Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TEL Learning Express Library

The Learning Express Library 3.0 offers a wide variety of test prep and tutorials.

Test taking can be stressful, and these days test scores mean a lot. Practicing the exam ahead of time, under similar conditions (timed, on a computer) is a good way to prepare.

Learning Express Library is an online practice test and tutorial center. There are online courses and e-books to help students prepare for, and succeed on, standardized tests. The practice tests are scored instantly and will highlight what needs to be worked on next.  The Learning Express Library can also help students prepare for core subject tests in the classroom, provide extra help with assignments, and boost their skills in many subjects.


To find the Learning Express Library, go to tntel.info

 (You can type it into the address bar or go to the link on the East High Library Reference Page and click on the TEL link.)




From the tntel.info page click on the test prep tab



This tab brings you to the Learning Express link. It also offers certain specific test prep options from the Learning Express Library such as ACT Prep and Job Search.



Click on the Learning Express Library 3.0 link to find the main menu

From here students need to create accounts. Click on the Register link to start.  Students may use their OFFICE 365 email accounts, which will enable them to recover their account if they forget their password.  (OFFICE 365 email addresses are typically the login one uses to access the computers @students.hcboe.net- for example: smithk@students.hcboe.net)

Students enter their email and school id number to create an account with the Learning Express Library. 



Now that the account is open, proceed to the School Center by scrolling through the center icons OR by choosing ALL CENTERS and selecting College Prep Center.


This center offers test prep for the ACT, the SAT, AP exams as well as the PSAT/NMSQT.

From the College Prep Center,

choose Prepare for Your ACT test.


There are three ways to prepare:

  • A comprehensive tutorial,

  • Practice tests,

  • E-Books

To choose the practice tests, click open the link, then pick your subject. Each of the four subjects have four practice tests.
If you choose Math, you will see the four tests. Choosing one leads you to this page, where you can choose to take a Simulation test which stops after the allotted time, a Practice test that explains the answers after test completion, or a Learner test which answers each question as you complete them.



TEL also offers classroom tutorials and practice tests.

To find high school resources, choose the School Center from the icon menu or from the All Centers drop down menu



This leads to the School menu.  



Choose High School to access the resources available.



You may launch any tutorial or test.  They will be saved in "My Center" for future use.


You may also go back and collect more items for you center, returning later to take the tests or read the e-book.



There are SO very many career and test prep options on the Learning Express Library, including PRAXIS prep.  This amazing, free resource at your fingertips on tntel.info 

Monday, November 4, 2013

TEL Database Training - Social Studies

TEL Database Training - Social Studies

About the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL):

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is a virtual library that you can access from your home pc, your school library computer lab, or your iPhone – anywhere with an internet connection. TEL provides access to over 400,000 electronic resources, including magazines, scholarly journals, podcasts, videos, e-books, test preparation materials, federal census records, Tennessee primary source materials, and more! - http://tntel.tnsos.org/about.htmhttp://tntel.tnsos.org/about.htm  

TEL has amazing resources. However, its size makes navigation tricky.  Which is why we are offering individual training units, to make it more user friendly. 

Tip # 1 - Do not use the "Search for Article" box in the center of the homepage.

What you'll learn to do instead:

  • Use World Book and Student Resources in Context
  • Find Specific Social Studies TEL Database options
  • Utilize links on the Library Reference Page

Go to TEL by typing tntel.info tntel.info




Just as the print version held a wealth of information, so does the digital option. There are multiple versions of World Book online; for most high school students the Advanced option is a good choice.

Click on the A ( the drafting compass) to select the advanced version

Here you will find a search box and news feed and research tools.  I won't go into much else here except to say that every article has a built in MLA citation at the bottom of the page.  Students can look up the type of simple, fact based information they might seek from Wikipedia, except here they have a reputable source and ready made citation.  This is a great place to get basic info at the beginning of a project.

The biggest trouble with World Book is the lack of a return to TEL button. This is a great chance to repeat the tntel.info address.  It is a simple address so if students can learn it they will always have quick access to its resources.

Onto Student Resources in Context

Underneath that contrary "search for article" box you will find TEL shortcuts.  the homework tab is open by default and there we find the Student Resources in Context button:

student resources

Clicking here leads to a page with current events and a much more user friendly search box.

