At Dulcinea Media, we view school librarians as our best allies in helping us fulfill our mission to help students learn how to use the web effectively.We've attended the past two AASL shows and many local library conferences, and we've spent plenty of time visiting schools and monitoring LM_Net to learn how we can help librarians help teachers and students. We've also become one of the most ardent advocates for school librarians in the face of clueless school boards that want to cut their positions.
Click here to read reviews of our work. Perhaps the kindest words in the many reviews of our products come from Temple University Professor Renee Hobbs, who wrote to us, "your website is such a treasure trove of fascinating stuff! I want every educator in America to know about it."
We agree with that aim! To that end, here is a brief discussion of our products and how they help school librarians serve:
1. In April 2012, we'll be releasing our Web Research Tutorial; it is the only product for which we will charge a fee, and a modest one at that. Based on research studies and the result of extensive interviews, it will teach web research skills to educators and students in a way that no other product does. Using a multimedia, varied format, it meets them where they are and uses pragmatic analogies and examples to bring them along to where they need to be.
2. SweetSearch, A Search Engine for Students, is a free tool that helps educators and students find credible, comprehensive resources about their subject, quickly (BONUS: librarians and teachers tell us it helps them find awesome resources as well! We use it to respond to librarian queries on LM_Net and often find the requested info in seconds). SweetSearch searches only 35,000 websites that research experts have approved, and it does not contain offensive ads! We've also introduced SweetSearch4Me, the only search engine that prominently features on the first results page the high quality Web sites created for elementary school students. READ MORE.
We offer a widget for both SweetSearch and SweetSearch4Me, so you can embed them on your school Web sites. But the best way to get your students to use these superior tools is to add them on to every browser in your school; to do this for Firefox and Internet Explorer, just click the green Add-On box on the top right of SweetSearch.
3. Do your students write about the same events and people, year after year? SweetSearch Biographies is an indexed collection of more than 1,000 biographies, sortable by profession, gender, and race/origin. Students using this will soon be teaching you about people you've never heard of.
4. Access our landing page for Social Studies In the left column, you'll find dozen of Web Guides that are comprehensive, narrated tours of the best content on the Web about the subject, that directly link to the best primary sources about a subject. We have hundreds of other web guides as well. For librarians, we offer Sweet Sites, a distilled version of our education Web Guides, divided into teacher and student pages for high school, middle school and elementary school. Feel free to link to these pages, or even copy the links you like onto your own library Web site.
The social studies page includes our seminal article, "101 Great Sites for Social Studies Class," that points teachers and students to a trove of great sites, organized by topic. You'll also find on this page links to articles that curate the best online resources, such as "Sites for Learning About Countries," "Sites for Learning About the 50 States," "9 Sites to find Interesting Interviews," and our Innovations series.
Some examples of where we addressed the context deficit in a headline story:
- after the death of Osama Bin Laden, social media was clogged with the rampant use of poorly cited or fake quotes online. Many noted the problem, but none suggested ways to address it. Thus we wrote "Misquotes: Searching for Authenticity Online," which teaches students how to verify quotes.
- Because we know schools struggle with how students can use Wikipedia effectively, we wrote, "The Top 10 Reasons Students Can't Cite Wikipedia."
- When Iran violently suppressed protests last year, we provided context by writing about the History of Iranian Revolutions.
- When a killer whale tragically drowned a Sea World trainer, leading to calls for its release into the wild, our article about it summarized and linked to a PBS documentary that provided a chart discussing all 133 killer whales that had ever been captured in the wild for use in shows.
8. We know your hectic schedule doesn't have always a slot that says "visit findingDulcinea." So we come to you! Our free e-mail newsletter arrives at your inbox with an overview of On This Day and our Happy Birthday biography feature, as well as links to our best education articles.
Ask your students to become a fan of findingDulcinea on Facebook, and we'll occasionally interrupt their "urgent" status updates with some inspiring and educational content.
Please also follow us on Twitter @findingDulcinea
Help us help you. Please send me feedback, questions, suggestions, etc. on our content and tools, to [email protected].
We’d love to hear from you!
Mark E. Moran
Founder & CEO