
So this time we have spent just as long looking at the online citation tools. These are becoming easier to use and they make citing references very easy. I have had a few conversations with some teachers who seem to think that it is cheating to use these tools but what is the reason for a student bibliography? In our school it is supposed to simply be a list of sources the students have used to inform themselves about a topic. The bibliographies expected in subject assignments have never been an end in themselves. The fact that many times the students are not marked down for having anything more than Google listed in the bibliography seems to defeat the purpose of even asking for one. Some of the arguments seem to be made along the lines of “it was difficult/painful for me to do one so the current students should also suffer as I did”. Anyway getting past this has been useful and the students in year 7 ands 8 seem to have chosen bibme as their tools of choice and there seems to be a surge in longer bibliographies. The teachers also think that now that the students find adding bibliographies easier, they will in some cases ask the boys to use the annotation option to indicate why and/or how each source was useful to them.
The seniors have been learning about the option of using the citation part of word. We are trying to teach them about using it as they take notes, even before they start their final document. A longer process this one I believe. I created a tutorial and then partly to have a go at some e-publishing tools I used the word document, saved as a PDF and uploaded it to make a Yudu document. I also tried creating another using the SimpleBooklet tool. The Yudu doc is quicker to make from an already created document but to get the layout right you need to make it a PDF. The SimpleBooklet tool is probably almost more easy to use when you type directly into it.
To have a look, here are the links to my attempts.
The Yudu Doc which was created first has a few things I must edit. I did this one on Friday afternoon and missed a few mistakes so I will replace it later this week ut the 1st edition is here: Read How to add citations and create a bibliography using Word
Publishing Software from YUDU
There is also a good video tutorial below.
My next task is to create a few such tutorials for our students to access at school.