Resource | K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Kids InfoBits

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Author/Publisher/Website: N/A
Copyright: 2019
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: May/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: K-7
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

This Gale collection of digital resources is both engaging and extensive, containing a huge breadth of topics to support the elementary curriculum. Consisting of articles, online visuals, books, news articles, magazines, photographs, video clips, and levelled reading selections, the resource can prompt creative and critical thinking and support inquiry projects. The database is easy to navigate for students, reading levels can be adjusted, and a read-aloud option is available. Social considerations noted. Due to the broad range of topics, teachers will need to know what their students are accessing and teacher-supported discussion would be beneficial around sensitive topics.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Communication
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Comments:
Kids InfoBits is a digital library collection that supports cross-curricular outcomes for grades levels K-7. The topic range is extensive and offers accessible information sources similar to a school library, but in a digital and visual format. The resource meets many of the Big Ideas for Science and Social Studies, in addition to the wider context of personalized learning. As a teacher resource to support classroom lessons, as a library offering, or as a student-based access point for reading and inquiry project research, the resource supports inquiry, critical, creative, and deeper thinking and conversation. The resource is designed with diversity of age and learning levels in mind.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Indigenous Peoples:
With a significant portion of this resource's content being American, the terms "Native American" and "Indians" are commonly used, including in reference to First Peoples of Canada. Though the term "indigenous" is used as well, it seldomly appears in texts throughout the resource. Few Indigenous groups in Canada are represented, with one nation in particular being referred to using an outdated term, i.e. "Nootka".
Belief System:
Colonization is explored in this resource, in the "People" and "Social Studies" sections in particular. Students will require support to gain awareness and understanding of past Eurocentric views and beliefs.
Violence:
Topics in the database include various events in history, such as the Holocaust and colonization by Europeans. Information related to these historical events includes details that could be upsetting or too advanced for the emotional maturity of some students. Additionally, the practices of some ancient global Indigenous peoples described in the resource include human sacrifice. Current events detailed in some CNN Wire news articles reference violent acts.
Ethical:
Topics such as abortion and euthanasia are explored.
Safety:
Information regarding political unrest, the refugee crisis, and war could be upsetting for those students who have experienced this in their own lives.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
Due to the broad scope of this resource in terms of topic choice, educators will need to be aware of how and what their students are accessing. Teacher-supported discussion would be beneficial around sensitive subject matter. The resource provides opportunity for teachers to lead discussions around the terminology that is respectful of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Is the resource engaging?
Extensively
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Extensively
Can the content be differentiated?
Moderately
Can reading level be adjusted?
Extensively
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The digital resource collection is engaging and extensive. The content is designed to support elementary student learning with diverse content selections that are age and grade level appropriate. The content prompts creative and critical thinking. The reading levels can be adjusted with the use of the lexile index feature. The resource has a read-aloud option for text materials.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the navigation throughout the site intuitive?
Extensively
Is the content exportable in a variety of file formats such as wpd, doc, pdf, xls, etc.?
Not at all or slightly
Are the presentation controls (e.g. sizing, resolutions, volume, etc.) suitable for the classroom?
Extensively
Are images clear?
Extensively
Is the sound quality clear?
Extensively
Is the interface uncluttered?
Extensively
Descriptors:
Accessible for people with disabilities. (Look for personal preferences tools, adjustable font size, volume controls).
Print and online help provided in simple and brief segments (FAQ, Quick help, etc.)
Search by file type (audio, graphics, photo, etc.)
Search engine can search the entire site
Provides file format options for saving
Displays in mobile devices
Comments:
This resource has a consistent layout and design throughout for topic display, searching, and site tools. Consistent display and use of topic and subtopic tiles and subject lists make the database easy to navigate for a range of elementary students. Images paired with topic tiles enhance navigation. This resource can be translated into a variety of languages which is beneficial for ELL learners. While file export is limited to PDF formats, students and educators have options to print, email, and send sources to both Google Drive and One Drive.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Is the instructional design effective and appropriate for the intended audience?
Moderately
Is the resource suitable for a wide range of learning and teaching styles?
Extensively
Are the instructional elements consistent with the purpose of the resource?
Moderately
Are the concepts clearly explained?
Extensively
Does the progression in learning go from the simple to the complex?
Extensively
Are the content chunking and sequencing appropriate?
Moderately
Does the resource provide multiple strategies to help learners construct meaning?
Moderately
Does the resource provide varied opportunities to demonstrate learning and extend thinking?
Not at all or slightly
Does the resource support the transfer of learning to personal or applied contexts?
Extensively
Comments:
This digital library collection resource does not have an embedded formal instructional design. There are no explicit instruction, practice, or assessment tools. The resource does support the BC curricular Competencies and Big Ideas to extend thinking for students in Grades K through 7. Students and educators can access information as needed through a visually prompted search of indexed topics. Further navigation opens subtopics designed within independent collections of pictures, books, magazine, and news articles. The reading selections are coded into basic, intermediate, and advanced reading levels. Reading level lexiles are included for each reading section with read-aloud options.

DIGITAL CLASSROOM REFERENCE

Does the reference cover topics with sufficient depth for the intended audience?
Extensively
Does the classroom reference have a bibliography and footnotes?
Extensively
Does the classroom reference use multimedia to support learning?
Moderately
Are the subject area list and/or subtopics extensive?
Extensively
Is the keyword search adequate?
Extensively
Descriptors:
Basic search
Advanced search
Student social media tools
Student research tools
Notetaking tools
My folders tool
Comments:
Topic browsing and searches provide several formats from which students can choose to gather information, and include books, magazines, pictures, video, and online news articles. Tools available to students (i.e. bookmarking, highlighting, citation, etc.) are in line with the purpose of the resource, which is to access factual information to support research and inquiry. While students have twelve topics to choose from on the main page, the search bar allows for additional in-depth, specific subject searches unrelated to the main content that is presented. Users can share, save, and download content including highlights and notes.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR

Mac Version(s) :
na
Win Version(s) :
na
Linux Version(s) :
na
Is Active Directory integration available for updating user data?
No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
Produced by Gale Kids, InfoBits provides "indexed searchable content along with more than 16,000 images, over 1,700 kid-friendly charts and graphs and more than 600 high-quality educational videos are provided from resources including books, magazines and news periodicals". (Excerpt from Gale website).

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
Kids InfoBits is a digital library collection housing a breadth of topics and subtopics. Classroom educators can select visual and readable "infobits" based on the topic being taught. Students can read, view, and search a digital library to support independent inquiry projects. A school library can offer access to online visuals, articles, and books supporting cross grade-level learning styles and individual needs. The colourful photographs, video clips, as well as lexile-levelled reading selections can support classroom topics. There is a text-to-speech option. The resource supports the elementary Big Ideas for Science and Social Studies as well as cross-curricular topics being taught.
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