Posts Tagged ‘Current Events’

How Do We Solve All These Problems?

digital media

Digital Media Leading Issue in SIRS Issues Researcher

Solving the world’s problems. That’s a very challenging task. There are so many variables and so many points of view. So many different interests to consider. But with critical examination of all the angles, and new ideas, nothing’s impossible! SIRS Issues Researcher has been helping guide the way through the world’s toughest issues for a very long time. Each year it gets better. Today it covers approximately 330 separate and sometimes related, but always sharply debated, issues. Coming soon, it will provide an all-new, exciting, and intuitive environment for elucidating young problem solvers in schools everywhere.  We’ll keep you posted on that.

Learn more about SIRS Issues Researcher today, or many of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by joining one of our monthly public webinars.  If you don’t see the class you’re interested in, contact us , and we’ll be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss the resources you’re interested in learning!

Presidential Election Season — Study Election Issues

Elections 2016 SIRS

If you’re studying elections and their issues, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher provides some great material. From election finance to legal issues, voting rights to voter fraud, or the effect of wealth on the electoral process, you can find a great deal to both learn and discuss.  Team this up with other major issues such as terrorism, economic policy, and illegal immigration, and you have some very powerful tools and content for research, decision making, and ideas for problem solving.

You can learn more about ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher, or any of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by contacting the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to arrange a privately scheduled webinar. You can also join us for one of our monthly public webinars on many of our exceptional ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ll answer your questions for you, and provide guidance on how these resources can best fit your needs. See you soon!

What’s the Latest?

Schools Training Page

“What’s the Latest?” is a big question, actually.  In the research database world, everything is dynamic and constantly changing and updating.  In 2015, ProQuest SIRS Discoverer was all new.  ProQuest CultureGrams also received new looks — twice during the year — once over the summer, and again last month in December.  Content is continually being updated as well.  Most recently, we moved our “offices” — online, that is.  You have a new place to log into your ProQuest K-12 resources, and the training team has a new place for you to go to join us for training.  Sounds like a great time to get to know your resources even better!

Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about what’s new and what’s so important about your ProQuest resources. You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars, as noted above. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get a great start to the second half of this academic year!

You Get to Choose!

You get to choose, and we’ll provide you with plenty of excellent material to choose from.  SIRS Issues Researcher offers over 330 major leading and pro/con issues for research, and a wide variety of material to match it, including national and international perspectives, varied opinions, and fact and figures.  All of this is combined with tools that help teach specific research skills, such as working with infographics, statistics, primary sources, writing arguments, and writing to inform or persuade.  This resource can help set the foundation of future success for students in any field of study.

SIRS Leading Issues

Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about SIRS Issues Researcher, its key elements, and how it is all put together.  You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars.  We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get the most you can from this award-winning resource.

Veterans Day Timeline

Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom
and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day.
–Representative Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)

A Marine Corps bugler plays taps during the Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., June 30, 2015. Credit: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz [public domain] via U.S. Department of Defense

A Marine Corps bugler plays taps during the Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., June 30, 2015. Credit: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz [public domain] via U.S. Department of Defense

1918: Near the end of World War I (then called the “Great War”) an armistice, or temporary ceasefire agreement, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, effectively ending the war.

1919: President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

1938: An Act of Congress approved on May 13 made the 11th of November in each year a legal federal holiday–a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

Eisenhower signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, this ceremony changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. By U.S. Government [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eisenhower signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, this ceremony changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. By U.S. Government [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1954: Armistice Day was originally intended to honor the veterans who served in World War I. But the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, a national campaign was launched to make the holiday one dedicated to all American veterans. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation, on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

1968: President Lyndon Johnson signed The Uniform Holiday Bill on June 28, which was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. The bill took effect in 1971 though many states continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

1971-1975: The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. The Federal observance of Veterans Day was held on the fourth Monday of October for four years.

1975: On September 20th, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97, which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Ford noted that “it has become apparent that the commemoration of this day on November 11 is a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens.”

Army Nurse Corps, before boarding for Italy (circa 1942-1945) [public domain] via Library of Congress

Army Nurse Corps, before boarding for Italy (circa 1942-1945) [public domain] via Library of Congress

1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to honor the “courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country” of the more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remained missing during America’s longest war.

1997: On October 18, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial was dedicated to the nearly two million women who have served in defense of our nation.

2014: According to the Census Bureau, there are 21.8 million living veterans of the U.S. armed forces. If you are one of them, thank you. If not, take the opportunity today to honor the bravery, patriotism, sacrifices and service of America’s veterans at an event or celebration near you. After all, in the words of American journalist Elmer Davis (1890-1958):

“The Republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.…
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Arrange Training Just For Your School

Trending Leading IssuesThe ProQuest Training and Consulting Partners don’t provide only pre-recorded training videos or public webinars. We are also available to arrange training directly with your school to meet your local needs. Our privately arranged training is available to any licensed ProQuest customer at no cost. We are happy to discuss unique interests and needs you’d like to cover, and you can invite faculty and staff members to join. To get started, just email the Training and Consulting Partners at training@proquest.com . We’ll respond back to you and work to get everything arranged!

