Google it: Five Tips to Search like a Pro

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Just “Google it”— often friendly disputes about factual matters will end up with that phrase. We have grown so familiar with the search engine, and the way it resolves our everyday questions. Yet we have forgotten the amazing features up its sleeve.

Here is a brief overview of the most useful Google search tips:

1. Search within a website

The search engines of most websites are poor. Instead, use Google’s site or domain limiter to search within a single website. For example, searching with site:cbc.ca followed by a search term. In other words, site:example.com text goes here

2. Find influential papers

Some papers are of central importance to a research topic, often because they report a major breakthrough, or theories that have an accepted validity among the scholarly community.  At some point in your student life, you will be required to find influential or seminal papers. Fortunately, Google offers a database devoted only to scholarly papers, called Google Scholar, which allows you to track how often and how recently a paper is cited in other scholarly literature.  Simply look for “Cited by”.

3. Find similar websites

Quality research demands synthesis—combining ideas from a number of sources to form a coherent whole. For this reason, if you found something you really like online, try your best to find similar websites. Simply type in “related:” in front of a web address, you already know. For example, related:adidas.ca., without a space between words. This Google search technique is especially useful when conducting market research.

4. The Power of the Asterisk

Like the blank tile in Scrabble, the asterisk * works as a placeholder within searches. Use it when your cunning memory prevents you from recalling a word, or parts of a word. For example, a search for child* will search for child, but also childhood, children, and any other word which starts with child.

5. Exact Phrase

This is the simplest way to specify that you only want websites—where the visible body text—exactly matches the sequence of words enclosed in quotation marks. For example, “Access to Information Act, RSC 1985, c A-1”. Use this search technique to find fragments from texts, or exact titles.

Remember…

All these tips solely focus on discovering information, yet this is a tiny part of the research process. If you want to learn more about research, this guide is for you!

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Bibliography

Gibbs, Samuel. (2016, January 15). How to use search like a pro: 10 tips and tricks for Google and beyond. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.thegaurdian.com/technology/2016/jan/15/how-to-use-search-like-a-pro-10-tips-and-tricks-for-google-and-beyond

Google LLC. (2019). How to search on Google. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/134479?h1+en

Stetson University. (2018). Google Advanced Search & Google Shortcuts. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://guides.stetson.edu/c.php?g=431278&p=2942376

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019 is International Women’s Day.  It is a day when we celebrate all that women have accomplished and is an important day for the women’s rights movement. The 2019 campaign theme is balance, specifically gender balance, and people are encouraged to take a picture facing the camera with arms bent, palms facing up and posting it to the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.

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The Library has many books on the women’s movement.  Here are a few that can help you celebrate International Women’s Day.

Women in science:  50 fearless pioneers who changed the world by Rachel Ignotofsky.  Q 141 I33 2016

Women who dig:  farming, feminism, and the fight to feed the world by Trina Moyles and K.J. Dakin.  HD 6077 M69 2018

The glass ceiling in the 21st century:  understanding barriers to gender equality by Manuela da Costa Barreto, Michelle K. Ryan and Michael T. Schmitt   HD 6060 G63 2009

Malala’s magic pencil by Malala Yousafzai   LC 2330 Y6825 2017

I can be anything!:  don’t tell me I can’t by Diane Dillon   PZ 7 D57917 Iak 2018

 

Open Education Week

Open Education Week runs March 4-8, 2019, celebrate by learning about open educational resources! Keep reading and then check out one of the many free online events being offered this year.

What is the Open Education Movement?

The Open Education Movement has one simple goal: to reduce potential barriers to education through cost, increased accessibility, and distribution methods. Open Educational Resources are a key component to that movement, as these resources aim to replace cost prohibitive textbooks and other resources which students are often required to purchase.

 

What is an OER?

Perhaps the best definition of OER comes from the OER Commons:

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. Unlike fixed, copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. In some cases, that means you can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, you may be able to download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work.” ~ OER Commons

 

What is not an OER?

Anything that has a restrictive license agreement or terms of use is not an OER. For instance, most of your institutional library materials are not freely open, cannot be remixed or altered, and cannot be redistributed. These materials require special permission from the rights holder and therefore cannot be distributed openly.

 

Adapted from: McNutt, K. (2016). OER Champion’s Toolkit. Retrieved from: www.albertaoer.com under a CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

OER’s at MHC

A number of MHC faculty members have already adopted OER’s for use in their classroom. Here’s just a few of the “free” and open texts used on campus this year.

 

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Freedom To Read Week!

Freedom to read week is upon us! But what does that really mean? This exciting annual event is focused on reminding us that, as Canadians and those living in Canada, we have the freedom to read what we want, when we want! And that is something to get excited for!

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 Put on by the Canadian freedom of expression committee, Canada Freedom to Read is all about celebrating the books the have been challenged and/or banned. The big question the week poses for everyone is why were these books challenged and/or banned in the first place? Was it legitimate or illegitimate? Even regular books, ones you grew up loving or we`re recently introduced to by family or friends, might have been banned, including:

  • To kill a mockingbird- Harper Lee
  • Harry Potter- JK Rowling`s
  • The Golden Compass- Philip Pullman
  • The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
  • Habibi- Craig Thompson
  • Looking for Alaska- John Green
  • Captain Underpants- Dav Pikey
  • Hunger Ganes- Suzanne Collins
  • Bone- Jeff Smith
  • The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls
  • Uncle Bobbys Wedding- Sarah S Brennan
  • The Earth, My butt and other big round things- Carolyn Macker
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Freedom to read week is centered on the question that while any book can be challenged for any number of reasons (offensive language, mature or graphic content, differences in ideological, theological or political positions and alternative perspectives), who has the right to stop you from reading? Though we enjoy the right year round, this week is about appreciating that even though a person disagrees with a book you are still entitled to read it! Sadly, there is a very long list of books that have been banned. Lucky for us, we have ability to read them if we want! So we took a look at the list and pick out some titles for your growing stack of TBR (to be read)!

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While there`s certainly no shortage of Challenged and banned books to choose from– The ALA releases a list of the top 10 most challenged books each years and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund maintains a list of challenged comics  –the following titles have been banned by various school and libraries across North America. (Bennett, 2018, Para 7)

11 Banned books that CBC Recommends

https://www.cbc.ca/books/11-canadian-books-that-have-been-challenged-1.4311368

EPL great article about Banned books

https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/banned-books/EPL

Sources Cited

Bennett, M (2018, February 8). 7 Books You Never Knew Were Banned [Web log post] Retrived from https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/banned-books/

Tips for Making the Most of Reading Week

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Have you considered any plans for reading week? Many students are looking forward to a much-needed break, but may not have considered how they will spend their time.  In order to make the most of the break, consider setting some goals based on how you want to feel when you return for the second half of the semester. If you want to come back feeling relaxed, productive, confident and fulfilled, consider these tips:

  1. Get Clarity – Leading up to the break, you likely had a lot on your plate, and there is likely more for you to do upon your return.   Do a mind dump and write everything down that is on your mind. Get clear on what you have accomplished leading up to the break and what is expected of you after the break. Review your course outlines to see what you have already covered and what is yet to come in each class.   This will help you gain a sense of control after a busy few weeks and will allow you to prepare for the second half of the semester.
  2. Rejuvenate –  Although reading week is a prime opportunity to get caught up on your course work, successful students take time out to rest their bodies and minds.  Catch up on sleep, plan healthy meals, spend time with family and friends, be active and get some “me” time.  Allowing the time for self-care over the break will lead to a clear mind and healthy body and will help you relax and be productive.
  3. Summer Job Search – If you are planning to attain summer work, consider updating your resume and applying for potential jobs.  Employers are already looking for students to fill summer positions, and this will allow you to get a head start on being a successful candidate without the pressures of school.
  4. Block Your Time – Reading week will give you the chance to have some free time and catch up, however the disrupted schedule can lead to distraction.  Be mindful of blocking time for what you want to accomplish and go about your days with intention.  Without blocking your time, you may get caught in distraction and before you know it the week will be over.  Plan catch up time during your most productive part of the day and “me” time for other parts of the day so you can end your week feeling relaxed, productive, confident and fulfilled.

LNAP WINTER 2019

LNAP is coming to MHC on February 13, 2019, and there is so much to be excited for!

But what is it?

LNAP stands for Long Night Against Procrastination, and this semester it is coming to MHC on February 13, 2019!

Once a semester we plan a night to bring you the services we you need at times they normally are not available at. After hours!

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Who is it for?

LNAP is planned with MHC students in mind! All of this is for you!

When is it?

Winter 2019 LNAP is taking place on Wednesday, February 13th from 5 pm. to midnight.

What can I expect?

