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Posts Tagged ‘educators’

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!

National Music Week: 15 Museums for Music Lovers and Educators

May 7-14 2017 is National Music Week. Educators, if you’re already thinking about summer vacation, you may want to make time to visit one of these music-themed museums with loved ones soon. From country to blues to everything in between, there’s a museum for all types of music fans to enjoy. So, put down the textbooks and start planning your summer vacation with a music adventure!

  1. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

    Situated in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is filled with a rich history of the best artists in country music.

    Screenshot of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum website

    Screenshot of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum website

  2. Musical Instrument Museum

    Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this museum is home to 6,500 displayed instruments from 200 various countries and territories around the world. In the Experience Gallery, you are encouraged to play instruments and even though 6,500 instruments are on display at a time, the collection includes a total of 16,000 musical instruments and objects.

    Screenshot of the Musical Instrument Museum website

    Screenshot of the Musical Instrument Museum website

  3. Delta Blues Museum

    Founded in 1979, this museum has its home in Clarksdale, Mississippi, near the Delta region where “the blues began.” It is the state’s oldest music museum. This is a place where you can explore exhibits on musicians like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker while also enjoying one of the many events or festivals hosted by the museum.

    Screenshot of the Delta Blues Museum website

    Screenshot of the Delta Blues Museum website

  4. Grammy Museum Mississippi

    Located in Cleveland, Mississippi, this museum offers interactive exhibits and experiences that bring the music achievements of Mississippians into the spotlight.

    Screenshot of Grammy Museum Mississippi website

    Screenshot of Grammy Museum Mississippi website

  5. National Music Museum

    You will find the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, on the University of South Dakota campus. The music collection here is the most inclusive anywhere and boasts more than 15,000 instruments from all cultures and historical periods. With so much to see, a trip here can easily take an entire weekend.

    Screenshot of National Music Museum website

    Screenshot of National Music Museum website

  6. National Blues Museum

    Centered in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, this museum celebrates the Blues and its role in shaping American history and culture. Understanding and appreciating the foundation Blues music has given so many other genres of music, this museum will engage and encourage visitors.

    Screenshot of the National Blues Museum website

    Screenshot of the National Blues Museum website

  7. Museum of Making Music

    Located in Carlsbad, California, the Museum of Making Music is dedicated to sharing the accomplishments of those who make, sell and use musical instruments and products. Unique exhibits, vibrant performances, and inspiring educational programs bring the history of this museum alive.

    Screenshot of Museum of Making Music website

    Screenshot of Museum of Making Music website

  8. Memphis Rock n Soul Museum

    Memphis, Tennessee, is where you will find this museum. Learn about the birth of rock and soul music as exhibits share how musical pioneers overcame socioeconomic and racial barriers to create music that has transcended generations.

    Screenshot of Memphis Rock n Soul Museum website

    Screenshot of Memphis Rock n Soul Museum website

  9. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    This iconic attraction and museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It brings the origin and story of rock and roll to life with hands-on activities, installations, and special exhibits.

    Screenshot of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website

    Screenshot of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website

  10. Motown Museum

    The flat where Berry Gordy and his family lived is now the Motown Museum. Located in Southeast Michigan, it has made its mission to “preserve, protect and present the Motown Story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences” as stated on the Motown Museum website.

    Screenshot of the Motown Museum website

    Screenshot of the Motown Museum website

  11. International Bluegrass Music Museum

    Moving to Owensboro, Kentucky, three blocks west of its current location in Spring 2018, this museum exhibits decades of bluegrass music and the musicians who made it. The museum holds concert series to continue the legacy of bluegrass music and the Hall of Fame highlights pioneers of bluegrass.

    Screenshot of the International Bluegrass Music Museum website

    Screenshot of the International Bluegrass Music Museum website

  12. American Jazz Museum

    Planted in the jazz district of Kansas City, Missouri, this museum is a haven for those who love modern jazz. It’s an adventure for the senses as you explore exhibits, films, and events. May 26-28, 2017 is the KC Jazz & Heritage Festival.

    Screenshot of the American Jazz Museum website

    Screenshot of the American Jazz Museum website

  13. American Banjo Museum

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is home to this museum. Dedicated to appreciation for the banjo, you can learn about the instrument’s impact on bluegrass, folk and world music while also viewing decorated banjos of the 1920s and 1930s. This museum contains the largest collection of banjos on public display in the world.

    Screenshot of the American Banjo Museum website

    Screenshot of the American Banjo Museum website

  14. Grammy Museum at L.A. Live

    Located in Los Angeles, California, The Grammy Museum celebrates the creative process behind making music and the history of the Grammy Awards. Includes more than two dozen exhibits spanning a diverse selection of music.

