Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gale Resources


 Moretown School Library has a new resource: Vermont Online Library.
  This resource is a collection of Gale databases on a variety of subjects and reading levels.  But what is a database and why is it useful?  These databases are a collection of articles from trusted sources:  professional encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals, & primary sources.  These articles are great for research because they come from experts in the field rather than random webpage posts.   Here is a list of all the databases that are available to our school community:  List of Gale Resources.  Links to these resources can be found on the Library Webpage.  If you need the passwords, please ask Mrs. Wood (ewood@wwsu.org).

Here are some of the highlights:

Kids Info Bits has had a facelift!!  This used to be a clunky and distracting database.  It was really unhelpful for elementary school level students.  BUT not anymore!  Information is presented in a visual way helping beginning readers to find the information for which they are searching.   It groups the information in format:  books, images, magazines, and news.  The reading level is also displayed so users can make the appropriate choice.  Think of this database as an extension of our Britannica Online Encyclopedia.


Sign in with Google

This is a huge improvement as well.  Now when you sign in with your Google account, you can save all your research findings to your drive.  Saving means the article plus any of the notes and highlights you have made as well.  It will also export citation to Google Drive or Easybib.  You can also submit things to your Google Classroom, if you are using that tool.

Awesome extra tools

Databases have long let you email and print articles.  But now there are some added tools to help you get the most out of your research.

Citation Tools- It will export the citation of the article to a variety of citation tools in either MLA or APA format.

Download- This will put it into your Google Drive.

Highlights and Notes - This tool will collect all your highlights and notes together so you can view only this information.

Save- This saves it only to a folder with in that specific database.  I recommend using the Download feature instead.

Download MP3-  Each article is accompanied with the text to voice audio.  This tool will download this audio to listen to later.  This can be helpful students trying to understand complex text.

Share-  You can share the article on a wide variety of media formats including Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Diigo, & Google+.

You can also translate the article into different languages! Oh la la!

In conclusion...
Databases can be overwhelming and cumbersome, but the ones offered by Vermont Online Library are completely worth a look.  They are improving functionality everyday with more emphasis on the user.  The extra tools and features help users get the most out of their research.  And the information is verified by professionals making these resources ideal for research.   I hope that you spend sometime exploring the different databases.  If you have any questions or want a personal guided tour of VOL, please come see me!! :)


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