Mary Schwander, New Hope-Solebury High School
Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School

Control the information - don't let the information control you.

Information Fluency involves three skills: Information Literacy, Technology Literacy and Critical Thinking. The use of these skills gives students the "ability to perform effectively in an information-rich and technology-intensive environment." (U. of Central Florida

Search Tools

Beyond Google - 15 Tools and Strategies for Improving Your Web Search Results -

Kids' search posters revisited!

Reframing Google's search options

Google Apps

Google Custom Search
Use Google Custom Searches on your Pathfinders to help students search specific sites for specific units.
See this example for a Shakespeare assignment.

Google News - Google Timeline



Google Scholar
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Image Swirl
Google Squared
Categorized search results which can be customized.


Google Fast Flip

WallWisher for data collection, backchanneling and more

Other Search Engines

Clusty - clusters results in categories
Sweet Search - with a new directory for school libraries!
Wolfram Alpha

Alerts and RSS Feeds

Google Alert


Visit this guide for ideas on how students can use Twitter to gather information for research and collaborate for projects.

Use Twitter hashtags to follow Tweets on a particular subject, such as the One Book One Twitter promotion.

Follow authors (or any other Twitter lists!) by using Twitter List Widget

TwtPoll - Students can use this polling tool to gather information for research or a project.

Information Management

Joyce's Pathfinders
Polling tools


Embedded widgets on your library website help students and teachers easily get to the information they need.
New Tools: Widgets

Book Widgets

Add virtual bookshelves to your website which announce "New Arrivals", "Summer Reading", or class book lists, or add searchable book widgets to search inside books.
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Google Books - embed a searchable book on your site OR add a Google Books widget which allow users to search for books.
KidderLit - A Twitter widget which reports first lines of children's or young adult books
Scholastic Book Wizard Widget - allows you to search by title, author or keyword

Databases & Bookmark Widgets

Many databases offer widget options so that users can search from the library website
Gale Widgets

AskHere PA
Ask Here PA - Live Answers to Your Questions, 24/7
EBSCO Widgets
ProQuest Widgets

Diigo LinkRolls - share your bookmarks with a widget on your site
Diigo TagRolls - Display bookmarks with certain tags
Delicious LinkRolls
Delicious TagRolls

News & Information Widgets

CNN News
Discovery News
New York Times Widgets
Reuters Widgets
Wall Street Journal Market Widgets
USA Today

Presentation Widgets

Embed guides and presentations on your website to instruct your patrons how to navigate research tools, manage their library materials, or any other step-by-step guides.
Google Presentations (such as the ones embedded above for Google Apps!)

Widget Tools & Builders

Widget Box


Embed, link, or email screencasts of tutorials and guides to your students and teachers.

Avi Screen
CAM Studio
Copernicous - for Macs
iShowU - for Macs
Screen Jelly
Screen Toaster

Social Bookmarking & Notetaking

Social bookmarking sites aren't just for keeping track of all your favorite websites - they also allow you to easily share "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" with colleagues and students. Some of the social bookmarking apps also have options for embedding "linkrolls" onto your website which work well with Pathfinders (see "Widgets" above). Groups can also be created allowing classes, teams or departments to collaborate and develop a list of tagged websites.

  • Special educator accounts are available so that teachers can set-up classes
    Click here for tutorials on how you can use Diigo for research, sharing and collaborating.

Edu Tagger - for K-12 Social Bookmarking
Google Bookmarks - select sites as you surf Google; Google Lists are now available also! is a great way to compile multiple websites and present them as a single URL. Adding sites is as easy as copying and pasting URLs into a blank. Once all sites are added, then the address is created and the websites can be interacted with, individually and all sites can be scrolled through and interacted with. This is of great use when compiling electronic resources for teachers and projects once they have been looked at by resource gatherers.
Jog the Web - take your students or staff on a tour of saved websites
Stumble Upon

Evernote - for storing and organizing information; see this clever video on the benefits of Evernote ("Information doesn't control Jill, Jill controls information!").
Noodletools- a citation machine that has notecards that students can drop into their outline.
Zotero- advanced students can use this Firefox add-on to collect citations, snapshots of webpages, and take notes.
Ubernote- You can send twitter messages to your notes in Ubernote, use a firefox ad-on, and more!


Portals are starting points for students or staff to help them begin a search for information. It can consist of widgets, lists, links and more.



Citation Tools

Noodletools- A free version offers MLA only citation help, but if you purchase the package for your school, students can choose a citation format, save their lists, take notes and make outlines.
EasyBib- Search by ISBN or keyword on books, and all of your information is filled out automatically! Free MLA, costs $ for additional formats.
KnightCite- Quick-and-dirty, cut-and-paste, with plenty of options
Zotero- For more advanced users, this Firefox plug-in can integrate with MSWord. Has ISBN lookup so you can enter books automatically. Also takes snapshots of webpages. You can take notes, too!

Presentation Tools

MuseumBox is a great way for students to show off what they know, and comment on other student's work. Here's an example of a finished one.