by TeachThught Staff
Need to get started with a more broad search? These academic search engines are great resources.
Access over 135 million publication pages and stay up to date with what’s happening in most professional fields.
With more than 1 billion documents, web pages, books, journals, newspapers, and more, RefSeek offers authoritative resources in just about any subject, without all of the mess of sponsored links and commercial results.
Check out the DLC to find international literature including free and open access full-text articles, papers, and dissertations.
Microsoft’s academic search engine offers access to more than 38 million different publications, with features including maps, graphing, trends, and paths that show how authors are connected.
Google’s super cool search tool will allow you to find searches that correlate with real-world data.
Using expert-level knowledge, this search engine doesn’t just find links; it answers questions, does analysis, and generates reports.
BASE is one of the world’s most voluminous search engines, especially for academic web resources. BASE provides more than 200 million documents from more than 8,000 content providers. You can access the full texts of about 60% of the indexed documents for free (Open Access). BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library.
Databases and Archives
Resources like the Library of Congress have considerable archives and documents available, and many of them have taken their collections online. Use these search tools to get access to these incredible resources.
In this incredible library, you’ll get access to searchable source documents, historical photos, and amazing digital collections.
Find the best of what Britain has to offer in the Archives Hub. You’ll be able to search archives from almost 200 institutions from England, Scotland, and Wales.
Check out this resource for access to the National Archives. Find online, public access to find historic documents, research, government information, and more in a single search.
Cornell University’s arXiv.org offers open access to a wealth of e-prints in math, science, and related subjects. Search this resource to find what you need among 1,772,647 documents and counting.
A service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can find global information for agriculture in the National Agricultural Library.
Get access to the considerable resources of the Smithsonian Institution through the Research Information System, a great way to search more than 7.4 million records from the Smithsonian’s museums, archives, and libraries.
Explore the British Library catalogs, printed materials, digital collections, and even collection blogs for a wealth of resources.
As the center of intelligence, the CIA has certainly done its job with The World Factbook, offering information on major reference information around the world. History, people, government, economy, and more are all covered in this online publication.
Use this database to find information from the legislatures of all 50 U.S. states, DC, and the Territories. You can look up bills, statutes, legislators, and more with this excellent tool.
Search through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find descriptive records for historical and current publications, with direct links where available.
iSeek is an excellent targeted search engine, designed especially for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers. Find authoritative, intelligent, and time-saving resources in a safe, editor-reviewed environment with iSEEK.
Books & Journals
Instead of heading to the library to bury your face in the stacks, use these search engines to find out which libraries have the books you need, and maybe even find them available online.
Check out Google Scholar to find only scholarly resources on Google. The search specializes in articles, patents, and legal documents, and even has a resource for gathering your citations.
Microsoft Academic is a semantic academic search engine powered by Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) data and Microsoft Academic Knowledge Exploration Service (MAKES) hosted API’s.
Find items from 10,000 libraries worldwide, with books, DVDs, CDs, and articles up for grabs. You can even find your closest library with WorldCat’s tools.
Supercharge your research by searching this index of the world’s books. You’ll find millions for free and others you can preview to find out if they’re what you’re looking for.
For scientific information only, Scirus is a comprehensive research tool with more than 460 million scientific items including journal content, courseware, patents, educational websites, and more.
Find the world’s classic literature, open e-books, and other excellent open and free resources in the Open Library. You can even contribute to the library with information, corrections to the catalog, and curated lists.
Search Bioline International to get connected with a variety of scientific journals. The search is managed by scientists and librarians as a collaborative initiative between Bioline Toronto and the Reference Center on Environmental Information.
When you need top-quality journal writings for free, the Directory of Open Access Journals is a great place to check out. You’ll get access to a searchable journal of full-text quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
In this curated academic search engine, you’ll get results from over 4,000 free scholarly e-journals in the arts and humanities.
With a focus on science, these academic search engines return all-science, all the time.
In this government science portal, you can search more than 60 databases and 2,200 selected websites across more than 200 million pages and 12 federal agencies. This is an incredible resource for millions of pages of U.S. government science information.
This organization for nuclear research serves up a great search and directory for experiments, archives, articles, books, presentations, and so much more within their documents.
Use WorldWideScience.org as a global science gateway, offering excellent search results in the sciences, and even the option to select specific databases and find resources in your own language.
Math & Technology
Keep your results limited to only the best math and technology resources by using these search engines.
Zentralblatt MATH’s online database has millions of entries from thousands of serials and journals dating back as far as 1826. Nearly 35,000 items were added in 2012 alone.
This database was made for scientists and engineers by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. You’ll find nearly 13 million abstracts and research literature, primarily in the fields of physics and engineering.
