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.
The three databases that I purchase include Opposing Viewpoints In Context, U.S. History In Context, and World History In Context. We use Opposing Viewpoints in a variety of classes across our curriculum. It is simply the best resource for students when they are trying to understand both sides of an issue. It helps them not only understand the position they are arguing or persuading for, but also the counterargument. The two history databases are used primarily by our Social Studies department. We use these history databases to access a variety of resources including videos, audio clips, and primary sources. These three databases provide quality material across many content areas in our building.
The appealing layout and design of the Gale products make it a favorite with our students. They appreciate the clean look and intuitive navigation. Students using the Gale databases for the first time find it easy to access, use, and cite articles with the built in search features and citation export tools. Since the Gale databases are set up with a similar layout, the students find it easy to move back and forth between the Gale products.
The most valuable feature of the Gale products is the integration with other tools we use. All of our students have school issued Google Accounts. Many times in the past, students would find a great article one day and have no idea how to get back to it the next day. The ability to save articles to a student’s Google Drive with a click of a button has saved us so much research time. It makes the kids more efficient day to day as they can quickly access what they’ve already found during previous research time. Most of our teachers are now using Google Classroom. The functionality between Gale and Classroom also saves us time and gives the students a quick way to show the teacher the quality resources they are using on the current project. We also use EasyBib as our main citation generator for bibliographies. Students easily can save their citations to their current bibliography, again with the click of a button. The seamless integration of Gale with these external workflow tools is critical in making our students’ research time more efficient and well-organized.
When my students have a research need, Gale is our first choice. I want my students to be efficient researchers with quality resources at their fingertips. Gale gives us credible and reliable resources, with the added bonus of high functionality.
Take a closer look at the Gale In Context suite, request a trial today!