  • You can expect an exciting, welcoming atmosphere
  • You can expect quick half hour (or less) workshops filled with all kinds of activities
  • You can expect mental health stress reliefs (hint:  puppies and kitties, and Zen Zone)
  • You can expect snacks and drinks (another hint:  pizza and coffee)
  • You can expect assistance and guidance from Faculty, all staff including Advising, Library, IT, Peer Support, Writing Specialist, tutors in the ARC, Counselors and more
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What do I need to do?

  • Register now at LNAP Pre-Registration or register in person starting February 4 in the cafeteria or B-wing hallway (location changes depending on the day)
  • Bring your student ID card
  • Arrive at 5, ready to make the most of an amazing night!

We’ll be there, and we are excited to see you there too!  Participate in all the workshops, or only a few for some well-deserved breaks, or just hunker down to get your assignments and studying done.  What the night is really is up to you!

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Bell Let’s Talk Day – A Springboard for Mental Health Awareness

bellletstalkThere’s no doubt about it – talking about mental health can be hard! Sometimes unsure of where to start or what to say, people take the easiest road out and say nothing at all. Luckily, there’s an easy way to start changing this unfortunate turn of events and it’s all thanks to Bell Let’s Talk Day – happening this Wednesday, January 30th, 2019!

With the advent of Bell Let’s Talk Day in 2011, we’ve been able to open the doors to an easy conversation all about mental health. And, while talking about mental health is what Bell Let’s Talk is all about, it begs the question of how do we keep the momentum going year round?

Fortunately, with this year’s poster, Bell has us covered once again! Keep reading to discover how you can #endthestigma!

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“Get Help.” Bell Let’s Talk, letstalk.bell.ca/en/get-help. Accessed January 28, 2019.

 

1. Language Matters – Take a minute and reflect on what your word choices are. Is there a better way to say something than “crazy?” Words can hurt, be mindful of your choices!

2. Be Kind – Everyone can be fighting a hard battle, and we may not get to know what that battle is. So be kind to others and to yourself.

3. Educate Yourself – There’s a lot of information out there about mental health and mental illness. Sleuth through it and get the facts so you can go forward, armed with knowledge!

4. Listen and Ask – Did you know that we can all talk about mental health? All we have to do is ask non-judgemental questions and actively listen to those around us. Mind blowing isn’t it? ;D

5. Talk About It – Now that you’re following all the other 4 steps as outlined above, it’s time to really break down the stigma and talk about what’s going on with your mental health. Be an advocate. Get out there and let the truth be known – we all have struggles, we all have mental health and we can all make a difference by joining the conversation!

 

 

Welcome back!

Welcome back for winter term, MHC students! Hope you all had a wonderful, restful holiday and have recovered from fall term enough to do it all over again!

New students- don’t forget to come by and grab your ID card.

Returning students- come by and see us! You can enter our ramen noodle raffle, browse our New Book display, and check out the Student Success Centre.

It’s a whole new term- go get it!

Strong Hearts: Family Violence Prevention at MHC

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Happy November everyone! As some of you are hopefully aware, November is a very special month. Not only do we celebrate men’s health and awareness with Movember, but we also bring attention to healthy love and relationships with Family Violence Prevention.

Usually when people hear the terminology of “Family Violence Prevention” they’re not quite sure what exactly it entails, but they instantly seem to know that they certainly don’t know anyone who has any dealing with family violence, PERIOD! Sadly, we know from the statistics that there is an overwhelming number of people that have been affected by violence from someone they love. Whether it’s intimate partner abuse, neglect from a parent, or sexual assault, the numbers don’t lie – and they’re staggering! In an effort to help bring a voice to the countless people who are or have been affected by violence in their lives, we host an annual Family Violence Prevention week on campus to encourage this discussion to keep gaining momentum (and smash the stigma associated with it along the way)!

This year, we are particularly excited to bring our first-ever art show collaboration on campus thanks to the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society and McMan Colour Me Free. Teaming up with these two amazing organizations, LGBTQ2+ students from our community have been invited to create works of art that express what healthy relationships mean to them. Giving a “snapshot” of what relationships can be like in the rainbow community, this art show tackles discrimination, outing, homelessness and abuse in the way of artistic expression and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it. The exhibit itself will be on display from November 27th to 29th in the Den with the opening party happening November 27th at 6PM.

There’s also a Community Resource Fair on Wednesday, November 28th from 11AM to 1PM in the Students’ Association Hallway. Thursday night from 5:30PM to 9PM we have the Medicine Hat Board Game Guy back at Crave to host a Friends & Family Game Night (all ages welcome! It’s FREE!).

