The Google Bucket

It's A Bucket!

Summary

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.

Time Required

  • This activity will take approximately 15 minutes.

Learning Objectives

  • 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.

Materials Needed

  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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.

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