    Screenshot of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live website

    Screenshot of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live website

  15.  Stax Museum of American Soul Music

    In Memphis, Tennessee, at the original site of the Stax Records studio you will find the Stax Museum. This museum proudly states it’s the “world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of American soul music.”

Screenshot of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music website

Screenshot of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music website

 

What does National Music Week mean to you? Share your thoughts on Twitter with #ProQuest or leave us a comment below.

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Crowdfunding for Schools

The need for classroom supplies never goes away. Unfortunately, funding for supplies is considered discretionary spending, so it is often the first area to get cut when school budgets tighten. It’s no secret that teachers spend a lot of their own money on supplies to fill the gaps. But in recent years, teachers have been relying on crowdfunding sites, which connect teachers with a large number of donors looking to help. In 2016, teachers raised over $100 million through DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site that specifically caters to education projects.

Many school supplies purchased at the beginning of the school year need to be replenished as students return from the holiday break. If you are an educator in need of funds, consider crowdfunding. And if you are someone who wants to show your support for teachers and students, consider visiting crowdfunding sites to donate.

Are you conducting any crowdfunding campaigns for your school?

If so, tell us about them on Twitter @ProQuest or in the comments below.

Thank You, Teachers and Librarians

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on what and who we are grateful for, but it also reminds us that expressing our thanks should happen year-round. Gratitude, after all, has numerous health benefits, including improved physical and psychological health. Expressing gratitude also has the ability to improve someone else’s well-being. Unfortunately, teachers and librarians rarely get the recognition they deserve.

Only 29% of teachers said that they had received recognition or praise for their work within the last seven days.

According to a Gallup employee engagement poll, only 29% of teachers said that they had received recognition or praise for their work within the last seven days. When recognition does finally arrive, it usually happens during the last days of the school year, before summer recess. Teachers and librarians work hard all year long. Recognition shouldn’t be limited to the last day of school.

At ProQuest, we recognize teachers and librarians for who they truly are: heroes. From all of us at ProQuest, thank you to teachers and librarians for your service and dedication. And Happy Thanksgiving!

How do you show gratitude? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @ProQuest or in the comments below.

Poll: Is the Educator’s Summer Vacation a Myth?

sangria

CC0 Public Domain, via Pixabay

After they met, they sipped sangria and studied each other. He seemed to have potential.

“So, what do you do for work?” he asked.

“I’m a teacher,” she said.

“Oh, it must be so nice to have summers off!” he said.

Her sangria-spiked blood boiled. His insipid, small-talk question was forgivable; his moronic response to her answer was not.

She flung sangria into his face. Fruit and red wine ran down his head. His shirt stained. He looked wounded, bloodied. She immediately regretted her behavior: she just wasted sangria.

***

Sans the sangria, has this scenario ever happened to you?

Of course it has.

It seems like everyone thinks educators spend their summers sunning themselves and sipping sangria at the beach. Nice, right? If only it were true. Last summer, an article on the Atlantic.com declared that a teacher’s summer vacation is a myth. Many educators actually spend the majority of their summers writing lesson plans, attending conferences, taking continuing education classes, teaching summer school, or working second jobs. Does this sound familiar?

Is the educator’s summer vacation really just a myth? Take our poll.

 

An Exceptional “Unconference” Experience: EdCamp Tampa Bay

On October 10, 2015, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever EdCamp Tampa Bay (#EdCampTB), hosted by Plato Academy Charter School in Clearwater, Florida. There were over 120 educators in attendance, representing schools from all over Florida and other states as well. Many others from around the world also virtually joined in the event.

EdCamp Tampa Bay Logo (Credit: EdCamp Tampa Bay)

Credit: EdCamp Tampa Bay

What Is EdCamp?

Since the original Edcamp in 2010 there have been over 700 conferences around the world in 25 countries. Not familiar with EdCamp? Watch a video here.

EdCamp is a free, democratic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide. EdCamps are:

  • free
  • non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
  • hosted by any organization interested in furthering the EdCamp mission
  • made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
  • events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
  • reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

Here’s an excerpt from an Edutopia blog post by EdCamp Co-Founder Kristen Swanson:

“The edcamp model provides educators with a sustainable model for learning, growing, connecting, and sharing. Everyone’s expertise is honored, and specific, concrete strategies are exchanged. When professional development is created ‘for teachers by teachers,’ everyone wins.”

The First EdCamp Tampa Bay

"Building the Board" (Credit: Becky Beville)

“Building the Board” (Credit: Becky Beville)

At registration, all participants were asked to write on two post-it notes one thing they wanted to learn, and one that they wanted to share. These ideas were used to “build the board” of topics to be covered in each of the 45-minute sessions. There were 27 sessions available that covered a wide variety of educational trends and topics. Examples include educational technology and apps (augmented reality, robotics and coding, podcasts), classroom management (flipped classrooms, Mindset), MakerSpaces, gifted education, book clubs, ways to use play and games in the classroom, and many more. A Google document was also created for each session to facilitate posting and sharing by participants.

