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ProQuest Platinum Newsletter contents:
  1. Platinum & ProQuest CSA Updates
  2. Classroom Activities
  3. Get Credit: Free Training Opportunities
  4. CultureGrams in Focus
  5. Top 3 Websites
  6. Call for User Testimonials
  7. Email Service Information

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     May 2007






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Enclosed is this month's free newsletter for ProQuest® Platinum subscribers. This newsletter is designed to help teachers, librarians, and administrators stay informed about the latest changes to their subscriptions, while providing classroom resources and tips for using their ProQuest CSA solutions in a variety of settings.

Don't miss our online archive for access to past issues, and to make changes to your newsletter options.


PROQUEST EDUCATION SOLUTION UPDATES

Our product development team is constantly reviewing customer feedback and making changes to our learning resources to meet your needs. Several updates to our ProQuest CSA family of products were recently completed, and we wanted to bring them to your attention.

ProQuest Podcast: PDF Printing Tips & Tricks

ProQuest Historical Newspapers is a meticulously crafted, hand-picked primary-source collection covering the 25 fundamental topics of junior-high and high-school history curricula. Emphasizing ease of use and educational value, the Student Edition gives students an indispensable tool for studying U.S. history.

In this month’s podcast, we’ll show you how to print the sources you uncover in HNP -- or any ProQuest CSA solution offering PDF files, such as Platinum and other metal series offerings. With just a few minutes of instruction, you’ll see how easy it is to output the items you need for your research. Let’s get started...

To view this month's video, subscribe to a ProQuest CSA podcast channel today. Plus, don’t miss our free monthly Web training sessions, which are eligible for CEU credit.

Newsletter Upgrades Ahead: August Relaunch

Over the past few months, our content and design teams have been working tirelessly to update our monthly newsletters. The result: all-new designs, new titles covering history and elementary topics, and more!

1. New, easier-to-read designs -- Next school year, all-new versions of our newsletters will arrive in your emailbox.

The new versions are designed to be a smaller, more concise, and easier to read, with clear links to “the full story.” That means much less searching, reading, and scrolling. We’ve also separated the solution-specific information from our generic content and other items to save you time.

2. Less email -- Each newsletter will only be sent 3-4 times during the year, instead of the current monthly cycle. Plus, SIRS ChallengeQuests and SIRS Spotlights will now be offered inside ProQuest Teachable Moments -- another step towards reducing the total number of messages you may receive.

3. New newsletters -- Interested in history or elementary-focused content?

Our new History Happenings and Explorations newsletters make it easy to tap into our history (Historical Newspapers, History Study Center, SIRS Decades, World Conflicts Today) and elementary-level solutions (eLibrary Elementary, SIRS Discoverer).

4. State-specific versions -- Instead of signing up for several newsletters that cover the two or more state-wide ProQuest CSA solutions you may currently receive, we’re offering a slate of state-specific newsletters that cover them all in a single message. This will also reduce the amount of emails you receive from us, while increasing the relevance and usability of each issue.

The state newsletters being developed currently cover Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Utah. More states will be added in the coming months based on how these initial offerings fare.

5. Fresh content and updates -- We’re also working hard to shake up our content offerings to ensure the usefulness and applicability of every article.

Don’t miss out! Connect to our newsletters subscription page and update your profile to add our fresh slate of newsletters which debut in August. To see the full list of newsletters and sign up someone who’s new to our newsletters, connect to this page.

Have a question, idea, or concern? Let us know by sending a message to tim.mclain@il.proquest.com today.

New Science Content: NYT Science Times

Our popular eLibrary Science solution now offers access to the New York Times – Science Times section. This material appears every Tuesday, offering topical science coverage in an easy-to-read format which is the perfect compliment to our academic peer reviewed journals.

School librarians were very vocal in their request for this material, and we’re proud to be the only K-12 science research solution providing access to this top-rated material.

All 2006 content is complete; 2007 is in our production que.

To find the material, login to eLibrary Science (or sign up for a free trial), select Publications browse, then click the Magazine icon. Once the content is complete, this material will appear under the Newspapers icon.

ProQuest Civil War Era: Launched

ProQuest Civil War Era, a new digital resource that makes researching the American Civil War and its context more direct and complete than ever before, is now available from ProQuest CSA.

ProQuest Civil War Era is the first research solution to collect, digitize and combine in a single search platform the era's key newspapers and activist publications, creating a comprehensive view of not only the years of battle, but also the factors leading to war.
  • Why did territorial expansion fuel the slavery argument to the point of civil war?
  • Was there more to the Southern argument than just a defense of slavery?
  • What were the reasons for Northern aversion to the Lincoln administration?
  • Was Emancipation driven by great humanitarian impulses or the necessities of war?
More than just battles, ProQuest Civil War Era explores the key political and social viewpoints of the period as well.

