For a couple of years I taught a computer repair course for high school students. We took in all kinds of computers in various states of disrepair. My students all worked in pairs to fix the computers. Some problems were easy to fix by doing simple things like running updates that had been ignored for years. Other problems required a good bit of research on the part of my students (and sometimes myself).
It was while teaching computer repair that I developed a template (linked below) for students to follow when working together to research possible solutions to the problems they were trying to solve. The purpose of the template was to guide students through the process of conducting research together while avoiding duplicating work. In other words, I wanted them to see that two heads are really better than one when it comes to conducting research. To that end, you’ll see in the template that there is time for students to work and think together as well as individually.
Even though I developed this paired search template for my computer repair class, it can be used in any classroom in which you have students working together on a research problem. In fact, I even utilize this template in my Teaching History With Technology course. You can get a copy of the template as a PDF embedded below or here as a Google Doc.
Finally, I was inspired to create this template by reading CoSearch: A System for Co-located Collaborative Web Search published in 2008 by Saleema Amershi and Meredith Ringel Morris.
Teaching History With Technology in June
In June I’m hosting an updated version of my popular Teaching History With Technology course. It has been a year since I last hosted this course. I’ve updated it with some new resources and strategies to use in middle school and high school classrooms. Learn more and register here.