In Other News: Friday the 13th

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Here we go – it’s Friday the 13th! Long held to be back luck, Friday the 13th has the dubious distinction of being a problem. But are you superstitious? And is everyone superstitious in the same way?

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Product Updates: New In Context content for 02/09/2015

Gale is continually updating and adding new content to our In Context products, ensuring that they offer timely, authoritative, useful information. The items below were added or updated during the week of February 9, 2015.

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In Other News: Groundhog Day

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This week, I heard recount of trying to explain to someone in Mexico, who was off Monday for a federal holiday, that our “holiday” on Monday was not quite the same thing. Yeah. No. From the outside looking in, this must seem one of the most ridiculous things we Americans have done yet. (I’ll let you in on something, as an American, I wouldn’t have much to argue with you about that.) On the first Monday of February, a rodent predicts the weather. It’s covered by the news. Punxsutawney [punk-suhtaw-nee] Phil, the most major of the rodent forecasters, rules from a rather comfy perch in Pennsylvania. There are other groundhogs, including this one in Wisconsin who bit the mayor (who is fine, so it’s ok to laugh at it). The principle is simple: if the ground hog does not see its shadow, spring will come early. If it does, winter continues for six more weeks. Practically, its a lot more ‘show’ than that. I also find it interesting that you never hear reports of a groundhog forecast in the south or west — is Groundhog Day a northern/eastern observance only? (Any comments on that welcome!)

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Guest Blog: Overcoming Textbook Fatigue through Text Sets

By ReLeah Cossett Lent, Author of the ASCD published title “Overcoming Textbook Fatigue”

Textbook fatigue [tekst-book  fug-teeg], noun.

  • Too many vocabulary words insufficiently defined
  • Too many complex concepts crowded into one chapter
  • Too many one-size-fits-all assignments
  • Too many pages to cover, topics to teach, ideas to unpack

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Responsive Design (and more) Coming to Gale Products

Have you ever muttered disparagingly about a website or app that doesn’t look or behave the way you expect it to?  Does it frustrate you when icons don’t make sense to you, or when you can’t find navigation aids?

We hear you.  And that’s why we’ve initiated a whole range of improvements that make a huge difference in user experience in GVRL, InfoTrac, and In Context* resources, including the PowerSearch platform as well as Genealogy Connect, Twayne’s Authors Online and Scribner Writers Online.  The enhancements are coming April 2nd.

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Product Updates: New In Context content for 01/26/2015

Gale is continually updating and adding new content to our In Context products, ensuring that they offer timely, authoritative, useful information. The items below were added or updated during the week of January 26, 2015.

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To Change the Way Students Learn, We Must Change Professional Development

By Dan Alpert, Program Director: Equity/Diversity and Professional Learning, SAGE Publications

Each year, scathing critiques of public education flood our newspapers and social media.  It may be an old story, but public school K-12 educators are at a critical point in time this school year.  We are deep into the massive project of implementing rigorous new standards for college and career readiness.  Despite the passage of 60 years since Brown v. Board of Education, 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and despite significant shifts in our nation’s demographics, we’ve made little progress closing sizable achievement gaps between our privileged and marginalized student populations.  And the inauguration of new high-stakes assessments, the brainchildren of two interstate consortia – PARCC and Smarter Balanced — will undoubtedly launch a fresh, new wave of dire predictions.

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