The Google Bucket
The Google Bucket activity is a dynamic group activity designed to make students think critically about the content available through Google and how it compares to content available through a range of library databases.
- This activity will take approximately 15 minutes.
- Students will be able to articulate the type of content available freely through Google.
- Students will be able to articulate the type of content available through library databases.
- Students will be able to choose the correct research tool (database or search engine) for their information need.
- One five-gallon bucket labeled "Google" containing a variety of laminated screenshots
from publicly accessible Internet sites including:
- A Wikipedia article on binge drinking;
- A paywalled academic article on college drinking habits;
- A blog post about drinking laws;
- A watermarked, low resolution image of Manet's Un bar aux Folies Bergere;
- A photo of Lindsay Lohan;
- A car;
- The giant "Porn" card.
- One two-gallon or similar sized bucket labeled "Academic OneFile" containing:
- The full-text of an academic article (preferably the same one as paywalled in the Google bucket);
- A newspaper article;
- A magazine article.
- One large coffee-style can labeled "PsycInfo" containing:
- The full-text of an article on the psychology of alcohol abuse;
- Several other articles as needed.
- One large coffee-style can labeled "LexisNexis" containing:
- The full-text of the state statute regarding the drinking age;
- A company profile of Budweiser;
- A newspaper article about binge drinking;
- Other stuff as needed.
- One small can labeled "ArtStor" containing:
- A high resolution, un-watermarked image of Manet's Un bar aux Folies Bergere;
- Other images as needed.
- Students are divided into five equal groups.
- Buckets/cans are distributed and each group is given a few minutes to examine the contents of their buckets. Make sure the Google bucket is in the center of the room.
- The library instructor "trades positions" with the students and asks for their help doing research for a paper on binge-drinking. Begin by asking the Google bucket group for a scholarly article on binge drinking.
- After discussing the article, ask the entire class for help finding a non-paywalled scholarly article on binge-drinking. The PsycInfo group should have it.
- Continue following script for each additional bucket/can. See full script below.