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Posts Tagged ‘Back to School’

Back-to-School for Educators: ProQuest Is Here to Help

Are you ready to make or finalize lesson plans? Have you made your school year shopping trip yet? Do you know how you want to decorate your classroom? Educators have so much to do before the school year starts let alone during it. While there’s a lot to think about, having helpful tools ready to go and a checklist of what you need to do can make it easier. The ProQuest story is to curate enriching content, simplify workflows for our customers and connect with our vast community of educators, researchers, and librarians. As an editor that works on the Guided Research products, my department works hard to not just do all of the above but also to create new ideas and content that help students grow and thrive in K12 plus preparing for what comes after. Our editors do the research to come up with new Leading Issues and create them from beginning to end. We create new product features and curate the content that’s highlighted and we make sure our customers feel connected.

Simplifying an Educator’s School Year

Curating and Creating Content for All Researchers

SIRS Discoverer

Animal Facts and Pro/Con Leading Issues are two product features in SIRS Discoverer that were created in-house.

In collaboration with product management, Content Editor, Senior Jen Oms came up with the idea for Animal Facts and Content Editor, Senior Ilana Cohen came up with the idea for Pro/Con Leading Issues. Jen and Ilana both explained why they wanted these two features in SIRS Discoverer.

Before Animal Facts was created, Jen knew it was a feature SIRS Discoverer needed. She said the product had articles about animals, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted to simplify the time and process kids would have to go through to learn all the key facts on their favorite animals. She also wanted such a feature to complement the product. She knew SIRS Discoverer had articles on tigers for example. She wanted there to be an Animal Fact page for tigers too. Jen collaborated with another colleague Michelle Sneiderman to create what is now totaled at over 300 Animal Facts (with more being added). They modeled the idea on a 1-page table style of animal characteristics, conservation status and additional information like fun facts. Jen also said one of the main sources used to create Animal Facts came right from the encyclopedia content in SIRS Discoverer. Jen wanted Animal Facts to be robust and it is one of the most popular features in the SIRS Discoverer product.

Bobcat Animal Fact via SIRS Discoverer

Bobcat Animal Fact via SIRS Discoverer

The creation of Pro/Con Leading Issues for SIRS Discoverer seemed a logical decision. Ilana said it was modeled as an “entry-level pro/con research product for young audiences,” something the product didn’t have but would be beneficial. She created the initial pro/con issues and added supporting content in collaboration with a few other editors. These issues are created and updated dynamically on a yearly basis. While SIRS Issues Researcher includes main and sub-issues, SIRS Discoverer Pro/Con Leading Issues only contains main issues. It currently has 60 Pro/Con Leading Issues that students can choose from, and Ilana explained her process for choosing new ones to create includes looking at existing content and search reports. This feature also includes a Visual Literacy asset which presents a cartoon and pairs it with critical thinking questions. Pro/Con Leading Issues is also one of the most popular features in the SIRS Discoverer product.

Pro/Con Leading Issues via SIRS Discoverer

Pro/Con Leading Issues via SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Issues Researcher

Visual literacy, information literacy, and critical thinking are three skills the Guided Research products help build. SIRS Issues Researcher Leading Issues are created in-house. Editors curate the content to support them that students can debate and discuss in and out of the classroom.

Recently, I worked with my colleague Jeff Wyman to make it possible for our editorial team to create charts and statistics in-house. Sometimes our content providers lack this and we wanted a way for ProQuest editors to fill the gap when it happens. Knowing how to read charts is a skill that students can continue to develop as they advance in their research and go on to college.

EU Favorability Chart Created by ProQuest Staff

EU Favorability Chart Created by ProQuest Staff

SIRS Issues Researcher also includes Curriculum Guides that are helpful in building information literacy, visual literacy, critical thinking, and research skills. These guides help students understand editorial cartoons, infographics, primary sources, research, statistics and writing arguments.

Both Leading Issues and the skills they support drive the ProQuest story. We simplify educators’ workflows and not just curate, but create too. SIRS Issues Researcher delves into the heart of the issues affecting people all around the world every day. It gives students the chance to explore topics they may have never thought of before and think critically about them.

Connecting with Customers and Our Community

ProQuest Guided Research products equip students to learn information and media literacy skills. Free trials are available.

Find us on Facebook or Tweet us @ProQuest. We love our customers to reach out and say hello!

#TBT: 10 Back-to-School Tools We Miss

Back to School with SIRS Issues Researcher

Just in time for Back to School, SIRS Issues Researcher has been updated with more than 20 new or revised Leading Issues!

Screencap of new Leading Issues

Screencap of new Leading Issues

The new Leading Issues include topical issues such as:

  • Election 2016
  • Police and Body Cameras
  • School Lunches

Issues like AIDS, LGBT People in the Military and Targeted Strikes have been revised to keep pace with the ever changing nature of the issue.

SIRS Issues Researcher offers in-depth analysis of more than 330 current and pervasive Leading Issues. Each Leading Issue offers various components to help users understand the issue from every angle and gain context. Features include topic overviews, at issue summaries, essential questions, critical thinking questions and timelines.

Which issues will you introduce to your students this year? Let us know in the comments section or tweet us at #ProQuest.

Back to School Bash

Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

Every year Palm Beach County, Florida helps students as they get ready for back to school. As a partner with United Way, we at ProQuest were privileged and excited to participate in this annual event!

