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#4 Are You Keeping Up Professionally?


Keeping up with your subject matter and all of the changes and demands in education, technology, and educational research to meet student learning needs gets more challenging daily.   INFOhio can help you keep up with no cost and little effort.

srcproEBSCO Professional Search

To address the challenge of keeping current and finding educational research, INFOhio subscribes to EBSCO Professional Search. It is easy to access for all educators in Ohio.

  • Here is a 5 minute Flash tutorial on how to use the EBSCOhost Student Research Center interface with emphasis on the Teacher Resources.
  • Click here to download a pdf document with step-by-step directions on how to access and find education related articles in the EBSCO Professional Search.
  • Click in the Help resources for EBSCO's Multi-Database Search for lists of titles and support information on the EBSCO databases. Check out the titles in the Professional Development Collection, Academic Search Premier, and the Student Research Center.

Go to the Discover section to practice searching in EBSCO and to review the Inquiry and Knowledge Building Process modules.

EBSCO Professional Search

srcproNow that you have a background on ways to keep up professionally, let's take some time to review some of the professional resources. Download discover one or more of the EBSCOhost Professional Development Collection title lists by clicking here. The Professional Development Collection includes academic journals across all disciplines and includes professional organization journals, such as Educational Leadership from ASCD.  Take a look at all of the breadth of full-text periodicals available in other EBSCO databases such as MAS and Academic Search Premier.  Periodical content ranges from personal health to economy, business and technology. Complete several searches on a topic for your own professional development.



The Inquiry and Knowledge Building Process

INFOhio in partnership with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center has created Learning Skills modules to assist teachers in applying ScreenHunter_12_Apr._01_16.18current research on teaching and learning in the classroom. In these modules, classroom videos provide practical application of best instructional practices. To access these modules go to The Inquiry and Knowledge Building Process and click on the module topics: Cues and Questions, Summarizing and Notetaking, Cooperative Learning, Self-Assessment and Reflection. Then click on the Video lilnk from the menu bar.

ScreenHunter_01_Apr._22_14.18You can also access the Learning Skills Modules classroom videos in the INFOhio Learning Commons. Just click on the Learning Skills link.


Watch one of the four videos and then look at the INFOhio resources and the standards aligned with the skill.

The Go Beyond section will introduce ways to share your professional learning using Web 2.0 resources.


In DISCOVER you found the wealth of full-text journal articles available through INFOhio. In this section you will have the opportunity to dig into educational research and learn how to use social bookmarking and tags to save websites and articles so you can find them again from any computer.  If you are interested in developing your own professional page, take a few minutes to review and follow the information on creating a blog.



Educational Research

Take a few minutes to review these resources for additional educational research:


Learn how to access the many educational research materials available through OhioLINK. Check with your local college library to find out how you can access these resources.




kbclogo_med Personal Learning Network & Knowledge Building Community

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is the group of people you connect with to continue your learning.  As you progress through the 21 Things you will be introduced to tools to help you build your own PLN. Watch and listen to Will Richardson as he discusses Personal Learning Networks for adults and children. 


Participate in the Knowledge Building Community and begin building your personal learning network. We will work on other tools to use to develop your PLN in Thing 5.  Here is all you need to do to begin in the KBC.

  • In the INFOhio Learning Commons menu bar, click on Community.
  • Once you are in the community, click on Friends and invite a few people to become your friend.
  • Then click on Groups. You can join a group, begin a group or just read what others are discussing in their groups.
  • If you want, you can begin a blog in the KBC.


Next, play with social bookmarking and blogs -  two tools to help you begin your PLN.


Social Bookmarking

diigo Social bookmarking is a collaborative Web 2.0 tool for tagging and saving bookmarks in the cloud and can be a valuable tool for your professional  development.  With social bookmarking your bookmarks with their notes are available from any computer or handheld device.
  • Watch the video by Lee LeFever, Social Bookmarking in Plain English, for an explanation. 
  • Then, create a Diigo account. You can easily save bookmarks to the resources you find valuable in the 21 Things, providing you easy access later to the websites from any computer.
  • Tag your bookmarks.
    • Tagging  creates your own organizational system for your resources. For example, you can add a tag designating that the site is for school use or home use, what class and unit your will use it with, what semester or nine weeks you will use it, what you want your students to learn, and what kind of tool it is. 
    • You can search for tags in Diigo to find bookmarks that others have saved, adding to your resource library.
    • You can also create lists with your bookmarks to show to others, like a slide show. 


Create an Online Portfolio

Would you like to create an online portfolio?  Would you like to begin a site for professional discussion or participate in ongoing discussions? Blogs can help you do all of these and more. 



Another way to search and collect information from the many digital formats available is curation. Joyce Valenza defines it this way, curation is “the selection and assembly of a focused group of resources into a web-based presentation that meets an identified purpose or need and has meaning for a specific audience. Resources can include traditional library resources, links, instruction, artifacts, widgets, media, ebooks , personal commentary, analysis, more!”  We traditionally associate this word with museum collections. As we collect sources relative to our own interests, we need to develop this skill to collect and organize the best information we have from articles, blogs, searches, rss feeds, twitter, video and more.

Take a look at this School Library Journal article on curation by Joyce Valenza, “Curation is the New Search Skill.” It describes several pathfinder/curation tools.  Some can be used to collect your digital sources, to archive digital sources for yourself and to share. Other tools, like and, can be used to search and to bring new information to you, as well as to collect it to share with others.  Explore the different curation tools to help you keep up-to-date and to teach your students to collect information for their projects.  Take a look at this article, “The Kids Are Curating,” for inspiration. Curation is a 21st century information literacy skill for students and teachers.

Briefly reflect on what you have learned. Explain how you will use the resources from

EBSCO Prokbclogo_medfessional Search, and how you will use one of the following: the Inquiry and Knowledge Building Process, The Knowledge Building Community (KBC), social bookmarking or curation for your own learning and/or in your classroom or school.

To post your response, please use the 21 Things Discussion: Thing #4 in INFOhio's Knowledge Building Commons (KBC).  Click the icon on the right to go directly to the Thing #4 discussion.

Download the My Learning Path document that outlines the objectives and activities for Thing #4. Use My Learning Path as documentation of your 21st century professional development.



You have explored EBSCO’s professional collection. Now it is time to look at what key organizations have identified as important skills for the 21st century learner that relate to Thing 4.


Common Core State Standards

  • CCR Anchor Standard 6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills:  21st Century Student Outcomesstandards

  • Information Literacy: Access and Evaluate Information

AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

ISTE Standards for Students

3.  Research and Information Fluency

ISTE Standards for Teachers

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership


Ohio's New Learning Standards and Model Curriculum

  1. Social Studies
  2. Science
  3. English Language Arts
  4. Mathematics

Download the My Learning Path document that outlines the objectives and activities for Thing #4. Use My Learning Path as documentation of your 21st century professional development.


If you are interested in additional certification and/or credit opportunities, please visit the 21 Things Credit Options by clicking here.

Please complete this
quiz to generate a "Certificate of Accomplishment" for Thing 4. You must answer at least four questions correctly to receive your certificate. The certificate will reflect the date you take the quiz.

Optional Learning Activities
If you are taking the 21 Things for graduate credit, complete the following activity:

Bookmark links to all of the documents and websites you want to save from the 21 Things in your Diigo account, with notes on how you will use them and several tags so that you can find them.  Share the URL for your Diigo account and your bookmarks' tags with your instructor so he or she can check on your use of Diigo. Add some of your other favorite bookmarks to Diigo as well. Make sure you add additional bookmarks throughout the 21 Things course.