ERIC Number: ED396739
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Approaches to Research in a Digital Environment--Who Are the New Researchers?
Orr, Michael; Fankhauser, Rae
The research process has been a constant feature of the curriculum in primary and secondary schools for many years. The purpose of this process has traditionally been to develop student research skills and to enhance their knowledge within a particular area. The Information Process diagram, developed by the Australian School Library Association in conjunction with the Curriculum Corporation, places the research process within the context of generic learning skills. The advent of the digital information era has challenged and changed many of the traditional research sources, tools, practices and the premises on which they operate, though the essential process still depends on critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating. The digital information environment is dynamic; multimedia sources combine several media such as text, graphics, animation, audio, and video in an integrated format which is accessed by computer. Related technologies are having an impact on Australian education, for example. Digital cameras, notebook computers, and other devices have aided secondary students in recording observations during an expedition to the Snowy River. Primary students have also used educational technology to enhance information gathering at a trip to a botanic garden. Students can create personalized "knowledge webs," with their assignments hyperlinked to each other and to Internet resources. Each new resource format requires the development of new skills or extensions of old ones to enhance student learning. Students must become competent researchers and information managers with a well-developed capacity to critically evaluate information for accuracy, relevance, and usefulness as well as to search and manage huge quantities of information available through the Internet and other electronic sources. Information literacy within a digital environment uses many of the information skills already identified in the literature, but new skills must be taught if the potential of a digital world is to be exploited. The digital environment has allowed students and teachers to become part of a global research community that is premised on information sharing and individual and collective discovery. (Contains 10 references.) (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Digital Technology; Information Age
Note: In: Learning Technologies: Prospects and Pathways. Selected papers from EdTech '96 Biennial Conference of the Australian Society for Educational Technology (Melbourne, Australia, July 7-10, 1996); see IR 017 931.