The 2015 Community Back to School Bash (BASH) took place on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, 2015. BASH works with nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County. It serves disadvantaged and at-risk students from grades pre-K through 12 by providing school supplies such as crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, binders plus school uniforms, shoes and much more.

BASH started in 1995 and “assisted 120 children. It has since grown to include over 70 non-profit agencies serving more than 12,000 children.” The 2015 event had over 16,000 children registered. Take a moment to visit their website and see the great work this organization does.

Sponsored by the United Way, the Spirit of Giving Network and other organizations, the annual event takes place in four locations: Belle Glade, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Delray Beach. On Friday, volunteers took inventory, unpacked, sorted and merchandised the donations. Several ProQuest editors volunteered at the set-up event at Village Academy in Delray Beach. Three thousand children were expected so there was a lot of work to be done! Volunteers spent time counting, unpacking boxes, folding uniforms and t-shirts, setting up the shoes and merchandising eight tables with the school supplies. Working alongside other local volunteers, we were able to get everything ready for the kids and it was certainly a proud moment for all!

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ProQuest volunteer Jaclyn sets up the high school table.
Photo by Ilana Cohen

On Saturday, the children were paired up with personal shoppers to escort them through the “store”. Parents also received health and career counseling. Children were given haircuts, dental check-ups, and a free lunch.

The tremendous turnout for the Back to School Bash speaks to the need in our community. Although Palm Beach County is considered to be an affluent area, there are still thousands of students whose families cannot afford basic school supplies. The burden also falls on teachers who often use their own money to buy school supplies and classroom items for their students.

This was our third year participating this awesome event and we look forward to returning next year to help students start their school year equipped with resources they need to succeed.

Starting the School Year Off Right!

Every year Palm Beach County, FL helps students as they get ready for back to school. As a partner with United Way, we at ProQuest were privileged and excited to participate in this event!

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Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

 

The 2014 Community Back to School Bash (BASH) took place on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9, 2014. BASH works with nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County, Florida. It serves disadvantaged and at-risk students from grades pre-K through 12 by providing school supplies such as crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, binders plus school uniforms, shoes and much more.

BASH started in 1995 and “assisted 120 children. It has since grown to include over 70 non-profit agencies serving more than 12,000 children.” Take a moment to visit their website and see the great work this organization does.

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ProQuest volunteers help set up the store!
Photo by Giselle Gerber

Sponsored by the United Way, the Spirit of Giving Network and other organizations, the annual event takes place in three locations: Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Delray Beach.  On Friday volunteers took inventory, unpacked, sorted and merchandised the donations. Several ProQuest editors volunteered at the set-up event at Village Academy in Delray Beach. Three thousand children were expected and so there was a lot of work to be done! We spent time counting, unpacking boxes, folding uniforms and t-shirts, setting up the shoes and merchandising eight tables with the school supplies. Working alongside other local volunteers, we were able to get everything ready for the kids and it was certainly a proud moment for all!

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Student with her personal shopper.
Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

On Saturday, the children were paired up with personal shoppers to escort them though the “store”. Parents also received health and career counseling. Children were given haircuts, dental checkups plus a chance to play and a free lunch.

This was our second year participating this awesome event and we look forward to returning next year to help students start their school year equipped with resources they need to succeed.

ProQuest Homework Central

Screencap of ProQuest Homework Central Facebook page

Screencap of ProQuest Homework Central Facebook page

 

It’s back to school time! ProQuest is here to help you get ready for the upcoming school year. Visit the ProQuest Homework Central Facebook page to connect with fellow teachers, media specialists and education professionals.

While there you can:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry
  • Share ideas on homework assignments and research projects
  • Easily access currents events coverage,SIRS Leading Issues and eLibrary Research Topics

Like the ProQuest Homework Central Facebook today!

Here’s to a great school year!

Back-to-School with SIRS: Healthy Behaviors to Boost Academic Success

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Strawberries by Unsplash [Public Domain] via Pixabay

Hello educators! The beginning of the school year is a good time to remind your students about healthy habits to alleviate back-to-school blues and promote academic success. Three important—and interwoven–healthy habits are good nutrition, adequate sleep and physical exercise.

Just how important are these three healthy habits for academic performance and well-being?

The benefits are many and include alleviation of stress, improved physical and mental wellbeing, and better concentration and critical thinking ability in the classroom.

With SIRS Issues Researcher, set your students on the path to academic success and good health by having them research the benefits long-term healthy behaviors. Here are some subject headings to get them started:

  • Children, Health and hygiene
  • Children, Nutrition
  • Exercise for youth
  • School children, Food
  • Sleep deprivation

Students can enter one of the subject headings above into the search box or use keyword/natural language searching to retrieve newspapers, magazines, multimedia and more.

Good classroom debate topics that relate to health and wellness are covered in our Leading Issues under the Drugs, Health and Wellness group, and include topics such as Fad Diets, Obesity and Sports for Children.

We wish you and your students a happy and healthy school year. Share with us in the comment box below what you are doing to promote healthy habits in your classroom!

 

Featured Web Sites: September 2012

ProQuest editors daily curate educational web sites for SIRS products that are relevant, credible, reliable and appropriate to students.

betterangels

Screencap of Better Angels Site

In the September 2012 edition of Featured Web Sites, editors highlight resources for the 9/11 anniversary, Constitution Day and the 2012 presidential election:

Find SIRS editorial-selected web sites in the search results for SIRS Discoverer and SIRS Issues Researcher. Also see the Featured Web Sites section of SIRS WebSelect.