More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering school library solutions:
Questia President and CEO Troy Williams announced that the company’s online library–reportedly the largest online academic library in the world–is now being made available to high school students and educators. With a solid four-year presence in higher education, the company has a growing collection of 50,000 full-text books; 400,000 journal, magazine, and newspaper articles; and a suite of research tools. Its software works as an online companion, allowing students to do their research and build their footnotes and bibliographies on the fly.
To promote its expansion into K-12 education, Williams said his company is allowing one librarian at every secondary school in America to receive a free, one-year subscription to Questia’s library of digital resources, which are pre-selected by a team of professional librarians. The total donation, reportedly worth $3.7 million, will provide secondary-school librarians and library media specialists with an opportunity to see how the technology can benefit students by expanding their existing library collections. Williams said Questia wants students to benefit from the millions of dollars it has already spent to make its massive library available on the web.
“We are giving credible content from real sources,” said Williams. “With so much on the internet, it’s important to students to know they are using legitimate research materials.”
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Questia’s fully searchable library is XML-based and allows students to read only one page at a time, and there is a cap on the number of pages that can be sent to a printer–a key reason more publishers make their books available to Questia. The cost to districts is roughly $20 per student per year but can drop to under $10 per student based on a district’s size. A pilot version of Questia’s secondary-school program was tested in 44 schools in Texas, and Williams said 93 percent renewed their licenses.
Sagebrush Corp. demonstrated its latest software solutions for schools: Pinpoint, a smart research tool that helps students find and use the best resources for learning, and Analytics, which enables teachers and administrators to access, analyze, and share information from multiple sources to help drive data-driven decision making and monitor the progress that students and schools are making toward achieving their goals. Sagebrush also profiled the newest releases of its library automation programs–Accent, Athena, and Spectrum–as well as MARC Source, a new, online MARC database that provides access to hundreds of thousands of high-quality, professionally cataloged MARC records that can be copied directly into a school’s library collection.
Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.