The event coincided with Global Cardboard Challenge Day http://cardboardchallenge.com/, and Plato Academy students presented their projects in the #cardboardchallenge. Other highlights of the day were an interactive MakerSpace session, more student demonstrations of new educational products and technologies, and the “App Smackdown”–a kind of ‘lightning round’ where educators were allowed 2 minutes to share their favorite tool or app. Generous donations by the event’s many sponsors provided free breakfast, lunch and snacks to the attendees, as well as many valuable raffle prizes and other free goodies.

Not being an educator myself, I’m grateful to the event organizers who graciously allowed me to attend. I was absolutely blown away by the caring, creative, inspiring, brilliant, dedicated, and enthusiastic educators who gave up a Saturday to learn new ways to reach students and share their knowledge, experience and expertise with others. If you are a K-12 teacher or administrator, a school district leader, a staff member at a public or private school, or even a post-secondary educator, and are looking for a meaningful professional development opportunity, I would highly recommend attending an upcoming EdCamp near you!

Teacher-Media Specialist Collaboration Is Recipe for Student Success

Collaboration

As editors, we are privileged at times to get out of the office and visit schools and libraries to witness how librarians, media specialists, teachers and students use ProQuest resources at their points of need. We visited Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and observed a recipe for student engagement: the collaboration of a media specialist and teacher.

Deb Svec, media specialist, collaborates with as many teachers as she can who are willing to join her on fun, innovative projects for high school students. Knowing this, we were very excited when Deb welcomed us to her media center to consult on use of our resources and observe her current project in partnership with 10th grade English teacher Julie Mooney. Deb and Julie joined forces for a lesson centered on the book Escape from Camp 14, the story “of the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped.” Nonfiction was selected due to Language Arts Florida Standards’ emphasis on nonfiction proficiency.

ProQuest provides content-based reading and research for nonfiction units.

The nine-week lesson starts with pre-research to learn about the contextual themes of the book including North Korea, human rights, genocide, torture, and historical comparison to the holocaust. Deb demonstrates three ProQuest resources in the media center: CultureGrams for country research, eLibrary for in-depth current and historical reference and SIRS Issues Researcher to delve into the ethical angles. Then with Julie’s guidance, students team up in the computer lab to research ProQuest resources and gather as many facts as they can. In another class, they produce poster boards illustrating their research, which are posted in the classroom for reference.

Collaborators in Education: Julie Mooney and Deb Svec
Palm Beach Gardens Community High School (Photo by Christie Riegelhaupt)

Next, the students are immersed in the story of Shin Dong-hyuk through reading and discussion of the book. As their understanding is enlightened through the narrative of Escape from Camp 14, students return to the media center to dig deeper into thematic research in ProQuest resources including eLibrary Research Topics specially created by editors for this topic. In subsequent class activities to engage in critical thinking, students answer questions through Cranium Core games to prompt in-depth discussion and promote comprehension.

In their final project, the students collaborate and produce public service announcements (PSAs) on the horrors of North Korean internment camps. These PSAs are broadcast via the school media network.

At the end of other book units, Deb and her collaborative teachers often invite authors for Skype or in-person visits with the students. Students are inspired by the experience of interacting with authors who often have experiences similar to their own.

Collaborative lessons like Escape from Camp 14 don’t just promote rote knowledge but build college-ready skills through collaboration,  reading comprehension, technology use, information literacy, critical thinking, and oral presentation. Educators like Deb and Julie are an example of how collaborative teaching and use of media center resources provide dynamic immersive learning.

Research Topic

Shin Dong-hyuk, one of several ProQuest eLibrary Research Topics
created specially by editors for the Escape from Camp 14 unit.

 

Originally published November 12, 2014.

Increase Student Engagement:
Help Launch the #AskAStudent Movement

Although national- and state-level issues like the Common Core testing debate dominate U.S. education policy discussions, micro-level issues like student engagement often get overlooked. According to the 2014 Gallup Student Poll, 53 percent of public school students in grades 5–12 are engaged at school; almost half of all students are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.” Gallup’s poll defines student engagement as “the involvement in and enthusiasm for school, [which] reflects how well students are known and how often they get to do what they do best.” So how do we improve student engagement? One way is to foster more communication between you—the educator—and your students.

Asking students questions about their interests and their lives can improve student-educator relations and academic outcomes. In a recent post, Gallup education research specialist Mark Reckmeyer tells the story of how a simple question—What do you like to do at home?—transformed a disengaged student into an engaged one. When this student revealed his passion for cooking, his teacher used this knowledge by aligning the curriculum to help him become more actively engaged.

