Friday, January 29, 2010

Love this Article

Short blog post today because I've found something worth reading over: we're loving this article by Donald J. Leu Jr. at UConn.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marshall Elementary Pilot

Marshall Elementary in Vancouver, Washington

5th grade social studies students from Marshall Elementary were learning about the Treaty of Paris, Declaration of Independence, Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. 4 events that are all so different and there’s so much to know!

The goal of the day was to learn how to find credible resources online and to use yolink to find the information within those sources. Students learned syntax tricks to help them easily find credible sources as well as learning how to use yolink in their school library online databases.

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Wall Street Portfolio Manager Uses yolink

Students and researchers of all ages are using yolink to search online and everyone is facing the same problems. In this age of exponentially growing information, students are now finding ways to quickly find the valuable information and send it to others on their personal learning networks. Here’s one example of how a Wall Street portfolio manager is using yolink with Google Docs integration to collaborate on his Personal Learning Network:

‘I do a lot of research on the education industry, particularly the emerging online segment. Recently, I was sent a 350 page report which covered mostly the legacy portion of the industry, but about 5% of the report covered the online segment. With yolink, searching in the “text” mode for the keyword “online”, 20 paragraphs were presented in the yolink sidebar. Next, using yolink’s new click box selection function, I put all these paragraphs in a Google Docs file titled,”schools, online”, which happens to be my 89th Google Doc folder. Lastly, through the Google Docs “share” function, I then emailed the folder to my 5 research colleagues. All this in under 60 seconds.’

After reviewing his search process, I noted that the information to sort through shrank from 356 pages to 53. A little more manageable, right?

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Cherry Creek Pilots

Last week, yolink team members flew out to sunny and snowy Colorado to meet with staff, administrators, librarians and students to teach them about optimizing their search and finding information faster.

We worked with all different ages, learning types and schools. Students were studying everything from current events to online coding. We used our information literacy curriculum to show students and teachers how to better search online and how to use yolink. Now they can find credible information and write their paper faster.

Everyone also loved our free integration with EasyBib!

A yolink engineer came out as well! He talked about how yolink was created and about being an engineer in today’s world. Intro and advanced computer science students learned about what it takes to be an engineer and where they should start.

Quote of the week: "This is the most valuable thing they've [teachers] taught us all year! Yolink and EasyBib will save me so much time." - Anonymous 10th grade honor student

Overland High School - Aurora, CO

Horizon Middle Schoolers were beginning research projects as part of their advanced learners program. Students learned search skills to begin their "Night of the Notables" project, current events podcast and Science Olympiad.

Michelyne Gray is now ready to teach all of her colleagues how to use yolink in the classroom and everyone was so excited to hear about our integration with EasyBib!

Eagle Crest High School was kind enough to let us be a part of their pep rally in exchange for our knowledge of information literacy. Go Raptors!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Vancouver School District

Thank you librarians! Yolink team members presented at a staff development meeting in the Vancouver School District in Washington State. The presentation and discussion focused on the topic that was in my last posting, information literacy! With so much information available on the internet, how can students sort through it all and find valuable information?

Some of the teachers' struggles were:
1. Students don't know how to maximize the search engine
2. Students' use search engines instead of our subscription databases because they feel overwhelmed. How can we show students the tools to finding credible sources online?
3. My students effectively know how to type in many key words to narrow down their searches but the search engines bring back results with only some of their keywords, not all of them.

Some of the benefits they saw and learned:
1. Using yolink text search can help my students look for ideas and concepts because the words are in close proximity to each other in the article or ebook
2. Syntax can help my students find credible sources outside of databases
3. yolink can help my students find very specific information while saving clicks

We participate in staff development meetings very often. If this is something that you want to set up, let us know! We can do an online meeting or in person.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Lack of Resources?

I was inspired the other day by something Alan November wrote on his twitter. He referred to the library of congress and the vast amount of resources available. Their website notes that "the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves". The problem here is not that we're lacking resources or information, its how do we find what we want? How can we as educators teach our students to find the most valuable information when they're bombarded with so much that is mediocre?
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

First pilot...Success!

Ms. Montaperto's computer class at PS 254 in Brooklyn, NY completes the first YEP pilot!

Yolink team members worked hands-on with a class of 4th graders working together to learn how to search better and find valuable information. Students learned how to use syntax, judge website authenticity, find valuable information and how to turn it into a secondary source with integrated tools. In Alan November's words, they "learned that online search is an active skill, not a passive service".

Some of their favorite things were less clicking back and forth, no more skimming long web pages, and the ability to easily pick out content rich sites.

After the 4th graders learned how to use yolink, they then taught the 5th graders how to use it as well.

"I am so glad that we are learning this great new tool. Many times searching can be very frustrating! I am excited that our class is working with Yolink to help kids everywhere obtain better information in less time and with less frustration!" - Ms. Montaperto
Check out more of their comments on the pilot here!

If you'd like to participate in a yolink pilot, click here. Stay tuned to see more pilot stories and ideas as they are completed!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome to the yolink education blog!

Finally! The launch of yolink's education blog is here!

This is your resource to stay updated on any yolink education news. Our team and guest contributors will be posting stories about where we're visiting and who we're visiting as a part of our yolink Education Program, YEP. Stories and photos are already in the works!

Since the launch of yolink as an educational tool, we've found that most people are begging for a guide to information literacy on the web and we're here to bring it to you with a little yolink on the side. This free guide is developed by educational gurus Alan November and Angela Maiers, both fluent in curriculum creation and information literacy. Its full of lessons, examples, and videos based on literacy levels at your! Upon its completion, you will be informed promptly.

We might also throw a few things in that inspire us as well. Our hope is that you will find some ways to make your life and student's lives a little easier.

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