Available on the ProQuest platform, ProQuest Civil War Era can be cross-searched with ProQuest Historical Newspapers and American Periodicals Series Online. For more information, preview the ProQuest Civil War Demo today.


"While a plethora of Civil War resources are available, ProQuest Civil War Era is the only one to digest coverage of both the 4-years of military battle and the 'war of words' that severed North from South into a truly comprehensive resource, said Barbara Beach, vice president of publishing for ProQuest CSA. "The content in this collection has been digitized material previously available only in print or film formats, fulfilling a growing need for primary source material related to the Civil War and its historical and societal context."

You can reach a ProQuest CSA representative at 1.800.521.0600 EXT. 3344, or via email to pqsales@il.proquest.com.

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PLATINUM CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

When do you get time to read for pleasure and what do you read?

May is Get Caught Reading Month. Students usually don’t have time to read anything but assigned books during the school year. So, summer vacation provides students with the time and opportunity to read what they want. Teachers can use this month to begin building interest in vacation pleasure reading by involving them in research activities about popular fiction and nonfiction books.

Activity: ProQuest Platinum book reviews can help students select some of the possibilities for their summer reading pleasure, whether it’s just fantasy or self-improvement (and education). A good way to get ideas is to access lists of the recent best sellers:

First: Searching for a best seller
  1. Click the Publications search tab > “N” in the alphabetical search tool.
  2. Scroll and click New York Times Book Review > New York > most recent date
  3. Scroll down and click Best Sellers.
  4. Review the list of books and their descriptions.
  5. Select three titles of interest: at least one must be nonfiction
Second: Locate book reviews
  1. Type the selected book's name in the Search box in quotes (example: "The Da Vinci Code") and click Search.
  2. Scroll through the Results list to find information and/or reviews of the book and author.
  3. Repeat the above steps until you have found at least three books that can make your summer reading list.
Using the reviews, summarize the significant points that appeal to your personal interests and why you have decided to read these books.

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CULTUREGRAMS™ IN FOCUS

CultureGrams can help you broaden your students' understanding of the world and its peoples. The World Edition includes 190+ country profiles, written for junior high students and older. CultureGrams also has a Kids Edition, Provinces Edition, and a States Edition, geared for upper elementary students. These editions include kid-friendly profiles of 70+ countries, all 50 states (including Washington, D.C.), and the Canadian provinces.

CultureGrams goes beyond mere facts and figures to deliver an insider's perspective on daily life and culture, including the history, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.

  • Capital: Rome
  • Population: 58,103,033 (rank=22)
  • Area, sq. mi.: 116,305 (rank=69)
  • Area, sq. km.: 301,230
  • Real GDP per capita: $27,119
  • Adult literacy rate: 99% (male); 99% (female)
  • Infant mortality rate: 4 per 1,000 births
  • Life expectancy: 77 (male); 83 (female)
Did You Know?
  • In Italy, pulling down the lower eyelid with a finger is a way of acknowledging someone's cleverness.
  • Italians refer to one another by their city of origin (Milanese, Roman, Florentine, etc.).
  • Nearly every city and town honors the local patron saint with an annual celebration.
Population
There is increasing concern about the country's birthrate, one of the lowest in Europe, because Italy's population is expected to decline significantly in the coming decades. Around 67 percent of Italians live in urban areas. Rome is the capital and the largest city, with more than 2.5 million people. Most of the country's inhabitants are ethnic Italians, but there are small groups of ethnic Germans, French, and Slovenes, as well as Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians. Although Italy historically has lost many citizens to emigration, the nation has experienced a large influx of immigrants in the last two decades.

Language
Italian is the official language, although dialects differ from city to city. The Florentine and Roman dialects had a major influence on modern Italian. Most youths also speak English, the most common second language; older generations prefer to speak French. Significant French-, German-, and Slovene-speaking minorities exist. An ethnic minority in Tyrol speaks Ladin, a Romance language native to northern Italy.

General Attitudes
Adopting practices of their German and Austrian neighbors, people in the industrialized north traditionally value punctuality, reliability, organization, and economic success. They often are less relaxed and view time as a resource not to be wasted. They take pride in having a low tolerance for criminality and public corruption. Southerners are appreciated for their warm character and friendliness. They enjoy a leisurely life and take their time doing business. Family values prevail in the south and are often more appreciated than economic success.

Personal Appearance
Italians take pride in their appearance and tend to dress up for occasions as common as an evening stroll or a casual visit. Italians seldom wear dirty, worn, or sloppy clothing. Although attitudes vary among the younger generation, many people base their opinions of others on how they dress. In many cities, clothing and shoe shops are more plentiful than bakeries. Italy is a major center of the European fashion industry. Youths throughout the country follow the latest fashion trends, often wearing expensive, brand-name clothing.

