Kris Jacobson is a teacher/librarian at a busy high school outside of Chicago. With 3,000 students and a campus that recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks, Jacobson stays busy, but is constantly striving to make the library more useful for patrons.
Jacobson found that helping students conduct research in multiple information silos proved time consuming and the library was not seeing steady growth in database activity. As a Google School (and part of a Google District) Glenbrook High School prefers to utilize resources that work well with all things Google. This—and some of the library’s other challenges—became easier for Jacobson and her colleagues when they discovered Gale’s In Context family of online resources.
Gale’s In Context family of online resources meets the needs of Jacobson’s students by combining an easily searchable design with current, media-rich information. Eye-catching, topical portals—covering Biography, Canada, Global Issues, Opposing Viewpoints, Science, Student Resources, U.S. History, and World History—integrate content with media-rich, curriculum-aligned materials that span core subjects and 21st-century themes. These portals of information have proved to be valuable and instructive for students and teachers alike.
With Gale’s In Context now integrated with Google Apps for Education tools like Drive and Docs, students can easily share database content and can focus on their research and synthesizing information rather than getting bogged down in the process of figuring out how to disseminate information via email or making multiple copies of articles to annotate separately. Additionally, Jacobson explained, the In Context portals are efficiency boosters because they can get feedback from a lot of different sources on a particular topic by visiting one place.
Because her school uses many Gale products, Jacobson was thrilled when she learned about In Context and how the new portals could work in her library. The ability for students to be able to access the new In Context databases from their Chromebooks anywhere, anytime was a huge factor for Glenbrook High School. As an example, Jacobson described a program called Actively Learn, in which students can upload articles and annotate them, with no time-consuming formatting changes necessary.
Jacobson is thrilled with the outcome after having implemented In Context and GVRL.