Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Follow-up for MC 399

After yesterday's class with the Mass Communications students, I reflected and felt that I should have shown the US Statistical Abstract rather than LexisNexis Statistical, and I should have shown LexisNexis Academic and pointed them to the News tab. I think they would have been able to find more relevant information for their assignment that way.

Also, after looking at Google Trends ( I am initially inclined to say this would be a good tool for the students who are searching for trends. It provides graphs of searches individuals have conducted over time. It also shows which countries and cities have conducted the most searches on the words entered.

Thinking of relevant words for your search can be critical to finding the necessary information. In yesterday's class I don't think it ever occurred to me to use the word "trends" when helping a student try to answer the question: "How to 18-24 year olds use email today?" This may or may not be helpful; however, a search in Academic Search Complete yielded 109 results. Granted, once I limited the search to articles published in the last four years only 29 results appeared--Yet, this is indicative that email usage and popularity has waned substantially in the last four years.

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