Digital Resources for Learning
by Megan Klein-Hewett
As students of all ages return to school, those of us at the Library are winding down from the hustle and bustle of the Summer Reading Challenge and are looking toward the many tools we offer to students returning to their studies. APL offers a robust selection of online resources to help learners of all ages connect to the world of ideas.
For young learners, the Library subscribes to Bookflix and Tumblebooks. Bookflix is perfect for our youngest learners—pre-k through grade 3—and helps early readers practice important literacy skills by pairing fiction and nonfiction picture books on the same subjects. You’ll also find fun games and videos associated with each selection, and links to explore more on the web. Tumblebooks provides a read-along experience for young readers, and provides books for a wider range of ages, all the way up to chapter books.
Is standardized testing on the horizon? The Library offers tutoring and study guides that can help! Mometrix provides access to study guides for tests across the spectrum, all the way from the Iowa Assessments to college and graduate school exams. There are even study guides for professional exams, such as CDL licensing and electrician and plumber’s exams. Brainfuse Help Now offers tons of helpful services including live tutoring, live help for language learners, and practice tests to help students get prepared for whatever their next big step is.
Whether you are working on your first or fiftieth research paper, the Library has multiple reference resources to provide you with information from verified, fact-checked sources. Britannica Library provides web-based access to the classic encyclopedia so many of us grew up with. As an improvement on the printed books, the web version offers information tailored to audiences of different ages, using language and providing facts that are appropriate for children, young adults, and adults.
Opposing Viewpoints is another perfect research product for young adults and college students working on research papers. This online resource provides information on both sides of a specific topic, and the topics are broad, including everything from energy and environmental topics to societal questions. You’ll find pro/con articles, videos, statistics, and more for 467 issues.
General OneFile provides access to thousands of journal articles and news pieces to support research work at the high school and college level. This resource is a great place to start for general research and provides robust searching tools to help ensure you find what you’re looking for.
Looking for current news sources? Ames Public Library subscribes to both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, so you don’t have to. Visit AmesPublicLibrary.org to get a code that allows 72 hours of access to the newspaper. The best part? You can get a new code as often as you would like, so you don’t have to restrict your access to these important sources.
Last but not least, everyone at the Library believes in lifelong learning, and that our journey to engage with new information never ends. Those of you who are informal learners will be excited to learn that Hoopla streaming service now offers access to The Great Courses and Curiosity Stream videos in the form of BingePasses. A BingePass allows you to use one check out on Hoopla, but gain access to hundreds of items in The Great Courses and Curiosity Stream catalogs. The Kanopy streaming service also offers access to The Great Courses, so if you’re looking to learn about a specific subject, Kanopy is a great place to start your search.
If you’re not sure where to start, or what kind of tools might be most useful to help your learning this fall, be sure to talk to a Library staff member. We are always happy to guide you to a resource, help you find the information you’re looking for, or walk you through how to use a resource.