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10-Research Tools

(1) Evaluating Internet Resources

Most of what is posted on the Internet has never been subjected to the rigors of peer review common with many traditional publications. Students must learn to evaluate the reliability of information of the websites they visit.

  • Provide links to three websites (see examples) that provide information about a single topic related to your curriculum.
  • Compare the reliabiltiy of the sites using appropriate evaluation criteria.

Web Resources on African American Vernacular English (AAVE):

This is a good article to discuss because many students turn to Wikipedia as a starting point.

Authority: With citations from authors like Labov, Poplack, Rickford, Trudgill, and Radford, the contributors seem to have a good sense of the current research on the topic of AAVE. 

Accuracy: This entry on Wikipedia is right on interms of the general consensus in linguistic circles (outside of the prescriptive grammarian circles). This is for a general audience, though it is written using a fair amount of jargon.

Fairness: This paper take the linguistically neutral approach most linguists take in looking at non-standard varieties of language. It is relatively un-biased in treating AAVE as a grammatical system, who's only inherent flaw is that is designated as "bad" by many in society.

Recency: It is pretty current: "This page was last modified on 17 May 2013 at 21:47."

Center for Applied Linguistics:

Authority: This site is very legitimate. The Center for Applied Linguistics is a professional organization for applied Linguists, made up of Scholars from universities all over the country. All of the information posted on their site will have been peer-reviewed by the member of the organization. It is likely as strenuous a review process as for articles in respected journals. However, the information on this site does not compare to detail presented in academic articles.

Accuracy: It is a very accurate source, though the information is not very deep. The intended audience seems to be general, not necessarily for scholars in the field (though the links might provide fuller information)

Fairness: This site's information is very neutral, neither arguing for or against AAVE, simply describing what it is.

Recency: The site seems to be relatively up to date.

Watermarks, Armstrong Atlantic State University's essay journal:
This is an essay titled "Ebonics: Black English or Bad English," I chose this because it is an unreliable source students might choose to cite, assuming that because it is on an .edu site, it has some sort of reliability. According to the webpage that houses the essay this essay won an award for "demonstrate[ing] the solid skills in critical inquiry, technical expertise and creative thinking."

Authority: This is a student work with one reference, which is not on the topic, and a few  quotes from newspapers articles and opinion pieces. The author has no authority on the subject, and this is clearly an opinion piece.

Accuracy: Linguistically speaking, this is a completely inaccurate source that provides insight into the passionate and guttural reaction that language ideology can generate. It is, however, a great source to use as an example for sociolinguistic discussions on how the value a society places on a group informs the way that group's variety of language is perceived. The intended audience is probably other undergraduate students the author hopes to persuade.

Fairness: There is a clear proscriptive bias in this essay evidenced by statements such as "[Black English] is a cancer that must be sent into permanent remission by the clear and coherent voices of Americans.
Recency: It is an old article (1998) that was on topic during the controversies that followed the Oakland case.

(2) Electronic References

Since we live in the Information Age, it is particularly important that teachers are able to access and evaluate information to prepare accurate, up-to-date lessons, and to teach their students the principles of electronic research. In this activity you will examine a variety of electronic references in your quest to acquire information for lessons or other professional activities.

  • Identify two topics (see examples) to research using electronic references (broadcast news, almanacs, quotations, etc.). Research the first topic using at least one resource from each of five categories of electronic resources. Repeat the process with the second topic, using references from five additional categories.

Categories of electronic resources

  • On your assignment page:
    • Provide links to the resource
    • Summarize key information acquired, including screen captures or graphics as necessary.
    • Identify the special features (e.g. hypertext linking of terms, Boolean search capabilities, archival search, knowledge tree, downloadable movies, online audio transcripts, animations, translations, reference lists, printer-friendly output, multimedia links, PDA or bookreader download, visible directory structure, etc.) of each of the reference tools you have used.
    • List criteria for determining the authenticity of information on a website. 
    • Compare and contrast electronic references with their traditional paper counterparts. Discuss at least ten tasks or features that are possible with electronic resources that are not possible with traditional paper resources. 
    • Develop a lesson plan that incorporates electronic references. Your lesson plan should require students to use two or more electronic references to address a specific curricular objective.

The document I created for this assignment can be found below:

Electronic References Assignment


(3) Educational Research

Teachers should be familiar with research related to the teaching of their discipline. The Educational Research Database (ERIC) and Scholar provides access to abstracts from numerous educational publications, and is the best place to start when conducting educational research.

  • Find two or more full text articles and two or more abstracts of recent, relevant research related to the use of technology in the teaching of your subject. Include the text in your electronic portfolio. Summarize implications for the teaching of your subject. Cite the articles using APA format.

I have placed the information for this assignment on the google doc below:

Articles on Teaching Linguistics

(4) Multimedia teaching resources

At many libraries, teachers can obtain cards which give them special privileges as educators, including the ability to check our more resources and keep them longer. Teachers can check out books, CDs, DVDs and and videos.

For this assignement, I went to visit the Oviatt Library. There I saw the robotic retrieval system pictured below:
library robot

(The second image shows my reflection in the glass.)
I also found the plans for the renovation of the library first floor. These demonstrate a change in the way libraries are used now that so much content is available digitally. The plans are posted on the Oviatt Library page below: