NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: Teaching Valuable Research Skills

Posted on 10/02/2016 10:26 PM

Mary LaSita is the librarian for Port Jefferson Middle School and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson, New York. She has worked with the district for twelve years, originally starting at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. Like many school librarians, LaSita works with students in every grade and has been able to not only foster connections with them, but also watch them mature from childhood to young adult. Her strong connections to her students show when she discusses teaching them research skills in the library.

 “Researching has changed so much since I started teaching,” LaSita says. “Students just want to plug everything into Google.” 

Over the past two decades, library research has moved from books and papers to an almost completely online process, and librarians like Mary work with students to make sure that they know how to use all the information at their fingertips. One of the things she imparts to her students is the importance of using reputable resources, and NBC Learn is her go-to resource throughout the year for teaching her students about databases. “NBC Learn is reliable and has trustworthy materials for my students to use, and my students enjoy exploring NBC Learn.”

Earlier in September LaSita was helping her students dive into NBC Learn’s Decision 2016 collection to find biographical information about the candidates in the 2016 presidential election. “When you just search the web, you are going to get millions of results. Using a database like NBC Learn provides safer and more accurate results.”

LaSita also appreciates the many updates and refinements the NBC Learn technology team makes to its websites and CueCard media player, such as the ability to add multiple videos to a playlist and the citation generator on the back of the CueCard. To add multiple videos to a playlist, click the plus symbol next to the resource you would like to add, and then select the Add to Playlist option from the Tools drop-down below the Search bar.

When she was introduced to these features, LaSita exclaimed, “I can’t wait to use the tips you showed me with my forensics research class next week!”

By using NBC Learn to teach proper research skills in the library, LaSita is preparing her students not just for college, but for daily life where information is available from an overabundance of resources.

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