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Fake News: Teaching Students to Evaluate Sources

In an era where students search for information online via search engines and social media, they need the ability to identify and distinguish reputable sources from deceptive sources. In other words, they need to be able to tell the difference between real and fake news. A November 2016 study from Stanford researchers has concluded that students are not prepared.

Our “digital natives” may be able to flit between Facebook and Twitter while simultaneously uploading a selfie to Instagram and texting a friend. But when it comes to evaluating information that flows through social media channels, they are easily duped.--“Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning,” Stanford History Education Group

Source Evaluation Aid Available in ProQuest Research Companion

Source Evaluation Aid Available in ProQuest Research Companion

ProQuest Research Companion is here to help. Equip students with information literacy skills through self-paced learning modules, assessments, and tools such as the Source Evaluation Aid. The embedded video above is an example of the material available in the evaluating sources learning module.

ProQuest’s Guided Research products such as CultureGrams, eLibrary, and SIRS Issues Researcher offer authoritative content that is vetted and packaged for middle and high school students. Besides reliable information and tools, you can also find supplementary handouts to guide students step by step such as the SIRS Issues Researcher: Research Guide for the Critical Thinker.

Don’t have ProQuest Research Companion or other Guided Research products? Request a Free Trial!

The Top Share This Posts of 2016

Now that 2016 has come to an end, we want to look back and see what blog posts resonated with our audience. Here are the 10 most popular topics of interest to our audience of educators and students featured in Share This posts created in 2016.

Here’s to an awesome year of learning, collaboration, discovery, technology, and connection in 2017!

Equip Middle School Students As Critical Thinkers

Critical Thinking

Junior High Critical Thinking Poster
Image by Enokson via Flickr is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Middle school students have no lack of opinions regarding clothes, music, movies and their friends. The chatter of the school hallways brims with their opinions. But do they know how to craft an argument? Do they know how to state a claim and cite evidence? The distinction between persuasive opinion and an evidence-based argument is essential for their future.

After all, culture offers a steady stream of opinions and claims. Social media, advertisements, political campaigns and even their peers give students messages 24/7 on what they should look like, act like and live like in order to achieve the best life. To make effective decisions in college and career, students must learn how to be critical thinkers.

The Common Core State Standards agree and state that students starting in middle school need to be able to craft and interpret arguments in writing and speaking.

Many types of assignments support these skills. Whether you are teaching students to use critical thinking skills in a class discussion, pro/con debate or an argument paper, try topics that are already important to students to spark their interest like Cell Phones in School, Cyberbullying or Homework.

Then provide them a critical thinking toolkit so they can unpack the issue and analyze it from all sides. Include in the toolkit an overview of the topic, key terms, and definitions, an essential question, examples of viewpoints, a compelling image for visual literacy, and questions for analyses.

You can find all the above in ProQuest SIRS Discoverer’s  pro/con feature. Pro/Con Leading Issues is specifically created for research and English Language Arts (ELA) writing requirements with topic-related materials to guide the student. See any of the 55 age-appropriate topics.

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ProQuest SIRS Discoverer’s Pro/Con Leading Issues

 

What topics spark your students’ interest that we could add to our Pro/Con feature? Let us know in comments or tweet at #ProQuest.

SIRS Knowledge Source: New Interface & Google Integration!

Just in time for back to school, SIRS Knowledge Source is updated with a brand new interface and Google integration for SIRS Issues Researcher, SIRS Government Reporter, and SIRS Renaissance.

SIRS Issues Researcher


Explore the benefits:

  • A cleaner, more streamlined, and modern appearance
  • Design optimized for viewing on mobile devices as well as desktops (i.e. responsive design)
  • Focus on the most valued content and features
  • Integration with Google Drive and Google Classroom
  • Design aligned to other popular ProQuest products like CultureGrams and SIRS Discoverer
  • Continued access to all the great SIRS content

 

zika

See the 13 New Leading Issues out of 345+ added by our editorial team covering complex social topics:

  • Biological and Chemical Terrorism
  • Concealed Weapons
  • Concussions in Sports
  • Conflict Minerals
  • Education Reform
  • Executive Pay
  • Government Ethics
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Islamic State Group (ISIS)
  • Refugees
  • Religion and Science
  • Religious Minorities
  • Zika

As evidenced by these tweets, educators are excited about the new integration between SIRS and Google Drive and Classroom!

SIRSKnowledgeSource-tweet

For more details about the interface update, visit the SIRS Issues Researcher support page.

Share the good news with your colleagues! Tweet about the new SIRS Knowledge Source @ProQuest.

SIRS Discoverer: 23 New Titles Added to Nonfiction Books!

23 full-text book titles licensed from esteemed K12 publishers such as Rourke Publishing and DK Eyewitness have been added to SIRS Discoverer’s Nonfiction Book collection of 500+ titles:

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SIRS Discoverer’s Newest Additions to Nonfiction Books

The benefits of Nonfiction Books are clear:

  • Economical—Adds 500 titles to any book collection at no extra cost
  • Readable—Browse variety of reading levels via grade level browse
  • Discoverable—Books are searchable as reference content in any keyword search
  • Portable–PDFs may be viewed on desktop, on overhead, or downloaded to any mobile device
  • STEM—Science, technology, and math content are abundant. Of the new titles, 18 are related to math
  • Robust–Twelve categories include high-interest topics such as animals, biographies, and history that can be used for a variety of assignments

Learn about Nonfiction books in this quick video tutorial:

SIRS Discoverer: Now with Google Integration!

