Thursday, February 7, 2013

21ThingsBCK Thing 16 Research and Reference Tools

I use all of the time to better educate myself about different new concepts. Since I am trained as a guidance counselor, I prefer to use APA style for the citations. I am going to compare Infotrac Junior Edition and Infotrac Student Edition.

I looked at Infotrac Junior Edition and read the article

Instagram users should wise up. (2012, December 20). CNN Wire. Retrieved from

I like that it had full text option and that peer reviewed articles could also be found in this database.  I searched for dolphins and it took me to a Science News article, without pictures, but there was a link to the actual magazine with color photos that would be appropriate for all ages. I think that Infotrac Junior is a great database with access to great full text articles from nice colorful magazines that are attractive to young people.

I looked at Infotrac Student Edition and read the article

Ehrenberg, R. (2012, December 29). Scientists take on Twitter: social media comes into its own as a tool and a subject for study. Science News, 182(13), 22. Retrieved from

Infotrac Student Edition seemed basically the same as Infotrac Junior edition. It think both are very simple to use for young people, intuitive, and clear about the results from credible sources given based on a particular topic. This clarity makes both databases appropriate for middle school and high school research.

For the advanced searching I used the Academic OneFile and read the article

Angelova, R., Lipczak, M., Milios, E., & Pralat, P. (2010). Investigating the properties of a social bookmarking and tagging network. International Journal of Data Warehousing and Mining, 6(1), 1+. Retrieved from

I appreciated the color pdf file where I could read all about social bookmarking and discussing the properties that were found within the social bookmarking constructs.

I think it was a really useful database with peer reviewed journals that had pdf of the exact article so that I could see the mathematical expressions and graphs in their original form.

Another article I read in the Academic OneFile was

Erwin, H. E., & Fedewa, A. L. (2011). Stability balls and students with attention and hyperactivity concerns: implications for on-task and in-seat behavior. AJOT: American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(4), 393+. Retrieved from

Bushong, S. (2009). Keeping Students on the Ball. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(21). Retrieved from

Was another very short article that was about stability balls.

These articles are useful as I look at participating in a research project with my students. Having information like this available is really useful to a teacher and allows me to share information with students that is from a reputable source. It is appropriate for high school students and the content is much more higher academic so it would require additional research skills in order for students to make the best use of this content because the articles come from peer reviewed journals, not from magazines.

I liked the citation makers on each article so that students could create an annotated bibliography of their research with a link back to the database location where it was originally found. Being able to use APA or MLA is useful depending on which format is required in a particular discipline. I think that using a citation maker like this should begin by grade 3 because by then students can understand the concept of written work belonging to another and they can understand how important it is to properly attribute material they use from another person within their own written work.

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