To find out more about CultureGrams, connect to our website today.

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TOP 3 WEBSITES

Each month, our SIRS® WebSelect and SIRS® Discoverer WebFind editorial teams scour the Internet for top-quality sites that help teachers teach and students learn. Although no Internet site can supplant a quality research database, these vetted resources offer unique resources that are sure to be of interest.
Imperial Washington
Organization: American RadioWorks, American Public Media

"Members of Congress face many temptations, such as special interests who want to them on free trips golfing or fishing, to Bermuda or Wimbledon. But voters are demanding reform. Here, we look at how the perks lawmakers enjoy make it tough to clean up government, and what happens when newcomers try to play the lobbying game." (AMERICAN RADIOWORKS, AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA)

Sounds of China PodPage
Organization: ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center

"In this audio series we explore unique aspects of Chinese music through sounds, performance and interviews. Users can listen online, download individual files, or subscribe to the Podcast....In this series, you will hear three episodes that each explores a different aspect of Chinese music--the endangered music of the Yunnan peoples; the traditional sounds of the pipa, bamboo flute, qin and other Chinese instruments; and the creative space between them, where sounds ancient and avant-garde intersect." (ARTSEDGE, THE KENNEDY CENTER)

When Things Get Small
Organization: UCSD-TV

"What could a stadium-sized bowl of peanuts, a shrinking elephant, and a crazed hockey player have to do with nanoscience? Those are just some of the goofy excursions that await you when witty host Adam Smith and wacky physicist Ivan Schuller take you on an irreverent, madcap, comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known." (UCSD-TV)

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PROQUEST CSA TRAINING: ONLINE

Our product trainers are standing by to help you get the most out of your subscription -- and learn more about our other digital learning resources! We offer a wide variety of online training sessions each month.

Plus, all attendees can easily obtain a Certificate of Attendance (right) for any of our online courses! The certificate documents the course name, amount of class time, date, and verifies attendance. You can use the certificate to document attendance in the class and submit it along with the additional documentation your school district requires for continuing education credits.

Be sure to tell your trainer that you would like to receive a certificate via email at the start of each class. They’ll be glad to help!

You can download three ready-to-print versions of forthcoming training dates and times in PDF format. Our training sessions cover after-school hours within several time zones. Best of all, there's no cost to participate. All you need is a computer with Internet access, a phone, and one hour.

Register for an ProQuest Platform (Platinum+) or additional ProQuest CSA solution course today.

You may also sign up for a timely enewsletter to receive training dates each month via email as soon as they're available.

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CALL FOR USER TESTIMONIALS

“My teachers, students and I continue to be very pleased with our ProQuest database. One of the best search results I've had in the last year is a student in a biology class that was researching avian flu around the world."

"Each pair of students had a particular country to investigate. The example I use when explaining to parents, school board members, legislators and others how useful this tool is, is the students whose country was Romania. I always show the students how to use the advanced search screen, telling them what a sophisticated search strategy they're learning. These students put in Avian flu and Romania, connecting their terms with AND. They got 12 results, all of them trustworthy, reliable, etc. Number one on the list was a story less than 24 hours old from the BBC. Such a source would never have been available in the days of Readers' Guide!”

Ellie Goldstein-Erickson
Library Media Teacher
Berkeley High School Library
What features of your ProQuest CSA solutions do you and your students find the most useful? Have you recently used or are planning to use Platinum or another ProQuest Platform solution as part of an assignment or student research project? How do you and other curriculum leaders in your institution use your ProQuest CSA educational resources?

Share your experiences with peers working in schools across the country and around the world--through an upcoming Product News Bulletin! We're waiting to hear from you. Please send your ideas and stories to: tim.mclain@il.proquest.com

If we choose your submission, we'll contact you for additional information and permission to use your story in a future issue.

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FORWARD TO A COLLEAGUE + EMAIL SERVICE INFORMATION

Increase the usage of your digital learning resources! Our forward-to-a-friend service makes it easy to instantly send this product bulletin -- and all the great ideas and information it contains -- to others in your subscribing institution with a click of your mouse.

Also, be sure to encourage them to sign up for our SIRS, CultureGrams, ProQuest, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, eLibrary, eLibrary Curriculum Edition, and additional enewsletters as appropriate.

To change your email address, sign up for additional newsletter titles, or modify your subscription settings, click here.

ProQuest offers a growing family of K-12 classroom-focused, subscription-based online research tools. Many of these education solutions offer reading level-linked (lexile) content, support 21st-century information literacy skills, and help schools differentiate instruction across all curriculum areas.

Learn more about all of our tools here, tap into our training resources and videos, and don't miss our new eLibrary research tool (more). We also have a pair of special resource pages just for teachers (with lesson plans) and librarians.

DCSIMG


Cordially,
Your ProQuest CSA Team

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