Find more than 3 million references to journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports in computer science with this bibliography collection.
Researchers working in the fields of psychology, anthropology, and related subjects will find great results using these search engines.
Check out this searchable archive to find extensive psychology and brain science articles.
In this research network, you can find a wide variety of social science research from a number of specialized networks including cognitive science, leadership, management, and social insurance.
The Thomson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index is a paid tool, but well worth its cost for the wealth of relevant articles, search tools, and thorough resources available.
Search the languages of the world with Ethnologue, offering an encyclopedic reference of all the world’s known living languages. You’ll also be able to find more than 28,000 citations in the Ethnologue’s language research bibliography.
Find awesome resources for history through these search engines that index original documents, sources, and archives.
Use the LUNA Browser to check out David Rumsey’s Map Collection with more than 30,000 images, searchable by keyword.
Find excellent sources for women’s history with the Genesis dataset and extensive list of web resources.
Get access to historical military records through Fold3, the web’s premier collection of original military records and memorials.
Use the Internet Modern History Sourcebook to find thousands of sources in modern history. Browse and search to find full texts, multimedia, and more.
Use the history guide from the Library of Anglo-American Culture and History for a subject catalog of recommended websites for historians, with about 11,000 to choose from.
The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is a great place to study human origins, with full text and search on topics including Mesopotamia, Rome, the Hellenistic world, Late Antiquity, and Christian origins.
In this tool for collaborative education and research, students can learn history by researching, writing, and publishing, creating a collection of historical articles in U.S. history that can be searched for here by scholars, teachers, and the general public.
Business and Economics
Using these search engines, you’ll get access to business publications, journal articles, and more.
Maintained by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, this library offers historians excellent content for learning about economics, business, and more.
Visit EconLit to access more than 120 years of economics literature from around the world in an easily searchable format. Find journal articles, books, book reviews, articles, working papers, and dissertations, as well as historic journal articles from 1886 to 1968.
On this site, you can learn about and find access to great resources in economic research.
Find research in economics and related sciences through the RePEc, a volunteer-maintained bibliographic database of working papers, articles, books, and even software components with more than 1.2 million research pieces.
Perfect for researching companies, Corporate Information offers an easy way to find corporate financial records.
Economists will enjoy this excellent site for finding economics resources, including jobs, courses, and even conferences.
Easily look up stocks with this search engine to monitor the stock market and your portfolio.
The SEC requires certain disclosures that can be helpful to investors, and you can find them all here in this helpful, next-generation system for searching electronic investment documents.
Find even more specialized information in these niche search engines.
From the U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed is a great place to find full-text medical journal articles, with more than 19 million available.
Find reliable, authoritative information for legal search with the Lexis site.
Visit this database to find more than 6,300 records relating to human health in the circumpolar region.
In the ERIC Collection, you’ll find bibliographic records of education literature, as well as a growing collection of full-text resources.
A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus offers a powerful search tool and even a dictionary for finding trusted, carefully chosen health information.
A free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature.
Search Artcyclopedia to find everything there is to know about fine art, with 160,000 links, 9,000 artists listed, and 2,900 art sites indexed.
Get connected with great reference material through these search tools.
Use this online dictionary and thesaurus to quickly find definitions and synonyms.
Through References.net, you can get connected with just about every reference tool available, from patents to almanacs.
Need the right thing to say? Check out Quotes.net to reference famous words from famous people.
A library and search database for literature and literary books and documents.
CORE’s mission is to aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public. In this way, CORE facilitates free unrestricted access to research for all.
More Academic Search Engines
Four Stages Of A Self-Directed Learning Model
Four Stages Of A Self-Directed Learning Model
by TeachThought Staff
Self-Directed Learning is not new–but is perhaps misunderstood.
In the linked post above, Terry Heick wondered about the relationship between self-directed learning and the purpose of education:
The goal of the model isn’t content knowledge (though it should produce that), but rather something closer to wisdom–learning how to learn, understanding what’s worth understanding, and perhaps most importantly, analyzing the purpose of learning (e.g., personal and social change). It also encourages the student to examine the relationship between study and work–an authentic ‘need to know’ with important abstractions like citizenship and legacy.
Studied in terms of adult education and vocation for years, self-directed learning is increasing in popularity for a variety of reasons, including growing dissatisfaction with public schooling, and the rich formal and informal learning materials available online. This is the ‘age of information’ after all.
Self-directed learning is one response, something slideshare user Barbara Stokes captures in this chart, based on the model by Gerald Grow. The four stages–very similar to the gradual release of responsibility model–appear below.
The Four Stages Of The Self-Directed Learning Model
Stage 1 Dependent Authority, Coach
Examples: Coaching with immediate feedback. Drill. Informational lecture. Overcoming deficiencies and resistance.