If public webinars are all that’s needed to meet your needs, visit us at www.proquest.com/go/webinars.

Schools, Students, and Privacy

Electronic Privacy Information Center 2015 Word Cloud

Electronic Privacy Information Center 2015 Word Cloud.
By Electronic Privacy Information Center (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Data gathering in schools goes beyond the collection of grades, test scores, and attendance. It even goes beyond recording what computer programs students use or what Web sites they visit.

Student “data” now encompasses students’ sleeping habits, health, fitness regimens, alcohol use, prescription drug use, financial situations, feelings, peer groups, interests…the list goes on.

Backlash against this increasing encroachment into students’ lives reached the House of Representatives in late April in the form of the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015. The legislation would prohibit certain invasions of student privacy.

As with most social issues, this one is complicated and complex. And as with most laws considered by U.S. politicians, the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 has stirred controversy. There seem to be possible benefits and detriments to the stipulations of the bill, if passed. Further, some think that the proposed legislation is too strict; others, too lenient.

Many parents of students have voiced discomfort, and even alarm, about the sharing of their children’s information with third parties. According to current law, schools can share collected data strictly for the benefit of assessing and improving education. At its best, this procedure allows legitimate researchers and social scientists to study the results of the collected data and make suggestions for improvements. School districts then enact changes, and the education system improves.

This type of collaboration greatly benefitted the Chicago public-school system, and offers great promise to a current partnership between the Boston public-school district and early-childhood experts at Harvard University. Had the proposed legislation been in place, these collaborations would have been too costly for the schools. Specialized expertise in the field of education would be beyond most districts’ budgets.

The new legislation would stiffen the rules and regulations around such collaboration. Imagine the cost (in both time and resources) of requiring that schools request permission from each parent (or student, depending on his or her age) for the use of certain personal data in studies aspiring for educational improvements. This law would deter financially struggling schools or school districts from participating in valuable collaborative efforts.

This discussion–embodied within the issue of student privacy itself–is simply a small part of the much larger debate of privacy rights in the United States. Join SKS and its July Spotlight of the Month in delving into the 2015-2016 National High School Debate Topic: Surveillance: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance. Consider issues such as personal violations and national security; read what political commentator David Frum and journalist Julian Assange have to say about domestic surveillance; and quiz yourself on the country’s use of drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS).


June Feature Webinar — eLibrary Curriculum Edition


eLibrary’s been around for a while.

But, do you really know eLibrary?  What about the “Curriculum Edition” of eLibrary?

If things seem a little fuzzy, that’s OK! Come and join the Training and Consulting Partners at ProQuest for a refresher on eLibrary Curriculum Edition. It’s our feature webinar for June. You can register for eLibrary Curriculum Edition by going to our K-12 webinars page, or directly by clicking the links below:

eLibrary Curriculum Edition  June 10th

eLibrary Curriculum Edition  June 17th

If the posted times just don’t fit your schedule, contact our team at training@proquest.com to arrange a privately scheduled class. We’ll see you soon in class!

Leading Issues in the News: Animal Rights

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby. Photo credit: BANAMINE / Source / CC BY-SA

On May 2, 2015, eighteen thoroughbreds competed in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, with American Pharoah emerging as the victor. Known as the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, the race is the first leg of the Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Thousands of spectators enthusiastically participate in a number of traditions surrounding the race—including drinking mint juleps, wearing elaborate hats and singing “My Old Kentucky Home”.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the Kentucky Derby. Animal rights activists contend that using animals for sports and entertainment can be considered animal cruelty. They claim that activities such as horse racing, dogfighting and circuses cause animals to suffer needlessly in the name of entertainment.

Through the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue, SIRS Issues Researcher examines the question of whether or not the use of animals for entertainment constitutes animal cruelty. Like every SIRS Leading Issue, the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue contains an overview of the issue, an Essential Question with answers and viewpoints, and My Analysis questions to develop critical thinking skills.

Animal Cruelty Leading Issue

Screencap of the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue on SIRS Issues Researcher

Users can also navigate to the broader Animal Rights Leading Issue for even more coverage of the topic.

What are your thoughts on the Kentucky Derby in particular and horse racing in general? Comment below or tweet us using #ProQuest.

Least Religious Countries

Least Religious Countries

Map: These are the world’s least religious countries
Source: Washington Post

We recently ran across this Washington Post article and map that show some of the least religious countries in the world, and we thought it was worth sharing. Based on a recent Gallup survey of 65 countries, China is the least religious country, with 90% of Chinese considering themselves to be atheists or not religious. China is followed by Sweden and the Czech Republic. The article speculates on some possible reasons for this ranking, including decades of Communist rule in China. On the other end of the scale, the most religious country is Thailand, followed by Armenia and Bangladesh.

Among other interesting results from the study were the following (Interestingly, the United States is an exception to the first two conclusions.):

  • Respondents younger than 34 years of age tend to be more religious than older respondents.
  • Wealthy nations tend to be less religious than poor nations.
  • On average, six out of ten people in the world claim to be religious. That number is higher for people in Africa or the Middle East.

If you would like to find out more about religious faith (or the lack of such) among the people around the world and learn about some of the cultural factors that underlie a particular country’s degree of religiosity, check out CultureGrams.