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10 Reasons You Should Use the New TexQuest Databases

posted Oct 14, 2014, 9:18 AM by Stacey Cole   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 9:19 AM ]
This school year, thanks to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, we have access to Gale and Adam Matthew databases.  These databases are great for research and have a lot to offer to both students and teachers.  To see what is now available, please visit the KHS Library Databases page.  Here are ten great reasons why you should use these databases with your students:

1.  The use of databases prepare our students for their future college and career experiences.  When our students go to college, they will be required to use databases and E-content.  Becoming comfortable with this type of resource now can only benefit them in the future.  If they learn to use TexQuest now, they will be able to easily navigate TexShare, the database platform available at public universities and libraries.

2. TexQuest provides reliable resources and gives users the ability to search multiple formats easily.  In today's digital world it is very easy to become overwhelmed by the multitude of search results that a search on a platform like Google can yield.  TexQuest makes it easy to narrow subjects and to specify the type of resource that you are seeking. Oftentimes when students do an online search, they are unaware of the format of their response.  A newspaper, reference book, journal, or magazine look like websites when viewed from a computer screen.  TexQuest databases have multiple formats that make it easier for students to distinguish format types, dates, and reading levels.

3.  Databases can help with classroom management.  You will find it easier to monitor computer use because the choices will be focused.  Students can stay within one or two databases and find dependable and appropriate resources.  It will be easy for you to quickly glance and see if they are on task.

 4. TexQuest databases provide resources for special needs.  Most of the databases are easily adaptable to suit student needs.  Users can sort results by reading or lexile levels.  The size of the text can be enlarged for students with visual impairments and audio can be streamed or downloaded for students that have difficulty reading.  TexQuest can also be used as a source for the research required of our Gifted and Talented Students.  

5. TexQuest databases provide resources for ELL learners because articles can be instantly translated into multiple languages.  

6. TexQuest databases provide information on sensitive topics.  Have you ever done research with your students only to be stopped in your tracks because all the sites were blocked?  TexQuest resources make it easy for students to search sensitive topics without having all of their searches blocked or finding information that is inappropriate.  Topics like breast cancer, suicide, and any number of diseases that could produce blocked results can be searched with ease.  You can also rest assured that the information will be school appropriate if they are using one of the student focused resources. 

7. TexQuest resources are copyright safe. Articles, photos, audio files, and videos from the TexQuest databases are copyright compliant.  They can be downloaded and/or embedded into your lessons and student projects.  

8.  TexQuest resources help students avoid plagiarism. Most articles have the MLA citation printed at the bottom.  In addition, the databases have citation tools that allow students to import citations into EasyBib.  

9.  TexQuest databases allow students to save their work all in one place.  Students have the option to save their resources in folders or to download, print, or email them.  When students move from database to database, their saved resources follow them!  

10.  One of the coolest things about many of the databases is the ability to do a term cluster search.  For example, if you search To Kill a Mockingbird, you will see the results in a clustered circle with clickable subtopics like civil rights, Boo Radley, Jim & Scout etc.  

I would love to help you implement these databases into your classroom or to make your classes a customized database scavenger hunt.  Please contact me for more information or if you have any questions.  Happy searching! 


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