Stage 2: Interested Motivator, Guide
Examples: Inspiring lecture plus guided discussion. Goal-seting and learning strategies.
Stage 3: Involved Facilitator
Examples: Discussion faciliated by teacher who participates as equal. Seminar. Group projects.
Stage 4: Self-Directed Consultant, Delegator
Examples: Internship, dissertation, individual work or self-directed study group.
Theories of Teaching and Learning: The Staged Self-Directed Learning Model, G.Grow. from Barbara Stokes; Four Stages Of A Self-Directed Learning Model
The Benefits Of Competency-Based Assessment
The Benefits Of Competency-Based Assessment
contributed by David Garrick, Dean of Graduate School of Education, UCDS College for School Culture
The general idea behind a competency-based assessment is that it provides students and families with specific feedback about student performance that can lead to a clearer understanding of progress and skills gained over time.
As Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the UCDS College for School Culture, I’ve gained a unique perspective on the possibilities that competency-based assessment can provide. Students who attend University Child Development School (UCDS) in Seattle don’t earn A’s, B’s, or F’s. Instead, student assessments are communicated through our own set of competency-based continua for various subjects.
These continua, paired with narrative communication with students and families, make up the school’s framework for assessment, based on skill progressions. I’ve seen the benefits first-hand in Pre-K through elementary classrooms, and also in training at the graduate level.
By providing specific information about the academic and social skills students exhibit, schools provide detailed and actionable information. This empowers students in their learning and educators in their teaching practices. Here’s a general overview of the benefits of competency-based assessment.
Building Competency-Based Assessments: The Benefits
1. Improved clarity & transparency
Greater clarity allows teachers and families to identify areas of strength and areas where students may need additional support. In all cases, these assessments provide teachers with detailed knowledge about student progress that can be used to build individualized goals and educational plans.
In addition to evaluating proficiency in these domains, teachers should regularly share comprehensive feedback individual student accomplishments and struggles. For example, UCDS teachers provide narrative commentary to families where they focus on how a student engages within each domain, as well as notable accomplishments and struggles.
Focusing on comprehensive feedback brings clarity to the learner, and clarity to the family about what’s happening in the classroom. Letter grades don’t show the full picture (suggesting alternatives to letter grades), and a competency-based model is better equipped to provide students, families and future schools with clear information about each student’s social and academic progress.
2. More seamless personalization of learning
Through Competency-Based Learning, educators have a better chance to provide a deeper view into each student’s learning attitudes and strategies and can provide resources that best support individual needs. This type of information is key to understanding the unique modes, strategies, and coaching to which each student responds best. This is the foundation of personalized learning.
3. It helps shift towards a culture of assessment
To successfully adopt competency-based strategies, teachers and administrators must first reevaluate assessment. While traditional forms of assessment (i.e., exams and quizzes) are valuable when placing students on a general scale of progress, they don’t show the whole picture. Making changes to assessment can be daunting for some educators, especially those who have been using traditional assessment practices throughout their career. It can also be a shift for parents to evaluate their student’s performance without a grade.
It’s important that teachers pursue resources and professional development that introduce different methods of assessing student progress, and why they hold value. As every teacher knows, the learning never stops – and by staying on top of current trends, curriculum can be adapted to meet every students’ needs.
4. Students better understand their own learning profile
Through comprehensive, competency-based assessment methods, teachers can help students to reach college and career readiness with greater self-knowledge about their learning approaches and needs. Working from a continuum of skills ensures that every student is being challenged in a way that is appropriate to what they want and need to learn and that educators can give individualized support as needed to help them move forward.
Removing the stress of being placed on a tiered grading scale shifts the focus back to learning, while building the confidence to make mistakes. Students take ownership of their learning. They feel empowered when mastering a skill and learn to identify what’s next.
For teachers, competency-based assessment brings depth and value to curriculum. With the focus shifted away from letters and percentages, students become more involved in long-term progress and are more apt to become engaged and take risks while learning.
Ranking students based on undefined competencies and then using that rank to determine their future prospects and contributions is a practice best left to past eras. Competency-based assessment provides more detailed information that promotes better-targeted teaching and learning for all parties involved.
5 Learning Strategies That Make Students Curious
5 Learning Strategies That Make Students Curious
by Terry Heick
Understanding where curiosity comes from is the holy grail of education.
Education, of course, is different than learning but both depend on curiosity.
Education implies a formal, systematic, and strategic intent to cause learning. In this case, content to be learned is identified, learning experiences are planned, learning results are assessed, and data from said assessments play some role in the planning of new learning experiences. Learning strategies are applied, and snapshots of understanding are taken as frequently as possible.
