Information and education has never before been this accessible to so many people, and it's just practical to take advantage of this as much as we can. So how can we gain access to today's best education articles worldwide? Let's look at some simple guidelines:
Plan. Education is a very broad topic, and so you have to assess exactly what aspect of it you want to look further into. For example, are you a teacher? Perhaps you're interested in looking up innovative techniques in teaching. If this is so, search accordingly. If you're a student and you want to look up pertinent information regarding, say, your thesis, use smart keywords in your search. This guideline is important so you can avoid being overwhelmed with too much information and being lost in following links to different websites, some of which might turn out to be irrelevant anyway.
It is advisable that you break up your search into a workable outline. Stick to this plan. Don't allow your search to wander. If you happen to come across a somewhat related branch of topics that aren't included in your prepared outline, note it and look it up another day.
Do some intelligent research. With so much available information available on the Internet, again you might be overwhelmed, not just by the number but also by the diversity it offers. Use your judgment and common sense to see if what you are reading is reliable or not. Here are some guidelines:
- Look up websites of trusted schools and universities. Usually these websites don't only contain information about their schools but also provide links to education articles written by their faculty and alumni. If an article is affiliated with a trusted institution, then most likely the information it contains is credible and trustworthy, as well.
- Check for consistency. Look up different articles on the same topic, and see if the data basically supports each other.
- Consider the website activity, date, authorship. Do many people visit this website? If it has a forum available, check the membership count and activity. When was it last updated? This is important too. You want to see recent and timely articles. Who wrote it? Perhaps it's a professional that you have heard about and whose work is constantly used as a reference by other experts in the field. Taking these details into consideration, you would be able to limit your search effectively only to trustworthy sites.
Ask advice from your mentors. If you're a university student, for example, feel free to approach your adviser or a trusted faculty member about educational articles that would help you in your studies. They will most likely be glad to help you out; a peripheral benefit to this is that your professor would perceive you to be a motivated student with the initiative to learn on your own. This could earn you brownie points and even raise your grades a notch.
If you're a professional, ask your bosses their recommendations for educational articles that have helped them in their own career. Remember, usually people are pleased when they are asked their opinion, and you could also hint that you admire them enough to want to know their secret to success. Again, a peripheral benefit.
Get recommendations from your peers. This time, approach your peers about their recommendations. This is especially true if you work at or study the same field as they do. Word of mouth, especially within your community and your scope of experience, usually helps.
Subscribe to reliable education magazines. Before you subscribe, visit public libraries and check out their supply of education magazines. Browse through them and see which titles are most relevant to you. Afterwards, go ahead and order one for yourself.
You could also subscribe to educational websites and receive e-mails and updates from them for free.