Monthly Archives: April 2014

Searchography

It turns out that in our current time of exceedingly powerful search engines (and there are many of them) the skill of searching is sadly neglected. Or worse, assumed to be so endemic as to need no formal training.

It’s importance is undeniable, and it’s poor use responsible for wasted time, and efficiency.
Admittedly, poor searching does take us down a path of serendipity – an increasingly important proposition in the age of big data and advertising that latches on to the most minimal of clicked interest and curiosity. But, that’s the topic of another post.

What is stranger is that it was important over a decade ago.  It’s time to resurrect this important component of formal documents (assignments, projects, other school work).

Searchography:
A list of search terms used to construct an assignment or project.
Mapping your search used in constructing a critical response to prescribed work.
Typically presented (or blogged) as an appendix to the document.

Format/Structure:
Search engine
Term
Qualifier

 Note:
A critical searchography traces the following moments, experiences or events of student research;
questioning / defining search strategies
search and encounter (entering the discourse)
reformulating the topic (focussing)
discovering (forming conclusions)

Purpose:
To validate student responses in assignments
To view (visible thinking) student thought processes and approaches to assignment answering
To allow teachers to scaffold their student’s skill development, knowledge development and generation of responses
To construct and develop a basic digital skill
Reduce the likelihood of plagiarism
Formalise the experience or performance of finding information
Like a bibliography it serves as a companion to the research paper, authenticating and tracking references
Critical searchography allows you a chance to worry less about the identity of the author of found material and more about the skill with which the student appropriates it, and how it affects their path of enquiry
Flows naturally into a bibliography
Displays patterns, paths and events of encounter

Bibliography:
Marsh, Bill. 2000 “Critical Searchography – Remodeling Research & Authorship.” 06 Apr. 2014 http://www.factoryschool.com/btheater/works/essays/comp/CS/searchog.html