Hidden No Longer

By Debra Kirby

Sometimes it takes a critically acclaimed movie to shine a light on extraordinary achievements. This has proved to be especially true when the subjects of those achievements are women or members of minorities. The movie Hidden Figures, based on a book of the same name, has recently generated interest in three African American women who played important roles in the U.S. Apollo Space Program. As is often the case, once you start digging into the details around historic events or people, you discover many related interesting facts and stories. When your sources include Gale databases you can spend hours exploring and learning.

Here are some of the facts I found when I began my journey to learn more about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson—the fascinating women whose stories are told in Hidden Figures.

  • Katherine Johnson began her career as a “human computer” at the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), NASA’s predecessor. Before the age of electronic computers, NACA employed hundreds of women mathematicians as human computers. Men with similar qualifications were classified as professionals; women were sub-professionals. Black mathematicians were segregated in their own office and loaned out to various divisions as needed. (Read more about Johnson in Biography In Context.)

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In Context Shorter URLs

Gale is happy to announce that its In Context family of products will now provide shorter citation and bookmark URL links. What you’ll find is:

  • Shorter URLs that provide users with a direct link to a Gale document or portal page.
  • Users are taken directly into a single document or portal page without an authentication request.
  • Multiple citation formats are available in the product citation tool to make it easier for users to cite their research.
  • EZ Proxy information is now displayed in the citation URL when present in the school or libraries Gale Admin account.

Additionally, new and updated content has been released into many of the Gale In Context products. Some of these include:

Biography In Context has added new homepage spotlights featuring Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; Katherine Johnson, a former NASA scientist and one of the women featured in the film “Hidden Figures”; Golden Globe-winning actress Emma Stone; the late “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher; and Lady Gaga, who is scheduled to perform at this year’s Super Bowl.

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Winter in Michigan—It Could Be Worse!

By Debra Kirby What do winter in Michigan, the Detroit Zoo, and the “greatest survival story of all time” have in common?  Answer: The Shackleton Endurance Exhibit that runs through the end of the year at the Detroit Zoo, one of my favorite local hang outs—with or without kids in tow. I visited the exhibit … Read more

Digital Resources Support Healthy Debates

According to TeachingTolerance.org, the 2016 Presidential campaign is unlike any other in recent history. They surveyed 2,000 teachers and learned that it’s emboldening students to mimic the tone of the campaign, disrupting opportunities to teach about political campaigns and civic engagement, and more. 

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Quotes from the teachers surveyed about this election

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How Well Do You Know Your Presidents?

By Traci Cothran

Who served as both Vice President and President of the United States, without having earned a single vote in the election?

Gerald Ford, that’s who!

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Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Last week I traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, and visited The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During this 2016 election season, it was a breath of fresh air to wander amidst all the exhibition reminders of Ford’s “character,” “integrity,” “teamwork,” and how he “led by example” – detailing his life from his days as a Boy Scout, to college football player, to Navy man, and into his long career in government.

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Funny Cat Videos or Historical Perspective – Take Your Pick

By Debra Kirby Like so many fellow “political junkies” I know, the current U.S. presidential election season has provided more than enough fodder to hold our interest—sometimes a little too much! From checking polling websites and political news coverage numerous times a day to spending way too much time in the evenings watching cable TV, all while using … Read more

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day!

By Traci Cothran I visited Greenfield Village last weekend – an outdoor historical museum in the Detroit area—and was amazed by the intricate Jacquard Loom, invented around 1800.  It’s a weaving loom with a continuous loop of 622 punch cards that directed the intricate pattern to be woven into the cloth; the cards could be … Read more

Why We Choose Gale

By Jenny Wirtz, Teacher Librarian, Ankeny High School

In Iowa, we are fortunate to have the support of Area Education Agencies (AEA) that assist the local K-12 school districts. One of the services that our AEA provides to us is access to many high-quality resources at no cost to our district, including several Gale products. However, I still choose to spend a portion of my shrinking budget on three specific Gale Databases because I believe they offer the best experiences for our high school students. What puts Gale above the competition? I believe it is their quality content, appealing layout and design, and above all the seamless integration between the Gale products and other tools we use such as Google Drive, Google Classroom, and EasyBib.

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National Bullying Prevention Month

By Debra Kirby

When my oldest daughter, now a middle school teacher, brought home her first essay, it was on the subject of bullying. She wrote it after reading Judy Blume’s Blubber for a school assignment. The essay, which I still have, provided a preview of what a kind, compassionate person and awesome teacher she would one day become. As the 10th anniversary of National Bullying Prevention Month approaches this October, I thought I’d do a little research on the subject, which was never the focus of national attention when I was a student. It’s only in relatively recent years that bullying has been commonly recognized as something other than a “natural part of growing up” or rite of passage.

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Flipped Classroom – Where Were You When I Needed You?

By Debra Kirby

If the flipped classroom concept had existed when I was a student, I might have avoided one of my most vivid and unpleasant childhood experiences — a home visit by my 4th grade teacher after repeated but failed attempts to curb my chattiness in his classroom. Mr. Y was a very nice guy and good teacher and had tried his best by moving my desk to different locations around the classroom, including and lastly right next to his desk at the front of the room, all to no avail. I was happy to talk to him too! Watching Mr. Y get out of his car and head up our walkway was one of those frozen in time memories for me. I can still recall the panicky feeling when I realized he was coming to my house.

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