What’s your learning style?

Posted on February 4, 2016

Everyone has unique qualities, from hair and eye color to personal interests to ways of problem solving. I approach making cookies by searching for a perfect recipe, laying out all the ingredients before starting, and following the instructions step by step. Another baker might use the first recipe found online, locate each ingredient when needed, and regard a recipe merely as a guide. Still another baker might look up a segment from the Food Network online and follow along, while someone else may prefer to work in the kitchen with a more experienced baker who provides support through the process.

The method for making cookies doesn’t really matter, as long the result is yummy. Students learning in the classroom are no different. There are three generally recognized styles of learning. Visual learners process by reading and watching, while auditory learners prefer listening and reciting. Tactile, also known as kinesthetic, learners gain knowledge by doing or touching. Many learners thrive with one learning style, while some prefer using a combination of two or three styles. CLiC (Classroom in Context) can help teachers better address the learning styles of their students and ensure their success.

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How to Get and Hold Student’s Attention

Posted on December 18, 2015

By Megan McCarthy

We’ve all heard the saying, “information is power.” That being said, sometimes too much information makes you feel powerless. Take for example, my experience making lasagna. I needed a good recipe for lasagna one night. So, I googled “great lasagna recipes.” I got 247 great lasagna recipe posts. Completely overwhelmed by the amount of information, I quickly closed my computer and ordered pizza. The lasagna would have to wait for another night.

The same is true in the classroom. Students and teachers can be completely overwhelmed by the amount of information available today. Finding the right balance for success can be tricky. If teachers overload their students, they are likely to shut down. If they pick the wrong subject matter or use the wrong content, students can lose interest. That’s why CLiC (Classroom in Context) is such a valuable tool in the classroom.

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Prosper (TX) High School Streamlines Research Lessons with Gale’s In Context and Google Drive

Re-posted December 9, 2015

Located north of Dallas, Prosper ISD is experiencing a population boom. Prosper’s sole high school, Prosper High School, is home to approximately 2200 students and 190 staff members.  Prior to the 2015-2016 school year, I was the only librarian on campus, which proved very challenging when trying to schedule and teach research lessons with multiple teachers at one time. I had to find more efficient ways to teach research skills while still providing in-depth and engaging lessons. That’s where Gale’s In Context and Google Drive comes in!

I was so excited to see the connection between In Context and Google Drive. I had taught myself, and my students, workarounds to save In Context articles to their Google Drive accounts. These workarounds involved a lot of clicks and a lot of practice, which took up a lot of time. While the end result was worth it, I no longer had the luxury of time when I was trying to teach in two (sometimes three!) different classrooms during the same class period.

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2015 TEAMS Award Ceremony and Celebration

2015 TEAMS Awards

Posted on November 12, 2015

Congratulations to our 2015 TEAMS Award winners. Last week award sponsors Gale and Library Media Connection (LMC) hosted a celebration event at COSI Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, OH during the AASL Conference, to present winners with their certificates and award prizes. This year’s voting committee had amazing applications to review and discuss – from a school community garden putting a new spin on “farm to table”, to a 3D gallery walk featuring student artwork and videos, to a social action research fair with fundraising muscle – and all displayed exciting, creative ways in which teachers and media specialists are working together to promote learning and student achievement.

Winners receiving awards included:

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21 Voices, Predictive Findability, and What Have Your Students Taught You Lately

By Daniel Marano

At Gale and Cengage Learning, we conduct hundreds of user studies in any given year. In each study, we talk to and observe dozens of users as we iteratively design or modify our resources and tools. We have been doing and learning from this user-centered design approach for years now, and have a centralized user experience department that conducts this research for the entire organization.

What this traditional form of user-centered design leaves out, however, are certain types of longitudinal data, and the evolving habits and technologies that a student moves through over time. That’s why last year we launched a novel new research study called 21 Voices.

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Fulton County Schools: Getting Curriculum Support Right

Posted on July 17, 2015

By Tina Creguer

New technologies offer all kinds of new ways for students to learn, for teachers to teach, and for school systems to provide a learning environment.  But the sudden convergence of content, technology, and tech-savvy students has created as many conundrums as opportunities.  So, during a time rampant with experimentation and piloting, when a school system figures out ways to make all systems work together to enhance learning, people stop and take notice.

Fulton County (GA) Schools has done just that.  And, for their efforts, they were recognized last month by the Center for Digital Education (CDE) with a Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award for K-12 at the International Society for Technology in Education 2015 conference in Philadelphia.

Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the CDE, announced the awards, saying, “It is clear that schools all over the country are moving from pilot projects to full-scale implementations. Districts are combining content created by their faculty with content curated from other organizations or purchased from private-sector curriculum providers in ways not truly realized in past years. This year’s honorees are taking the practice of education to new heights that show great promise for other districts to follow.”

Fulton County was one of just six large (12,000+ students) districts to be recognized for its innovation and diligence in digital content and curriculum program implementation.

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Josephine Community Libraries: Providing Real Community Value

P1280371By Kate Dwyer 

Josephine Community Libraries (JCL) increased its Gale database usage by 230% over previous years. By using public presentations with a ‘how to’ delivery style, JCL’s librarians are able to meet people where they are on topics they care about.

Under the umbrella of The Expanding Opportunities Program, funded by A Library Services and Technology Act, the mission of the program is to increase information literacy in Josephine County, Oregon, in the areas of employability, education, and entrepreneurship. The grant provides a full-time staff member to educate community members about the modern library available at their fingertips.

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GVRL Pleases Patrons, Young and Old, in Santa Clara County Library District

GVRL eBook Success Story

Lora Cokolat is a Collection Development and Reading Librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District, working in the District’s Services and Support Center in

Campbell, California. Lora purchases e-books, DVDs, book club kits, and e-magazines to support patrons who use the district’s seven libraries and two bookmobiles. Part of the District’s mission is to provide diverse resources on a wide variety of subjects and viewpoints, and to help people use those resources — a task right up the alley of GVRL eBooks.

“We are committed to offering a variety of subject areas, topics, and viewpoints,” says Lora. “Providing electronic versions of reference sources can be more cost effective than print copies at multiple locations.”

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Librarians Bridge Access and Availability Gaps with Technology

GVRL eBook Success Story

Part of any librarian’s job is to provide access to information people may not immediately know they need, exists, or is accessible. Amy Calhoun, Virtual Branch Coordinator at the Sacramento Public Library, understands this challenge as well as anyone. It’s why she and her colleague Laurie Willis, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the San Jose Public Library, both set out to find a solution designed to ensure people would have access to information when and where it was needed.

“It just made sense to expand our offerings,” Calhoun said. Expanding her library’s science related content and making sure the information was current quickly became a priority.

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