For more information, or to help someone whom you know is experiencing violence, the Women’s Shelter Society website and directory can be found here: http://www.mhwss.ca/.

Big Picture Problem Solving

Many students find problem-solving in their math and science-based courses very difficult and can end up feeling deflated or frustrated with the challenge.  I often hear students say, “The test was NOTHING like the homework!” or “The problems on the test were not the same as the problems we worked on in class!”  If this sounds like you, here are some questions to ponder…

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What is your approach to solving problems? Do you jump right into the first problem assigned? Do you have a consistent process, system or strategy for solving problems, or are you approaching problems with random, unfocused methods? Do you attempt to see the BIG PICTURE before starting to solve? Seeing the BIG PICTURE can be the difference between a good grade and a poor grade. In order to do well, it is important to review and be aware of your approach to solving problems. The following BIG PICTURE APPROACH to problem solving is a valuable tool that can improve your problem-solving skills and  results:

Part 1: Seeing the BIG PICTURE

CONCEPT – the first question to ask is, “what is the concept?”

A concept is a main idea. When you have a problem, it is important to be familiar with the concept that is associated with the problem. If you don’t know the concept for your problem, then review your lecture notes or textbook to better understand the concept.

S.A.M. – the next question is, “what is the S.A.M?”

  • Set-up
  • Algorithm
  • Method

Every concept has a specific S.A.M. or steps to follow for solving problems. If you don’t know the S.A.M. for your problem, return to examples in your textbook or lecture notes to gain an understanding of the process for doing the calculations and problem solving operations.

VARIATION – now that you have identified the Concept and S.A.M., ask yourself, “what is the variation?” and how does it AFFECT the S.A.M.?”

When you have a group of problems – review all of the problems in the group. They may share the same concept, but are the problems different or the same? The “difference” is the variation.

Does the variation affect the S.A.M.? How do you need to modify the S.A.M. for different problems?

Be resourceful and find other examples of different problems.  If you still need help, see your instructor or chat with peers to gain an understanding of the variation.

Now that you understand the Concept, S.A.M. and Variation, you can see the BIG PICTURE and are ready to begin solving problems.

Part 2: Solving the Problem

COME UP WITH A PLAN – Using the S.A.M. from Part 1 of the Big Picture
Approach to Problem Solving, make a plan for solving your specific problem.
Before making a plan, check that you have a clear understanding of the problem. What is the problem asking? Do you understand all the words in the statement of the problem? Can you restate the problem in your own words? Is there missing information that, if known, would allow you to solve the problem? Still don’t understand the problem? Then return to the steps in Part 1 of the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.

What are your techniques to solve problems? Successful problem solvers use a variety of techniques when they attempt to solve a problem. Here are some recommended strategies:

 Make a list of the known and unknown information. Can you express the unknowns in terms of the knowns?
 Make a list of information that is needed
 Draw a diagram
 Make a table
 Work backwards
 Try to solve a similar but simpler problem
 Research the problem to determine whether there are known techniques for solving problems of its kind
 Try to determine whether some pattern exists
 Write an equation
 Guess at a solution and then check it

Need help coming up with a plan? Then STOP here BEFORE continuing. Explain the problem to someone who may help (other classmates, tutors or professors). Ask them how they would solve it.

USE YOUR PLAN TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM
If you can see the Big Picture and have come up with a good plan, then this should be the easiest step in the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.
 Work carefully
 Don’t skip steps
 Write clearly

If you have trouble solving the problem, then go back and make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. No mistakes? Then maybe you need to come up with a new plan. Don’t worry, this is part of the learning process. It may help to take a break and come back later with a clear mind. Remember “20-minute rule”– do not stay “stuck” on a problem more than 20 minutes. Skip it and get help later!

THINK ABOUT YOUR ANSWER – Does your answer make sense? Does it fit with the Big Picture? This is the most rewarding and important step. Getting the right answer proves that you have mastered the learning, and it is the learning that matters most.

 Check that your answer is correct. Does it fit with your expectations? If your answer is not correct, then step back through each step. Where is the error?
 How would the answer change if the problem changed? (See VARIATION in Part 1)
 Marvel at your accomplishment. Enjoy the rewards of your hard work.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now trained in the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.

Engaging in learning processes and strategies can lead to student success!  If you need help with this or any other learning strategies please visit me!!

 

Justine McKennie

To book an appointment call 403-529-3819.