On the Road with Britannica

August 3, 2017

Top Five Tips from the Britannica Professional Development Team!

As a part of the Britannica Professional Development team, I travel around the country…a lot. While all of this travel can be tiring at times, it’s also – by far – my favorite part of the job. Nope, it’s not the varying quality of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to be found across the USA, and no, it’s not the quirky roadside delights to be found (ESPECIALLY in Texas!). The best part of my job is working with the terrific educators nationwide – teachers, librarians, administrators, paraprofessionals, and aides. Every training session with these great educators sheds light on different ways to use Britannica products.

During back-to-school months the PD team is on the road often, which gives us quite a bit of time to think about how educators use our products! Here are five of my favorite ways to use Britannica School, as shared with me by various educators over my past 11 years with Britannica:

1. Animal Kingdom. One librarian shared with me that she loved to use the Animal Kingdom feature with her Lower Elementary students when they were conducting research for their animal research projects. Instead of letting the students take all of the books off of the shelves and make a mess in her library, she would have those students go to Britannica’s Animal Kingdom first and look around there to choose which animal they wanted to research. Once students had picked an animal from the Animal Kingdom, then they could go to the bookshelves to pick a book. She said that it saved her time and was a great way to introduce her younger users to Britannica School!

2. Resource Packs. Multiple educators throughout the last few years have mentioned how much they love to use Resource Packs as a way to supplement the resources they use in their classrooms. When textbooks come up short with information on different topics, teachers can create Resource Packs about those topics to help extend understanding about those topics. It’s a great tool and so easy to use!

3. Quick Click Dictionary. The Quick Click Dictionary is one of the great unsung heroes of Britannica School. When students come across a word that they don’t know in a Britannica article, they can simply double click on that word, and the definition, along with the pronunciation and a Spanish translation, will pop up in a box below that word. One educator mentioned that in addition to being a great vocabulary builder, this is a great help for classroom management – students don’t need to bother other students to find out the meaning of the word, get out of their seats to grab a dictionary, or interrupt the teacher. They can simply double click on the word to get the definition and continue reading through the article. It’s one of my favorite features!

4. World Atlas/Tour the USA. This feature is another one of my favorites! It combines Britannica information/articles with Google Maps to make a great tool for use in social studies, science, history, and ELA classrooms! Users can zoom into the satellite map to get street views of places all over the world. As students are learning about different places around the world, they can read through the Britannica information for those places (with a simple click) and see those places on the map. One educator mentioned that she couldn’t wait to use this particular tool with her 1st graders when they learn about their own community. Educators and students alike love this one!

5. Curriculum Standards Alignment. Educators love this one, too! You can find the Curriculum Standards alignment within the Elementary and Middle School articles, which is well known. However, you can also find them in the Educator tab in the header across the top of the page. Many educators over the years have mentioned how much they like this feature, and it is a real benefit as they are putting together lesson plans and units for the classroom and library.

To see what the PD team has to offer, visit our PD page or get inspiration from our custom training catalog. From live webinars, to our video channel, to in-person training…we’ve got you covered!