Here your students can enter a search query and find a variety of information sources.  For example a search of "Diwali" returns encyclopedia , reference, magazine and newspaper articles. 

Source types are clearly identified.  Every article on here also presents a built in source citation.  Student Resources in Context is a terrific second step in the research process.  There are expanded returns from multiple types of sources, including audio and video.

Student Resources in Context does feature a return to my library button on the upper right corner. So click that and we can explore more of what TEL has to offer specific to Social Studies.

Select TEL Databases

Under that "Search for Articles" box you will find the best way to navigate the various database.

Browse Resources by: School Grades | Subject | ALL TEL Databases | Advanced Search

Click on ALL TEL Databases

All TEL Databases

Academic OneFile (Gale)
Agriculture Collection (Gale)
Books and Authors (Gale)
Business, Economics, and Theory Collection (Gale)
Business Insights: Essentials (Gale)
Career Transitions (Gale)
Communications and Mass Media Collection (Gale)
Criminal Justice Collection (Gale)
Culinary Arts Collection (Gale)
Diversity Studies Collection (Gale)
Educator's Reference Complete (Gale)
Environmental Studies and Policy Collection (Gale)
Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale)
Fine Arts and Music Collection (Gale)
Gale Database Selection (Gale)
Gale Virtual Reference Library (e-books) (Gale)
Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture Collection (Gale)
Gender Studies (Gale)
General Business File ASAP (Gale)
General OneFile (Gale)
General Reference Center Gold (Gale)
Health and Wellness Resource Center (Gale)
Health Reference Center Academic (Gale)
HeritageQuest Online (ProQuest)
Home Improvement Collection (Gale)
Hospitality, Tourism, and Leisure Collection (Gale)
Informe! (Gale)
InfoTrac Information Science and Library Issues Collection (Gale)
InfoTrac NewsStand (Gale)
InfoTrac Small Business Collection (Gale)
InfoTrac Vocations, Careers, and Technical Education Collection (Gale)
Insurance and Liability Collection (Gale)
Junior Edition (Gale)
Junior Edition - K12 (Gale)
Kids InfoBits (Gale)
Kids Page
Knoxville News Sentinel Newspaper (Gale)
LearningExpress Library (LearningExpress)
Literature Resource Center (Gale)
Military & Intelligence Database (Gale)
National Newspaper Index (Gale)
Nursing and Allied Health Collection (Gale)
Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale)
Pop Culture Collection (Gale)
Popular Magazines (Gale)
PowerSearch (Gale)
Powerspeak Languages (Gale) NEW!
Professional Collection (Gale)
Psychology Collection (Gale)
Religion & Philosophy Database (Gale)
Science Database (Gale)
Scribner's Writers Online (Gale)
Small Business Resource Center (Gale)
Southern Life (Gale)
Student Edition (Gale)
Student Edition - K12 (Gale)
Student Resources in Context (Gale)
Tennessee Records (Ancestry.com)
Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA)
Tennessee's Landmark Documents
Tennesseean (ProQuest)
Twayne's Authors Online (Gale)
U.S. History Collection (Gale)
Volunteer Voices
War and Terrorism Collection (Gale)
World Book Encyclopedia
World History Collection (Gale)

There are specific collection on both US and World History as well as access to Pop Culture collections and Business and Economic resources.  The Knoxville News Sentinel and the Nashville Tennessean are both available here. 

(If you ever encounter a password prompt, the password for all TEL databases is elvis.)

Let's Check out one of the databases

Click on World History

You can see that it is possible to limit your search to only full text article, peer reviewed articles and articles with images.  Default selection is full text.  If you are assigned academic journals as references, the peer reviewed option should also be checked.

A search of World War II offers over 3000 returns

The best search term is often very broad. That allows the researcher to limit the returns after the search, rather than turn up an empty return.  Here you can see that it is possible to limit the returns by :

Limit Search by

Publication Dates:

So with a bit of narrowing, the search return becomes more manageable and more precise. (Hint - brief articles are often a good fit for students.  They are not overwhelming and typically make their point concisely.)
Each of the specific databases work this way and once again they all feature MLA source citations at the bottom of the page.  The Gale databases feature a Return to My Library button on the top right of the page.

