Tag Archives: Information Literacy

Using the EasyBib Notebook to Teach Paraphrasing

Mary Beth Hertz is a certified Instructional Technology Specialist and K-7 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA. She has presented at a number of conferences and is a blogger and avid user of social media. She is also a co-organizer of Edcamp Philly and sits on the Edcamp Foundation Board. She was also named an ISTE Emerging Leader in 2010. She is passionate about making school meaningful and about all things edtech.


One of the most common problems that teachers report when facilitating research projects with their students is that students often copy directly from websites without quoting the author or by handing in work that comes directly from a source, word for word.

It is imperative that we explicitly teach our students how to paraphrase the information they find and how to differentiate between paraphrasing and direct quotations. The Internet has made everything seem easy and free for the taking. There are so many sources out there, that knowing whether a student has plagiarized has become so difficult that teachers have to use special tools like TurnItIn to make sure that student writing is their own. There are other reasons aside from academic honesty to make sure that young people know how to synthesize ideas into their own words. As more and more information is put out on the Internet, more and more of our students are creators of this content. They are the future keepers of ideas and knowledge, so we must teach them to be responsible creators and consumers of content.

One thing I’m excited to use with my students to teach these skills is EasyBib’s Notebook. Each time my students add a new note, they have the option to directly quote the resource, paraphrase some of the information they want to use from a resource, or to write their own thoughts on the information. In the copy/paste world we live in, the Notebook allows my students to visualize the difference between copying information word-for-word and putting information in your own words. This tool will also give my students a chance to compare the three ways of thinking about the information they are reading. It will also help them digest the information by forcing them to separate the author’s ideas, their interpretation of the author’s ideas and to find the author’s words that support their own opinions.

Before introducing my students to the Notebook, however, I will need to break the process down, allowing my students to practice paraphrasing as a class and on their own. Even as an adult, paraphrasing is difficult, so I don’t expect them to ‘get it’ the first time. However, I am thrilled to have the Notebook tool to make teaching the differences between paraphrasing and taking direct quotations from the resources my students use.

Update to Website Evaluation

Good news for every educator who needs ways to teach information literacy skills: EasyBib’s Website Evaluation tool just got even better!

We’ve made the explanation of our criteria more robust than ever. Now when students need to understand what questions they should be asking themselves about the credibility of a source they can get concise answers. We’ve also included helpful links in many places that will aid them in asking the right questions. For instance, when a student should be investigating a publisher further, we’ve included a direct link to a Google search for that publisher. That’s smart!

Infographic: Information Literacy Issues

Developing information literacy skills is perhaps the most important issue in 21st Century Learning and yet the struggle to do so is an uphill battle. We asked our friends in the library world what they think of the state of information literacy in schools. Check out this cool infographic to see what we learned.

Check out this Post!

One of our good librarian friends, Margeaux DelGuidice, has authored an entertaining and insightful post over on her blog. Topic? Snooki, finding correct information, and the indispensable nature of the librarian. Here’s a quick snippet:

“Today, misinformation can be found on the Internet in many places, including online encyclopedias, personal websites, web communities, and medical message boards. Which means that when the public turns to the Internet for information and guidance they may not always be receiving high quality or accurate information.”

Click here to check out the whole post. Viva la Librarian!!!

New Educator and Student Content This Week

There are new materials available in the Educator and Student Portals today on EasyBib. On these pages you’ll find tons of great content that will help both students and educators alike in their roles in 21st Century Education. We’re rolling out new content for each section weekly, so make sure you check back often!

What’s new this week:

In the Student Section this week we have the third part of our Writing Guide – Outline:

“Once you’ve gathered information on your topic, sifted through the good sources, and taken good notes, it’s time to conquer the next step: outlining. Outlining is a helpful step in the writing process. It will force you to think about how separate ideas in your research fit together so that you can write a cohesive paper.”

In the Educator Section this week we have the lesson plan ‘Cross-Subject Research Papers’:

“This lesson plan aims to teach the skills developed in writing a research paper through every text a student might come across in their academic studies or career. By requiring a research paper in every class subject, the library media specialist develops writing skills in every subject.”

Podcast Interview with EasyBib on TeacherCast

Hey all some of us from EasyBib recently did a podcast interview for TeacherCast. In it we discuss how we got started, some of our great tools, and what we think about the future of information literacy.

Head on over to TeacherCast to check out the show notes and listen to the interview. Check out some of the other stuff while you’re there too. It’s a great resource for educators.

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