Two terrific resources that support my belief that we must tap into emerging sources of scholarly and/or credible information have come across my Google Reader in the last 24 hours. As a high school librarian, I am very interested in the concepts of authority and emerging forms of social scholarship, but I am also intrigued by these ideas because they will tie into my first unit of study in August for my Media 21 Capstone project.
I have been using Pageflakes for these kinds of pathfinders, but since I am moving to Netvibes for my Media 21 project, I thought it was time to create a pathfinder for The Unquiet Library using Netvibes. Thanks to Mashable and the ReadWriteWeb for their information and for alerting us about this developing situation. Let me know what you think!
After taking a look at the “teaser” video, I am extremely excited about major changes coming to SIRS Researcher, which we here access through GALILEO. The new version will be known as SIRS Issues Researcher, and highlights of the sleeker and more robust version include:
Essential research questions
A more comprehensive look at an issue, including its historical origins and impact on today’s society
More emphasis on the “whys” instead of the “whats” of an issue
More emphasis on the global impact of an issue
More international information sources
More multimedia, primary sources, and statistical data [charts, graphs]
More search enhancements
Topic/subject/keyword clouds and maps
Social bookmarking options (YES!)
New critical thinking modules to help you as students better analyze the issue
More global and diverse perspectives
An audio read aloud option
Print and nonprint sources
Article translation into 10 languages
Correlation to state and national learning standards
These changes should be in place when we return to school in August! In the meantime, check out these great “sneak peek” resources!
PollDaddy is a fabulous tool to do fast assessments as to which resources students find most helpful in a research pathfinder. We have been engaged in a two week research project with our 10th graders (more to come on that this weekend!), but here is how they voted as to which sources they found to be most helpful and informative for their current and controversial events research:
As you can see, our Gale Opposing Viewpoints database (thank you, Cherokee County School District for providing this for the high schools!), was the clear winner; the print books (we are blessed to have roughly 300 of the “Opposing Viewpoints” style books [which include similar imprints from other publishers, including several with a 2008 and 2009 copyright date!]) were second.
This data is helpful in two ways:
1. I can provide this kind of data to justify the expense of our GALE Opposing Viewpoints subscription database.
2. This data shows that our investment in the print books on controversial and current topic is justified.
If you have not tried PollDaddy, consider using it with your students to get their feedback on the resources you incorporate into your pathfinders you create for research projects!