I would be remiss if I didn't show you the resources available on the Library Reference Page

Under this photo on the top right side of the Reference page are subject links
  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Colleges & Test Prep
  • Career & Technical Education
  • Art, Music, Foreign Language, Wellness, & Driver Education

  • Clicking on the Social Studies tab leads to a wealth of resources.

    Many of them are TEL databases with which you are now familiar.  There are a host of other great links here to check out.

    Social Studies

    General Resources

    Diversity Studies Collection from TEL
    HeritageQuest - census and genealogy data, username is HAMBLENCOK12, password is welcome
    Pop Culture Collection from TEL
    War & Terrorism Collection from TEL
    World History Collection from TEL

    Government & Economics

    Business Economics & Theory Collection from TEL
    Public Policy Research - Project Citizen
    American Presidents
    The Presidents - from PBS
    Presidents of the US - from the White House
    First Ladies' Biographies from the White House
    National First Ladies Library

    History & Geography

    PRB Population Data Sheet 2010
    U.S. History Collection from TEL
    CIA World Factbook
    National Geographic Travel & Cultures
    Population Reference Bureau Data Finder - find up-to-date statistics for states and countries including population, birth & death rates, life expectancy, poverty data, and more
    Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
    WorldAtlas.com - world and country maps, population data, currency converter, and GPS calibration

    Starting Points for Ihle's Antebellum Reform Project
    SweetSearch - web results approved by librarians!
    American Memory - writings by your reformer or about your reformer by their contemporaries
    Gale Virtual Reference Library - ebooks from TEL - not searched through PowerSearch, some good things here not available on the wider web
    TEL PowerSearch - choose all cross-searchable products under the search box
    Google Scholar - if you absolutely must use Google, use this one - uncheck box next to show citations to just get entire books/articles

    Starting Points for Ihle's Progressivism Project
    Child Labor in America - photos by Lewis Hine
    Modules on Major Topics in American History - includes major movements, events, and time periods
    Making Sense of Documentary Photography
    George Plunkitt on Shame of the Cities
    Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
    Primary Source Sets - from Library of Congress, by topic or time period
    Urban Experience in Chicago - Hull House & Its Neighborhoods 1889-1963

    Primary Sources

    American Memory - from the Library of Congress
    From Revolution to Reconstruction
    Our Documents.Gov - includes 100 milestone documents
    Primary Documents in American History - from Library of Congress - includes documents from 1763-1877
    Digitized Primary American History Sources
    Primary Resources Digital Library - Calisphere
    Slavery Images

    Decades & Timelines

    Achive Timelines - from Infoplease
    History by Decades
    Pop Culture Collection from TEL
    Timeline of the 20th Century - includes tab for Decade by Decade
    Timeline Index - view timelines for various different topics

    Greek and Roman

    Encyclopedia Mythica
    Theoi Greek Mythology
    Religion & Philosophy Database
    Ancient Greece - The British Museum
    TEL World History Collection

    Holocaust Resources

    Anti-Defamation League Holocaust Resources
    Tennessee Holocaust Commission
    Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs & Heroes
    U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum


    Psychology Collection from TEL
    American Psychological Association
    Encyclopedia of Psychology
    History & Philosophy of Psychology Web Resources
    mpower - musicians for mental health

    Dream Interpretation
    DreamMoods - Dream Dictionary (blocked at school)
    Experience Project - Dream Dictionary (blocked at school)

    IQ Tests
    IQ Test - International High IQ Society, 36 questions, 9 minutes
    IQ Test Version A, 109 questions, 40 mins - Queendom  (blocked at school)
    Learning Styles
    Abiator's Online Learning Styles Inventory Test 1
    Abiator's Online Learning Styles Inventory Test 2
    Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire  - from NC State
    Learning Styles - VARK Questionnaire
    Personality Tests
    Big Five
    Jung Typology Test  (blocked at school)

    World Religions

    ReligiousTolerance.org - Information about many world religions and topics related to religion
    BBC World Religions - more in-depth coverage of several major world religions
    ReligionFacts.com - Brief articles about many different religions. See the Big Religion Chart for comparisons between different religions
    National Study for Youth and Religion - survey information from 2001 to present and links to other resources regarding the study of youth religious experience and attitudes