Digging for Gold
As someone who just graduated from Cuba this year, I get to look back at everything that I have learned during my high school years from a fresh perspective. One thing I have learned that will aide me in my college years and beyond is how to do research.
The biggest difference between doing research now and in years past is the way that information is obtained. I know that both of my parents own a lot of books and like to remind me and my siblings about how easy we have it because we can just go online and look up virtually anything on the Internet from anywhere that we have a connection. However, this ease of obtaining information is not a blessing in every aspect as it only makes plagiarism easier. The up side to that argument is that with online resources such as turnitin.com have programs integrated into them that make detecting plagiarism significantly easier as well. So while all of this technology is not perfect, it still makes life easier for everyone. Plagiarism is not the only flaw of conducting research on the internet; getting information from a bad source can be bad too. While sites that end in ".edu" or ".gov" are usually quite trustworthy, a majority of websites are ".com"s and it is sometimes hard to weed through all of these. Also, the most well known databases and searchengines such as wikipedia and google are great for finding genreal information, but when more specific information is needed, they can be more hassle than sites that are specific in the area. At least when you read a book you sense what is said has at least some credibility. Sometimes even with the internet it is easier for me to just pick up a dictionary or encyclopedia and use information from them. Cuba-Rushford subscribes to several online databases that are credible and can be used for research and provides its students with iPads to use for schoolwork making it even easier to find information.
Knowing how to do research effectively is as important in college when time is a virtue because time is split between socializing, going to class, studying and having personal time as it is in a career where time is a virtue because it is split between taking care of a family, paying all of the bills, going to work and having personal time. For example, I am aspiring to become a pharmacist and in both in college and on the job, I may not know what a drug is and not have the database to look it up in at the time but if I know what I am doing and have either a book or the internet with the knowhow to research this drug, then I should be able to find out what it is that i need to know in a relatively short amount of time.
Even with access to the internet, an individual cannot get useful information without knowing where to look. Luckily there is an article from the magazine District Administration that contains links to many other useful credible sources.. The address to this article is http://www.districtadministration.com/article/k12-hotspots-web or can be found at a quick link on the CR website. There are links to sites that can help teachers, students, or even parents conduct research.
Students tend to go to general knowledge sites like google and wikipedia, but being able to go to and use sites like the links that are available on the District Administration website under the K12 hotspots on the web and other reputable sources one can save the time of panning through all of the irrelevant information that can be found via the more mainstream sites.
By Dylan Cornell