We speak to Mrs. Pooja Mathur, who has been working as a Teacher Librarian at The King’s School Senior Library since 2018. Pooja was awarded the ASLA (Australian School Library Association) Early Career Teacher Librarian Award in 2023.
As students explore the world around them, they often search online for information. But many of them find it difficult to tell if what they’re reading online is true.
Pooja Mathur, winner of the 2023 ASLA Early Career Teacher Librarian Award, takes the time to remind her students about the ongoing and ever present need to be wary of where they are sourcing their material.
I tell students that searching for credible, current information on Google is like attempting to pan for gold.
“You have to sift through a lot of garbage before you find a speck of something useful. I tell them that if they use information they find on Google, they risk incorrect citations, unintentional plagiarism, and copyright breaches. Students can find that very overwhelming and a bit of a minefield”.
Access to an Information Goldmine
Instead, Pooja directs students to resources like Britannica School, which serves as the safe alternative to tools like Google. Fully digital, the platform is a go-to online source of reliable, up-to-date knowledge.
An important tool for student-directed learning, the platform allows students to further explore topics that they are learning about in the classroom: from Asteroids to Vikings.
Students know that if they use Britannica School, they will find all the information they need, all the ‘gold’ collected right there for them to use.
“It’s a great launching pad for any research: start with Britannica to find the information you are looking for, and often you won’t need to go anywhere else. With topics the students know nothing about, it’s a great place to start to build knowledge, and if they want to go deeper, they can use the ‘related’ feature to find additional information”.
“What’s great about Britannica School is how user-friendly it is. We use APA7 for citing and referencing information and stress the importance of accurate referencing. Students love Britannica School’s citation feature and the fact it allows them to easily find citation details”.
Britannica School’s Impact on English Language Acquisition
“Britannica School is much-loved by EAL/D (English as a Second Language and Dialect) and LBOTE (Language background other than English) students and educators” says Pooja.
“It has various helpful features that really make a difference for EAL/D and LBOTE students. They can use the platform’s ‘Listen’ feature and follow along, to help them understand the content better. Students also appreciate the ‘Translate’ feature that allows them to translate content into various languages”.
Inspiring Lifelong Learning
In reflecting upon the reasons that Britannica serves as valuable resource for the library, classroom, or at home, Pooja can list several.
It’s definitely value for money. There isn’t a lot out there like Britannica, that contains information for everybody and goes all the way from Kindergarten to Year 12.
“It helps with learning across year groups and across the curriculum, whether that be Australian or IB. It enhances teaching and learning experiences – not just for students, but also staff.
Britannica gives students ownership of their learning as well. For example, the homepage shows them what’s happening around the world in one glance with the ‘News of the Day’ feature. In this day and age of ‘fake news’ the feature ensures students have access to curated, reliable information. If they commence their day with Britannica School, it gives them an enviable start to their academic day.
“Global digital citizenship is a prominent buzz word in education and Britannica really promotes that. It is definitely a must-have for any school looking to prepare their students for a lifetime of learning”.
Britannica delivers instructional solutions that improve classroom outcomes for students around the world. Our approach combines world-class content, pedagogy, instructional design, and technology to deliver award-winning solutions. We serve schools, universities, libraries, governments, ministries of education, and 150+ million students in more than 100 countries worldwide.
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