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EBSCO Interfaces and Databases in Curriculum Integration

This document demonstrates how EBSCO databases help schools meet the curriculum requirements for research and information literacy as outlined in state, provincial, and Common Core State Standards.

Overview

Integrating technology into school curricula has been a chief objective of librarians, school media specialists, and educators since the mid-1990s when, with the growth of the internet and online databases, it became vital for schools to embrace these technologies.

EBSCO’s online research databases are powerful tools that can be used by students to access information as they develop critical thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Using EBSCO databases and interfaces brings together the AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Student with the steps of the research process, which can help to meet the objectives of school curricula and the Common Core.

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EBSCO Databases

The following are just a few of EBSCO’s online databases that can help students become more effective and technology-savvy researchers.

History Reference Center

This database is rich with primary source documents such as a journal of Paul Revere on the event of his ride, letters written by Abigail Adams, court cases, Congressional testimonies, speeches, and historical photographs. History Reference Center contains thousands of historical documents and more than 80 hours of video. Specific historical periods, such as “World History: Unrest & Revolution (1750-1850)” may be used to limit or refine the search.

Points of View Reference Center

Another database that is rich in curriculum content is the Points of View Reference Center (POV). Every topic in POV has an Overview, Point, Counterpoint, and a Guide to Critical Analysis. Each Guide to Critical Analysis contains material for the classroom including “Distinguishing Fact from Opinion,” “Writing a Thesis Statement,” “Writing a Persuasive Essay,” essay ideas, and discussion questions for the classroom.  From the POV home page, topics can be browsed by categories – such as “Family Issues” and “National Debate Topics” – and each category is divided into more specific subcategories to make searching easier.

Science Reference Center

Science Reference Center encompasses biology, chemistry, earth science, space science, life and physical sciences, health and medicine, science in society, history of science, technology and wildlife. The database supports recommendations set by the National Science Educator Standards (NSES) and includes more than 1,000 science experiments. Rounding out this resource are thousands of photos and videos categorized and searchable by benchmarks such as “Earth & Space Sciences: Earth: Meteorology.”

Read It!

Read It! is a multi-purpose online information resource designed especially for secondary and young adult English language learners (ELLs) in school and public libraries. The product’s web-based delivery of focused ELL materials is designed to help ELLs conduct research, build background knowledge and develop study skills, as well as facilitating their future transition to non-ELL materials. Read It! helps ELLs succeed in the academic areas required by their schools, as well as in everyday life. Core curriculum content in the areas of science, history, literature and life skills is presented in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. ELL students can gain a solid understanding of core topics and then continue research through hand-selected links to additional content in the product. ELL licensed content accompanies the core content, allowing researchers to gain deeper knowledge of the topics as they gain increased proficiency in the English language.

Additional Features and Functionality

Primary Sources in EBSCO databases

EBSCO databases contain thousands of primary source documents, including speeches, letters, official government documents, and more. Using the “Publication Type” limiter, students and teachers can elect to search primary source documents only. For example, using this option in the Middle Search Plus database, along with the keyword search Truman, yields hundreds of documents including a memorandum titled “The decision to use the atomic bomb.”

Lexile Rankings

The Lexile Rankings assigned to a result provide educators with an estimate of the reading difficulty of the result, and the approximate grade level reading ability required for comprehension. The Lexile table below aligns the Lexiles with the Common Core Standards' recommendations for text complexity grade bands.

Grade Band Age Current Lexile Band "Stretch" Lexile Band
K-1 5-7 Years Old N/A N/A
2-3 7-9 years old 450L-725L 420L-820L
4-5 9-11 years old 645L-845L 740L-1010L
6-8 11-14 years old 860L-1010L 925L-1185L
9-10 14-16 years old 960L-1115L 1050L-1335L
11-CCR 16-18 years old 1070L-1220L 1185L-1385L

The Common Core Standards promote increasing text complexity to help students build on literacy success and challenge themselves with more complex texts. The chart shown above is a guideline to select appropriate text for each grade, including text for a "stretch" to the next level.

For more information about the Lexile Framework and Common Core Standards, visit the MetaMetrics website here.

Text to Speech

Text-to-Speech allows you to listen to HTML full text articles as they are read aloud to you. If enabled by your administrator, Text-To-Speech is available for Explora, EBSCOhost, Points of View Reference Center, Canadian Points of View Reference Centre, History Reference Center, Literary Reference Center, Literary Reference Center Plus. Read It! and Science Reference Center.

Curriculum Standards Module

EBSCO's Curriculum Standards Module (powered by Academic Benchmarks) is an application that allows teachers to locate curriculum standards based on several criteria. Curriculum standards are created and published by each state in order to convey the educational requirements in each subject area at each grade level that students are expected to learn and teachers are expected to teach. The Curriculum Standards Module includes U.S. Common Core Standards and standards for Canadian provinces.

The Curriculum Standards Module is available in the following EBSCO interfaces:

  • Explora (Educator's Edition top toolbar)
  • History Reference Center (Reference Shelf feature area)
  • Literary Reference Center and LRC Plus (Reference Shelf feature area)
  • Points of View Reference Center (Reference Shelf feature area)
  • Read It! (Research Guides feature area)
  • Science Reference Center (Reference Shelf feature area)

Within the Curriculum Standards Module, teachers have access to a number of recommended search strings to help them find relevant, professional content. The application can be accessed two ways. The user can go directly to the Curriculum Standards application by typing http://absite.ebscohost.com/ into the browser window or by clicking specific links on the database home pages.

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