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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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Conducting Action Research to Evaluate Your School Library
How should teacher librarians or instructional leaders engage in action research to improve their school library and benefit students' learning? This book provides the answers.Teacher librarians need to get directly involved with the research process in the learning commons in order to create actions and strategies that will enhance student learning—and benefit their own professional development as well as demonstrate accountability through their action research efforts. This book provides practical tips and work spaces for educators at the local, state, and national levels, clearly modeling and explaining the process and the tools for conducting action research in a school library setting that will identify the program's strengths and weaknesses. The author coalesces current expert opinions on the topic of action research in the school library environment and highlighting what other teacher librarians in the field have identified as the pros and cons of using the process. Readers are directed to focus on mitigating the "cons" through the use of specific working pages and templates and by initially exploring "five favorite" links, thereby encouraging those who are new to action research to try what might otherwise seem a daunting process. School principals K–12 who read this book will be better equipped to support their teacher librarians and teachers in this important professional process.
• Supplies invaluable insights from experts and practitioners on the subject of action research
• Provides a clear model of the process in action
• Directs readers to additional resources that facilitate effective action research and timely topics for school library research, such as time management and technology in learning
Students create digital projects with images, music, videos, and websites to win an iPad Mini or annual subscription to one of Rosen Digital's online databases
New York (Feb 27, 2013) -- Help your students harness their creative energies while putting their 21st-century skills to use with a new contest from ThingLink and Rosen Digital. Students in grades K-12 can create Interactive ThingLink images, providing the opportunity to explore their interests and passions, connect multiple resources into a cohesive presentation, and share their projects with a large community. Visit ThingLinkContest.com for more information.
ThingLink allows students to connect audio, video, images, websites, and text into one interactive image presentation. Projects deepen learning as students delve into content through research to present knowledge and ideas as they learn while practicing digital literacy skills of image creation and selection, content curation, tagging, and sharing.
"ThingLink is o ne of my favorite and most frequently used tools because it supports active student participation and requires users to construct ideas as they create," says Susan Oxnevad, Instructional Technology Facilitator and educator for 26 years. "The tool can be very useful for designing and implementing the types of deep learning experiences required by the Common Core and it is also an effective way to help students develop digital literacy skills. ThingLink is fun, flexible, and intuitive!"
Eligibility: All students K-12 are eligible to enter. Teachers and parents may enter an image on a student's behalf.
Submission Deadline: Images may be submitted through May 1, 2013. Enter images at ThingLinkContest.com.
Winners will be announced on May 15, 2013.
Categories: There are 10 categories:
My Favorite Books or Authors
Science -- Think Like a Scientist!
Health & Well-being -- You, Your Family, Your Friends
Environment -- The World Around Us
Community -- Volunteering & Making a Difference
Money Smarts -- Earning, Saving, Spending
Art & Music -- Express Yourself!
Sports -- Game On!
History & Social Studies -- From Yesterday to Today
Animals -- Furry, Friendly, & Fierce
Students can enter as many images as they like. All entries are viewable on ThingLink.com.
Voting: Friends and family can vote on their favorite images by using a "touch" icon on a ThingLink image. The most "touches" counts for a portion of the score. A team of educational advisors will review entries and determine winners.
Prizes: One iPad Mini will be awarded to the top winner in each category. The winning school in each category will also receive one Rosen database subscription for a year (Teen Health & Wellness, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy, or the PowerKnowledge Science Suite). Certificates will be awarded to second and third place winners in each category.