Are  databases really necessary?  Can’t all the information students need be freely found on the web?  Learning how to “Google it” or search for information on the Internet is an important skill. However, there are just some things students won’t be able to do or won’t find by just using Google. These ideas were modified from a list compiled by Joyce Valenza

  1. A group of AEA librarians, D.E. consultants., teachers, and other consultants spent much time evaluating these resources. These resources were selected to meet the needs of PK-12 students and teachers.

  2. Most of our resources have audio features that make it easy for students to listen to text being read. Sentences or words can be highlighted as students listen. Some of these resources are read by professional narrators.

  3. Some of our resources make it easy to differentiate content. Several of the online resources have articles on the same topic available in three reading levels. Many of the resources also make it possible to filter by lexile level.  

  4. Unlike many web pages, students won’t have to wonder where the information came from or who is responsible for authoring the information. Content is vetted, reliable, safe and appropriate for students.

  5. It’s easy to cite sources within Iowa AEA Online databases using commonly used citation formats--MLA, APA, etc. Again, students can easily tell where the content is from.

  6. Unlike Google, databases offer filters to help you select type of article or resource needed, date ranges, and reading levels. Advanced searches help students and teachers be more specific about their information needs. Students will no longer find it necessary to sift through millions of Google hits. The results list will much more manageable for student researchers. Most of the content available in the online databases will not be found using the “free” web.

  7. Most if not all, the online resources can be read on a mobile device.

  8. The content found in the online resources is balanced allowing students to consider multiple points of view.

  9. Many resources include dictionaries that are embedded in the content. Immediately access definitions for words you don’t know the meaning to.

  10. Not sure what you’re looking for? Most of the online resources make it easy to browse by subject and topic to help you find what you need.

Most of the online resources allow students to download content to Google Drive or Microsoft making it easy for students to save content and collaborate with each other. Content can also be printed and emailed.