SIRS Discoverer is excited to announce our newest enhancement: Google Integration!

Now with the click of a button, users can add article text from SIRS Discoverer to Google Drive or to Google Classroom. This allows students and teachers to easily use content for their daily needs in the classroom for research, homework, reading, projects, and more!

Save age-appropriate text selected by our editorial staff from reputable children’s publishers. SIRS Discoverer’s reference content includes current events, top social issues, core curriculum, and everything in between. Enjoy this latest enhancement!

SIRS Discoverer and Google Integration

Recording Offers Sneak Peek of New SIRS Issues Researcher

Sneak Peek Webinar

The SIRS Knowledge Source portal, including the SIRS Issues Researcher product, is getting a makeover! The new interface moves forward our ongoing efforts to unify the research experience across all of the SIRS products.

Learn all the details on this recorded webinar from Product Manager Larry Wilkner on what you can expect from the new design including:

SIRS Issues Researcher Preview

Mobile-Friendly:
The new design is intuitive and easy to navigate on any device, from Chromebooks to smartphones.

Improved Homepage and Leading Issues:
The fresh, clean interface includes Essential Questions to frame each issue, overview for background and context, viewpoints with supporting articles, and full results set for deeper research and analysis.

The Same Great Content:
One thing that isn’t changing is the comprehensive, editorially-selected content that sets SIRS apart.

Learn More

Comment at #ProQuest or let us know your feedback by commenting below.

Webinars Offer Sneak Peek at the New SIRS Issues Researcher

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SIRS Issues Researcher is getting a makeover! 

Join host Larry Wilkner, Product Manager for ProQuest, to preview the new SIRS Issues Researcher user interface update that is coming August 2016!

Choose from three webinar sessions for your convenience.

Sign up by clicking on the date and time that work best for you. Learn all about the additional benefits to students, teachers and librarians, and have your questions answered by our expert.

All times are EST.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Learn in these webinars how the new interface moves forward our ongoing efforts to unify the research experience across all of the SIRS products.

Zika Virus Resources in ProQuest

Zika virus is an example of a vital current issue that is important for students to understand in our global society. Point your students to reliable, age-appropriate ProQuest resources to help them stay informed and critically think about global issues.

The Zika virus disease, according to the CDC, is caused by a Zika virus that is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika was first discovered in 1947 and named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases were detected and outbreaks occurred in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding a reported case of the Zika virus in Brazil and on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern.

There are 346 cases of Zika in the continental United States in people who had contracted the disease outside of the country. On April 11, 2016, public health officials used strong language to describe the Zika virus. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring….Everything we look at with this virus seems to be scarier that we initially thought.” Due to the outbreak threat in the United States, the Obama administration has lobbied Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the virus.

ProQuest offers comprehensive coverage of the Zika virus for students in elementary, middle, high school, and advanced grade levels:

eLibrary

eLibrary‘s editorially-created Research Topic frames the issue and helps students understand the Zika virus from all angles. The results list offers comprehensive coverage from such sources such as Nation’s Health, Life Science Weekly and includes scholarly journals like the American Journal of Public Health.

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Zika Virus Research Topic via eLibrary

ProQuest Central

Thousands of results in ProQuest Central provide in-depth coverage including peer-reviewed articles.

proquestcentral

Search on ProQuest Central

SIRS Discoverer

Editor-selected articles on issues like the Zika Virus are covered in SIRS Discoverer‘s Current Events feature and appropriate for the elementary to middle school grade levels.

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Current Events Feature on SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Issues Researcher

Editors select comprehensive content on the Leading Issues of today in SIRS Issues Researcher that include updated articles, websites, and graphics that frame every issue.

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Zika Virus Article on SIRS Issues Researcher

ProQuest editors work daily to curate relevant resources for your students. If you have any feedback or requests, let us know by contacting us or tweeting #ProQuest. If you don’t already have these resources, set up a trial.

Coming This Summer: The All-New SIRS Issues Researcher!

We are excited to announce upcoming enhancements to
SIRS Issues Researcher!

SIRS Issues Researcher Preview

The SIRS Knowledge Source portal, including the SIRS Issues Researcher product, is getting a makeover. The new interface moves forward our ongoing efforts to unify the research experience across all of the SIRS products. Here’s what you can expect from the new design:

Mobile-Friendly:
The new design is intuitive and easy to navigate on any device, from Chromebooks to smartphones.

Improved Homepage and Leading Issues:
The fresh, clean interface includes Essential Questions to frame each issue, overview for background and context, viewpoints with supporting articles, and full results set for deeper research and analysis.

The Same Great Content:
One thing that isn’t changing is the comprehensive, editorially-selected content that sets SIRS apart.

Learn More

Comment at #ProQuest or let us know your feedback by commenting below.