Student Resources

Research & Online Tools

Using MackinVia to Access Databases

What is MackinVIA™?

MackinVIA™ is a program that makes it easy to access your school's eBooks and educational databases. Active Directory credentials and internet access is all you need to get started. You can use MackinVIA on any device that has Internet access. For online and offline access, there is a free MackinVIA app available for download.

Students are able to access the electronic databases (World Book, CultureGrams, SIRS, etc…) using the Online Databases filter. Most of the passwords for these individual products will be synchronized by Mackin so students will only need their AD credentials to access.

Visit to access MackinVia and other essential HCPSS digital tools.

G Suite(Google Apps For Education)

HCPSS has implemented a private workspace with Google Apps For Education (GAFE). It is only available to staff and students of HCPSS. This valuable online tool holds documents and materials that can be accessed electronically by both students and staff, in school and at home. Students can create Google Docs (documents), Sheets (spreadsheets), Slides (presentations), and much more.

Visit to access the G Suite. Students use their active directory username and password to login.


Wixie is an online publishing and creativity tool that allows students to share what they know through personal artwork, audio recordings, writing and more. Publishing with technology encourages critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills, appealing to students with a variety of learning styles. Wixie is the perfect canvas for today's digital learners, providing powerful tools to create original work that demonstrates student understanding of the curriculum.

Visit to access Wixie. Students use their active directory username and password to login.

PebbleGo & PebbleGo Next

PebbleGo is an online research tool designed for beginning researchers. This site offers databases on science, social studies, biographies, and animals. This website offers tools like text highlighting, spoken word audio, and videos to assist students with research.

The PebbleGo Next family of databases helps students in Grades 3-5 learn about key concepts related to Social Studies, Science, States, and American Indians. Robust articles, all supported by read-aloud audio and connected to curriculum, include critical thinking questions to help students connect to larger ideas.

Use MackinVia to access this website.

Culture Grams

CultureGrams offers concise, reliable, and up-to-date country reports on over 190 cultures of the world. It goes beyond mere facts and figures to deliver an insider's perspective on daily life and culture, including the history, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.

Use MackinVia to access this website.

Noodle Tools

This tool is used in fifth grade to generate, edit, and publish an MLA Works Cited list or APA References list that complies with the rules of the current MLA Handbook and APA Publication Manual. Noodle Tools takes care of punctuation, alphabetization and formatting, producing a polished source list for import into Word.

Use MackinVia to access this website.

SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Discoverer offers a database of easily retrievable full-text articles, often with accompanying graphics, with full printing and saving capabilities. The full-text articles database consists of articles reprinted with permission, from approximately 1,600 newspapers, magazines and U.S. government documents. Other features include: The World Almanac for Kids, Compton’s Encyclopedia, and a Spotlight of the Month.

Use MackinVia to access this website.

Howard County Public Library

Use your Howard County Library card and pin number (request a pin number from the library) to access many online reference sources. To locate the online resources, click on “Databases.” or use MackinVia to access this website.