K-8 Team Library

Information from the stacks! Jan/Feb 2016

In This Edition...

  • Technology Integration – Save to Read Later https://www.readability.com/apps
  • Social Responsibility – Note Taking tools to help avoid plagiarism
  • Information Literacy – Google Tools in Education for Research
  • Reading Engagement – Award Books & New Release Books

If you missed past newsletters, they are available on your school's Library Resource page at http://tinyurl.com/AlexandriaGBSD.

Technology Integration

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Social-Bookmarking Tools to Save Time

Finding engaging, ready-to-use resources on the Internet to use with students can be a timesaving task. Immediately saving or bookmarking them in a social-bookmarking site where students can access them saves even more time. Most schools in the Gresham Barlow School district do not allow just anyone to bookmark sites directly to a computer; therefore cloud-based social-bookmarking sites, that only need a link or a QR code to access them, help keep all your favorite sites organized in one space and only a click away!

There are infinite amounts of social-bookmarking sites; however, not all of them are student friendly. Student friendly generally means the bookmarking sites are visually appealing, there is no option (or limited options) to add or delete other sites, and they do not require logging in or creating accounts. Some even provide codes for students to enter so the site is completely private. Some allow you to upload and share assignments you create mixed with Internet resources. Some allow you to share only one list, board, or stack. And, if you don't want to spend time searching for resources, most have options to search and use already created lists, boards, or stacks.

The following sites are popular student-friendly social-bookmarking sites. All of these resources are cloud based, so you can move from one device to another with ease.

Edshelf: Edshelf is the perfect place to save favorite web tools to share. When you click on the icon an introductory video shows an overview of the tool or offers a tutorial. The photo above shows a layout of favorite links in a "shelf" in Edshelf. Note: Edshelf isn't one of the icons in the photo because the layout is the actual "shelf" in Edshelf. Click here to visit the Edshelf page.

Symbaloo: With Symbaloo, you save your favorite links in a visual format. You are able to drag and drop "tiles" with your links to organize and share different "webmixes".

LiveBinders: If you need to bookmark web tools and post your own documents, LIveBinders might be just the resource you need.

Padlet: Padlet is a digital bulletin board for you to use or share with others. Others are able to post links, images, documents, videos, or comment without logging in or creating a site. Perfect for everything from visual party planning to vocabulary word walls.

Delicious: Do you need an efficient way to save a lot of information quickly and decide later what you want to share with colleagues and students? Delicious is what you need to use. You can create a database of resources and decide later how you want to organize and share them.

educlipper: Educlipper is a more in-depth clipping tool to not only create boards with assignments or web resources, but also give feedback to students. Students are able to access boards with group codes to protect privacy.

Diigo: All the items you collect are stored in Diigo. You are able to add sticky notes or highlights to what you read online. When you share the resource, the highlights and sticky notes are also shared.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual tool that allows you to create boards and pin resources from the web to use as a resource. A note of caution: a quick glance at information can have you pinning for hours.

An Hour of Code

The best explanation of An hour of Code is from the source: Code.org

Anybody can host an Hour of Code anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. You're welcome to split up the Hour of Code into multiple sessions so long as your students finish the Hour of Code tutorial. Just do whatever works best for you and your students. (And if you can't do it during that week, do it the week before or after).

How to Run an Hour of Code
The Hour of Code is here

Social Responsibilty

URLs in Citations

According to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.), URLs in citations in MLA format are optional. They are not always necessary because URLs change frequently. Also documents often appear in multiple places, and can be found on the Internet with titles, authors, or the right combination of keywords. In my opinion, if information is presented electronically, and readers can click a link and go directly to the source, using the URL is a common courtesy. If information is shared in paper format, consider omitting the URL.

For more information visit: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/.

Information Literacy

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Wikipedia: Embrace or Reject?

Should we embrace Wikipedia or reject it? Neither. Stay neutral, but informed. In the 21st century understanding how Wikipedia works will help us critically think about the information presented and will help us remember to verify everything we read with a second source. And given the popularity of Wikipedia, we should assume our students are using or will use Wikipedia at some point. Helping them understand the need to critically think about information presented in a digital source (especially Wikipedia) seems crucial to 21st century life and meeting Common Core State Standards (Anchor standard W.8).

"Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes per hour," explains Wikipedia. Although not a requirement for contributions, the instructions for contributors state, "Please try to provide references" when adding or changing information. The goal per the Wikimedia Foundation is to have neutral information that is verifiable, and is not from original research. So as long as everyone understands the difference between a fact and an opinion, we should be able to trust any Wikipedia article, right? Lisa Daniels and Alex Johnson in an NBC news report explained, "And while Wikipedia has a large staff of moderators and trusted editors, it can take a while for entries to be reviewed (2007)." Wikipedia even tries to warn users of information (see photo and video below) that might not be balanced or might not have credible sources to prove accuracy.

The chance of inaccurate information doesn't seem to deter us from using this community created, online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the 7th most popular website in the United States according to Alexa, and is one of the top 10 sites used worldwide. NBC news, in 2007, investigated the use of Wikipedia at the university level and found a common consensus: Use it for background knowledge, generating a list of key words, or finding a list of reliable sources, but not as an actual source for research. "If you happen to consult an entry that hasn’t been fully vetted or edited — or one that’s fallen victim to a flurry of disputed edits by folks with axes to grind — you can get into trouble (Daniels and Johnson, 2007).

As educators in the 21st century, we have an obligation to teach our students to be critical users of information. What better place to start than with Wikipedia. The ResearchReady video posted below is one you can show your students, or you can watch prior to talking with them about the use of Wikipedia. And to make sure you are ready to enter into a discussion with your students can you (or your students) answer the following questions? The answers are provided.

Do you know what a wiki is?

· A collaborative website

Do you know what Wikipedia is?

· A worldwide, free collaborative encyclopedia where anyone and everyone can add, change, or delete information

Do you know how you can use Wikipedia academically?

· For background information at the beginning of a research project or for the citations/references at the bottom of each article

Do you know what to look for in a Wikipedia article to see if editors have reviewed it for accuracy?

· Information in a rectangular box at the top of an article with warnings from the Wikimedia Foundation

· Non-neutral information like propaganda or opinion based statements

· Lack of citations/references throughout the article or at the bottom

Do you know there is a "talk page" linked to each article and what that means?

· There is a page linked to each article that is labeled "talk" where users can make comments about inaccuracies to inform the Wikimedia Foundation and other users

Do you know you can (and how to) create a page in Wikipedia or make changes to existing articles?

· You very simply need to login or create an account to make changes or add a page

Do you know you can (and how to) view the history of changes made to a page to track who added, deleted, or changed information?

· There is a tab at the top of the article that shows, "read", "source", and "history".


"Competitive Intelligence." Wikipedia.org Site Overview. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. <http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wikipedia.org>.

Daniels, Lisa, and Alex Johnson. "The Word on Wikipedia: Trust but Verify." Msnbc.com. NBCnews, 29 Mar. 2007. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17740041/ns/nbc_nightly_news_with_brian_williams/t/word-wikipedia-trust-verify/#.VmOTiGQrLRY>.

"Understanding Wikipedia as a Citation Source." ResearchReady.com. Imagine Easy Solutions, 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2015.

Valenza, Joyce. "Teaching (and Writing) with Wikipedia." NeverEndingSearch. School Library Journal, 25 Nov. 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. <http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2015/11/25/teaching-and-writing-with-wikipedia/>.

"What Is Wikipedia?" Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction>.

Understanding Wikipedia as a Citation Source - ResearchReady.com


If you need sources that are valid and reliable and can be used to substantiate your claims in Wikipedia, use a database like Infobits or Student Resources in Context--both found in MackinVia.

Reading Engagement

Non-Fiction of Everyday Life

'Tis the season for non-fiction reading. Preparing a family recipe? Take out a cookbook and follow a recipe. Are you assembling that "dream" gift or trying to connect multiple electronic devices? Let your kids help by reading a step or two in the manual. Will you be in a hurry to finish up that grocery shopping? Write a list at home and let your kids check things off as you add them to your cart. Trying to remember how to play that board game you took out of storage? Read the instructions together as a family. Traveling to spend time with family or friends (or escape from them)? Print out maps or activity ideas and encourage everyone to read the street signs and make decisions. The opportunities for informational reading are in abundance during the holiday season. Encourage your students, your children, or even yourselves to read, read, and read the non-fiction of everyday life.

K-8 Team Library

Each school library at GBSD is fortunate enough to have a library manager who not only reads stories and checks in and out books, but who is a resource for print and eBooks you need in your classroom. You may also contact Venisha Bahr, K-8 Library Coordinator, with any questions.