Safe Searching

Let’s say your class is getting ready to research a topic. Where do they begin their research? The easy, lazy, dare I say irresponsible, way is to Google. We all do it – daily. And don’t get me wrong, there are times when it is perfectly fine to Google. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been able to fix my garbage disposal, fix a TV remote, boil an egg, see how tall 1.8 meters is in feet, and more, all by Googling. So it’s great when you need to know how to do something, but it’s not the place to go when researching for obvious reasons such as:

  1. Anyone can create a website – information may not be true
  2. Top hits are likely to be advertisements and may be biased
  3. Many sites are not updated
  4. Sites are not evaluated

When it’s time to research, you want to use databases and vetted websites and lucky for you, Bend-La Pine has a plethora of options for you – most can be found on your school’s library webpage:

  1. WorldBook Online
  2. Discovery Education
  3. Destiny Discover (all levels with libraries)
    1. Books
    2. Vetted Websites
    3. Collections
  4. SIRS (secondary) – Provides authoritative insight into the most-studied social issues by delivering the pros and cons from relevant, credible documents and graphics selected by trained editors and curated from over 2,000 global sources.
  5. Teen Health and Wellness (secondary)
  6. OSLIS (Oregon School Library Information System)
    1. Gale in Context Elementary
    2. Gale in Context Middle
    3. Gale in context High
    4. Learning Express
    5. National Geographic Kids
    6. Books and Authors
    7. Gale eBooks
    8. Historic Oregon Newspapers
    9. Oregon Encyclopedia
    10. LitFinder
    11. Newspapers
    12. Información en Español
    13. Opposing Viewpoints
    14. U.S. History
    15. Health and Wellness
    16. Environmental Studies

The above list is where students should be going to first. Granted there are going to be obscure topics that your students will want to research and they might not be able to find information within these databases. Knowing that, you may want to tap you media manager, teacher librarian, or a public librarian. Each of these people would be happy to create a resource list for your students to research from.

Oh, and if you’re accessing these databases away from your school, you’re going to need the usernames and passwords. Just be sure you’re signed in with your district Google account, otherwise, you won’t be able to access them.

About Christie Boen

I have worked with Bend-La Pine Schools since 2007. I am an Instructional Technology Coach and District Librarian.