Last spring, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz tried to get to know her students better by assigning them a writing prompt called “I wish my teacher knew.” Schwartz—along with the rest of the nation—was blown away by her students’ responses, many of which were posted on Twitter under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew. Students revealed poignant details about their lives, such as not having enough pencils, not having any friends to play with, and having parents who were deported. This assignment gave students the ability to voice their biggest challenges. It also gave Schwartz the opportunity to understand those challenges and adjust her teaching accordingly.

Both anecdotes demonstrate the power of communicating with students. Students are people, too. They have hobbies, talents, worries, and challenges—just like the rest of us. The more you know about your students, the better equipped you will be to improve student engagement and, in turn, academic outcomes. So #AskAStudent. Ask about their likes and dislikes. Ask about their challenges. Ask about their strengths. Ask their opinion. Asking questions will let students know that they are valued. It will also help you understand your students’ interests and needs.

There are many ways to ask students questions. Reckmeyer’s student was asked in person. Schwartz assigned her students a writing prompt, allowing them to remain anonymous—although many chose to include their names and share with the class. How you choose to approach #AskAStudent will likely depend on your students’ grade level: younger students, after all, might be more willing participants than older students. Use your best judgment. If one tactic doesn’t work, find another. Ultimately, the goal is to build student engagement from the ground up.

Below is a collage of students who were asked, “What do you like to do when you are not in school?” Help launch the #AskAStudent movement by sharing your assignments and responses with us on Twitter @ProQuest.

The STEAM Movement and the Future

Fractal Art by werner22brigitte [Public Domain] via Pixabay

STEM + Art = STEAM

STEAM is a movement that integrates an A for the arts into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.  STEAM education was created in 2006 by former teacher Georgette Yakman.

The Creative Component

Advocates of STEAM contend that there should not be a dichotomy between science and art. Instead, art should be seen as a driver of creativity that can foster innovation and spark engagement and learning in science education.

“Engineers, inventors, and designers produce drawings as part of their creative process. They draw to work out and refine concepts and details. They draw to persuade. They draw to give direction. And they draw to record their ideas and to learn from others.”–Doodles, Drafts, and Designs, Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian

Pathway to Economic Growth

John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, sees STEAM as a pathway to fostering U.S. economic growth. Maeda, writing in Edutopia, has said that “[d]esign creates the innovative products and solutions that will propel our economy forward, and artists ask the deep questions about humanity that reveal which way forward actually is.” He cites Apple as a well-known example of a company in which design is crucial to the success of technology.

Tried and True

The idea of integrating the arts and sciences in education is nothing new. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was not only a famous Renaissance artist but was also a scientist, engineer, and inventor. In fact, he used his skills as an artist to draw his mechanical ideas.

“If someone had told Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, or Galileo that the study of science in the 21st century would be separated from the creativity of the arts or the social, cultural, and historical insights into human behavior offered by the humanities, they would have wondered what scientists had done to make the world disrespect them so much.  It’s an odd idea to separate out different kinds of knowledge that inspire and enrich one another in the real world and the virtual too.” – Duke Professor Cathy Davidson

Future of STEAM

Mathematic and scientific knowledge fuel the mechanics of invention, but what fuels the innovative aspect, the design, and uniqueness? Imagination. And imagination comes with a love for the arts. As long as there is a need for invention and innovation, there will be a need for the arts.

A recent Washington Post article on arts inclusion in the STEM program argues this point well. Even with reports of the U.S. economy in need of more scientists and the like, it’s important to remember that the arts are a fundamental piece of what makes scientific advances as a whole.

Without the arts, the STEM program remains stagnant. Tomorrow’s innovators deserve the chance to innovate.

Links for Teachers and Librarians

Over the past several years, more and more schools have begun integrating the arts into their STEM curricula. Below are six links you can use to incorporate STEAM into your classroom or library:

Websites for Students

Are your students working on a STEAM project and need a little inspiration? Below are five editorially selected websites from ProQuest’s SIRS Issues Researcher.

If you’ve implemented a STEAM curriculum in your classroom or library, let us know what you’re doing in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

 

ProQuest Joins Edmodo Community!

We have an Edmodo community page!

edmodo

For educators not yet using Edmodo in the classroom, it’s a free and secure social learning network for teachers, students, and schools. On Edmodo, teachers and students can collaborate, share content, and use educational apps to augment classroom learning with fun and engaging technology. To get started, see this great blog post from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: All the Resources Teachers Need to Start Using Edmodo in Class.

For those of you already using Edmodo in the classroom, this community provides a seamless way for you to integrate ProQuest content directly into your classroom or library activities, saving you time searching for relevant materials. In our Edmodo collection, we are offering training resources, curriculum guides, free CultureGrams PDF reports and more directly based on your feedback.

We’re excited about our community to connect and collaborate with educators. Visit us at https://www.edmodo.com/publisher/ProQuest today and browse our collection for materials you can use in your classroom or library tomorrow!