But What Topic Should I Research?

Here is a normal college scenario:  Professor assigns a research paper and tells her students they must come up with their own topic from something that has to do with the course.  Student  response- wait, what?  Professor - yes, write a paper on something you found interesting from the class readings or lectures - and make it 10 - 15 pages with at least 20 sources.  Student response - where do I start?

This type of scenario happens all the time in college.  If you have the right training in high school then this type of assignment will be manageable.  Remember - research is a process and there are many tools out there that will help you but figuring out where to start can sometimes be the most daunting step.

In this short video I introduce three resources to help you get started.  To access these resources go to the database page here.  

Teachers/Students - Do You Like Movies? Try Kanopy!


Teachers and students - films are a huge part of how we learn.  I personally love watching films and I often use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to watch films; however, I have to pay for them.  I know some people like to watch movies for free online through a pirated site but I like to give my money to projects that I appreciate.  For teachers, it is often difficult to find the right film that ties in with a lesson or highlights a particular issue, but Kanopy seems to be easier to find films for educational purposes.  

Furthermore, I like using Netflix and Amazon but I find it hard to discover new films based on their algorithm for a personalized viewing experience.  For example, if I watch a stand up comedy special on Netflix then all of my film recommendations will be geared to something similar to the stand up comedy special.  Netflix is trying to read my mind and think for me.  This leads to me to think - what am I missing?  What else is out there that I have not seen?  If I let them dictate what I watch, then how I am discovering new films that I never would have before? 

Enter Kanopy.  Here are the reasons I like Kanopy.

  • It is F.R.E.E.  - all you need is a Newport Beach Public Library card.
  • It has, according to their website, a low level of personalization - this means that I might discover films that are out of my "filter bubble".
  • Good layout, discoverability, and options!  Tons of films I have never heard of that didn't make it to the mainstream - you won't find Marvel films in here but I am ok with it.
  • I can watch 5 films a month with my NBPL card - this is probably the only downside   
  • Citation tool - students can cite films easily in their research  
  • Free for students as well
  • You can access Kanopy from any device 

Below is a playlist that I created of films I want to watch.  You can do this with your classroom as well.