This approach is clinical and more than a smidgeon scientific. It arrests emotion and spontaneity in pursuit of planning and precision, a logical trade in the eyes of science.
Of course, very little about learning is scientific. While data, goals, assessment, and planning should all play a role in any system that purports to actually accomplish anything, learning and education are fundamentally different. The former is messy and personal, painful and fantastic. The latter attempts to assimilate the former—or at least streamline it as much as possible in the name of efficiency.
An analogy might help. (I love teaching with analogies.)
learning : education :: true love : dating service
True love may very well come from a dating service, and dating services do all they can to make it happen, but in the end—well, there’s a fair bit of hocus pocus at work behind it all.
Hubris & Education
Education is simultaneously the most noble and hubristic of all endeavors. There are two minds to every educator. This may all reek of sensationalism, but watch anyone at play, honing a craft, lost in a book, or engaged in a digital simulation and you’ll see a completely different person—one there physically, but far removed in spirit.
In a better place.
Causing this in a classroom is possible, but is as often the result of good fortune than good planning. The best substitutes that can masquerade as curiosity are dutiful compliance and engagement. Neither of these are curiosity, which has among its sources a strong sense of volition, accountability, and curiosity.
Here, let me try.
I want to show you what I can do.
I want to know.
And that last one—a sign of curiosity–is a bugger, one we’ve talked about before. Like the caffeine in coffee, the chords on a guitar, or the wet in water, genuine curiosity is not a thing, it’s the thing.
Not temporarily wanting to know, or being vaguely interested in an answer, but being able to put together past experience and knowledge like the millions of fibers on a network–only to be maddeningly stopped from branching further without understanding or knowing this one bit.
Like stopping an incredible movie right at the climax—that awful, crazy feeling inside would be unfulfilled curiosity—and it’d just kill you not to know. But where does it come from?
And can you consistently cause it in a learner?
If formal learning environments driven by outcomes-based systems have taught us nothing else, it’s that while we often can “cause” something to happen in learner, it is only by considerable effort, resources, and angst.
But we certainly can create ideal conditions where natural curiosity can begin to grow. What we do when it happens—and disrupts our planned lessons and tidy little units—is another story altogether.
5 Things That Make Students Curious
1. Revisit Old Questions
The simplest curiosities arise from old questions that were never fully answered, or that no attempt to answer was made.
Of course, any question worth its salt is never ‘fully answered’ any more than a good conversation is ever finished, but as we learn and reflect and grow, old answers can look positively awkward, as they are bound by old knowledge.
Strategy to actuate: Revisit old questions—through a journal prompt, Socrative discussion, QFT (Question Formulation Technique), or even a fishbowl discussion. And also revisit the thinking from the first go-round to see what has changed.
2. Model & Promote Ambition
Ambition precedes curiosity. Without wanting to advance in position, thinking, or design, curiosity is simply a biological and neurological reaction to stimulus. But ambition is what makes us human, and its fraternal twin is curiosity.
Strategy to actuate: Well thought-out mentoring, peer-to-peer modeling, Project-Based Learning and a genuine ‘need to know.’
A learner at play is a signal that there is a comfortable mind focused on a fully-internalized goal.
It may or may not be the same goal as those given externally, but play is hypnotic and more efficient than the most well-planned instructional sequence. A learner playing and learning through play, nearly by definition, is curious about something, or otherwise they’re simply manipulating bits and pieces mindlessly.
Strategy to actuate: Game-Based Learning and learning games and simulations like Armadillo Run, Civilization VI, Bridge Constructor, and Age of Empires all empower the learner to play. Same with Challenge-Based learning and other forms of learning.
4. The Right Collaboration At The Right Time
Seeing what is possible modeled by peers is powerful stuff for learners. Some may not be initially curious about content, but seeing what peers accomplish can be a powerful actuator for curiosity. How did they do this? How might I do what they did in my own way? Which of these ideas I’m seeing are valuable to me—right here, right now–and which are not?
Strategy to actuate: Grouping is not necessarily collaboration. To actuate collaboration, and thus curiosity, students must have a genuine need for another resource, idea, perspective, or something else otherwise not immediately available to them. Cause them to need something, not simply to finish an assignment, but to achieve the goal they set for themselves.
5. Use Diverse & Unpredictable Content
Diverse content is likely the most accessible pathway to at least a modicum of curiosity from learners. New projects, new games, new novels, new poets, new things to think about.
Strategy to actuate: Invite the learners to understand the need for a resource or bit of content and have them source it. Instant diversity class-wide, and likely divergence from where you were going with it all. At worst you’ve got engaged learners, and a real shot at curiosity.
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