Collections are ideally about balance. Whether print or electronic, one strives to provide access to reference resources across the Dewey span. Typically for the core LA/SS/SC/Math subject areas this seems easier to identify, select and purchase. Beyond that range it’s a little more difficult to find digital reference resources to complete the picture. This week I’d like to highlight 3 digital reference resources that support often overlooked subject areas: Health/Guidance; Vocab/Multi-language learning; and Art.
Teen Health & Wellness (Rosen Publishing)
Too often our guidance counsellors, physical education and health teachers avoid school libraries as resource points when working with their students. Typically we have little to offer them in terms of current online information that can’t be found on the internet. Teen Health & Wellness is a remarkably sound and useful digital reference resource for junior/senior high school students, their teachers, parents, and admin on topics related to teen health and well-being. Its content can be aligned to provincial curriculum standards, and provides up to the minute coverage of health and medical news, social issues such as bullying/cyberbullying, nutrition, mental health, guidance & career counselling. It is very ‘teen friendly’ providing first-person narratives of real teen experiences, interactive polls & quizzes and is optimized for smart phone usage. Just think of the ways you could provide access to this unique group of staff and students in your school if you decided to spend some of your budget dollars on this kind of resource!
A print thesaurus is never handy when you need one! How about one that works on tablets and smart phones? And is especially amazing viewed and interacted with via an electronic white board? And what if you could switch to multiple languages with just a click? Visual Thesaurus is all that and more. The 2012 winner of the World Technology award for education, this resource spans the gamut from academic writing to elementary school vocabulary learning this digital reference tool can really perform! Using a cluster diagram format to expand and deepen understanding of words this resource is unique for all grade levels.
This is another resource for K-12 not only for Art but supporting many other subject areas. The 155,000 images date from 3000 BCE to the 20th century and are easily located for integration into lesson plans, class discussion, examples of artistic style/technique, etc. The best part is that these images are cleared for educational use and come with bibliographic records.
All of these resources offer reasonably priced subscriptions and are well worth the dollars invested. Make sure to take advantage of the free trials offered. I think you’ll be impressed!
Do you have a resource to share? or Are you lookingfor a resource idea? Please join us this week in a conversation about reference resources that others may be overlooking.
by Diane GallowaySolowan
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The Online Reference Centre (ORC) grant-in-aid for 2015/2016 has been approved and the ORC will remain available to all Alberta K-12 students, parents, staff and pre-service teachers.