Teaching students how to take the tremendous amount of information and data that is available to them on the web and then do something useful with it becomes a little harder every day. Information overload, plagiarism, finding exactly the right content and then remembering where you found it, correctly citing sources — these make research projects of any kind difficult for both students and teachers.
How Candy Helps with Research
If you’re using the Chrome browser, however, there is a new extension available that will solve many of these digital literacy problems. Candy styles itself as “the flexible and visual way to organize the best things from the web” and it’s true. Once the extension has been added, students can conduct their research as they normally would. But as they collect information that they need, they are now able to highlight the data, drop it onto a “Candy card” with automatic site location and citation, and then organize the ideas into a “Storyline” to reveal connections and find answers. Candy cards can be dragged and dropped into different orders, which is fabulous for organizing the final draft, and the contents of each card are searchable. Once the research is complete, the Storyline can be exported as a text file with just one click.
What’s Great About Candy
Information and quotes from any source can be Candyed, including websites, social media, videos, images, and more. When you’re ready to insert the Candy cards into a document, the original source comes with it, making citation simple, complete, and automatic. To help students throughout the project, a teacher can ask that the Storyline in digest format be emailed to her to look over. Candys can also be shared via email and social media and inserted into blog posts, which is great for student blogs.
To the left is a sample Candy Storyline on 2015’s Hurricane Patricia. Each of the green sections is a separate Candy card. There is no limit to the number of cards that can be attached to a Storyline.
I really believe that this Chrome extension is one that all students in grades 4-12 should be using on a regular basis because it makes the whole research process much easier to manage and to understand. Simple to use, free, and makes life easier — the perfect candy for the classroom!