Category Archives: Library Resources

Support Student Support!

You are the mighty instructor! You wield a powerful presence in your students’ lives, offering education and enabling growth. As a sorcerer of learning, it’s no wonder students turn to you for guidance in their academic or professional careers.

SuperSupportBut … what if you’re unable to help? You don’t want to let them down, and you certainly don’t want to give inferior advice or assistance. Here’s the exciting part – not only does Macomb employ knowledgeable faculty; the college also has a great number of support staff dedicated to helping students in their courses, their degrees, and even their future careers! And even though students may know about these departments, it may be easier for them to go to a teacher they know and trust.

Our advice? Check out the list below and get to know the student support areas at Macomb.

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Three Strategies for Finding Hidden Information on the Internet

Surfing the Web Vs. Diving into its Depths: How do you find information?

Surfing the Web vs. Diving into its Depths: How do you find information?

It’s crunch time! We’ve passed the semester midpoint, and final papers and projects are nearing their due dates. Some of your students may be beginning their final projects. Others have not looked at project requirements since January. Regardless of their progress, they are all susceptible to one fatal flaw: unfamiliarity with how to effectively conduct research on the web.

Even the Millennials, born in the Internet era, can make the mistake of narrowing the depth of their research to “Googling it.” Google, Yahoo and Bing, three commonly known search engines, are still not the greatest knowledge sources that lie at our fingertips. In fact, they barely skim the surface of the Internet. Continue reading

MACUL to the Rescue! A Professional Organization for Educators

This post comes to us from guest Blogger Heather Mayernik, Professor of Reading.   If you are a Macomb faculty and have an idea you’d like to share, contact us!  We are always looking for writers.   -CTL staff

It’s dark, an internal cave, there’s a light, gleaming at the edge. Trying to escape from this cave can be near impossible, but when you’re guided, it suddenly becomes much simpler. The same can be said for learning, which is why there are teachers. But sometimes, even teachers need help, need something to supplement their fallible knowledge. There are places that can help educate the educators, show them new techniques to then use in the classroom. One of these is MACUL, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning.

The Organization
MACUL is a free professional organization.  The staff and members support teachers who desire to learn about technology and integrate it into their classrooms.  Our classrooms at Macomb are full of digital learners, and classroom teaching is enhanced with new media such as video clips and informational slides.  Teachers require students to continue academic conversations outside of the classroom using social media, for example Twitter and Tumblr.  Students share with classmates, and even get help from free internet resources.  As a teacher of these students, we can look to MACUL for help as we master the use of new technology tools and explore ways technology can support instruction with our students.  The best things about MACUL are the website, conferences, and journal, all of which are free to members.

The MACUL Website
The MACUL website offers opportunities to learn and share with other teachers. The website can be accessed at  After signing up, a teacher can read and participate in discussion forums in MACUL SPACE.  Here you can see  some of the current discussions.


Also, there is a link to the Michigan Electronic Library  on the resources page of the MACUL website.  Becoming a member is easy if you have a Michigan library card or driver’s licence.  Here a teacher can find resources and webinars about technology. They can also share this tool with students, and provide them with easily accessible ebooks and databases.

Another helpful link on the MACUL site is The 21 Things for the 21st Century Educator.  This is a free professional development training created by MACUL members and a few ISDs around the state.  Topics including flipping the classroom, online interactive learning tools and computer basics are explored in a hands-on, easy to follow format.  Below are some of the topics to choose from:

  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Digital story telling
  • Digital Images
  • Virtual Session Recordings
  • Content Area Tools

The MACUL Conference
MACUL offers many small conferences throughout the year; however, the largest conference is located in Detroit’s Cobo Hall over the weekend of March 20-22, 2013.  The theme this year is Blending Technology & Curriculum for Today’s Learner.  This conference attracts national speakers and exhibitors, and more information about the conference is on the MACUL website.
Conference Link

When members sign up for MACUL they have the opportunity to join a special interest group (SIG).  At a MACUL conference SIG’s hold special meetings and pre-conference sessions. These are usually smaller sessions for more individual discussion. This is a great time to meet other teachers interested in similar technologies.
Special Interest Group Sessions

The MACUL Journal
The MACUL quarterly publication that comes with the MACUL membership is delivered to member’s homes.  It is full of helpful articles on current classroom technology practices. Examples of these articles are….
Spring 2013 MACUL Journal
Winter 2013 MACUL Journal

Ultimately, MACUL offers various ways for teachers to better their ability to use technology in the classroom and find new ideas to try. Whether a teacher visits a conference and holds discussions with their fellow educators or reads articles on technology in the available journal, there are multiple ways to learn. It’s always helpful to have a hand guiding through an ever-growing expanse of new ideas, and whether a teacher prefers reading online or talking in person, there is a way for everyone to grow.

Finally, Something Worth Giving Extra Credit For.

” Is there any extra credit?” Don’t you hate that question?  Even if you are not an clip art newsboyextra credit bestowing softy, this might be worth it trying so please read on.  Math Professor Mel Ackerman has an answer to that question and it is YES! Professor Ackerman encourages her students to help themselves by attening Macomb’s Student Succes Seminars.  These offer students an opportunity to learn strategies that will enhance their ability to succeed in college. The seminars, which are free to Macomb students and earn 0.1 CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credit per session, take place in the Learning Centers.   Students need  to bring their student ID to register.  Students who attend 10 or more different sessions during a two year period will be awarded a certificate of completion!

Professor Ackerman has her students register for these seminars through WebAdvisor.  At the end of the semester the students print out thier non-credit transcript.  They are given 2 points for each seminar.  Great idea, right?

student giving a thumbs upHere is how you can kick it up a notch.

If a student chooses to attend a seminar, have them write a short paragraph on what they learned in the seminar and how they have implemented what they learned in their studied, not limited to your course.  Or have your students write out a study plan based on your course.  Now isn’t that worth extra credit?

Click here for the Student Success Seminar Schedule

Help your Students Research, Write, and Stay Informed.

Here is the scenario: You want your students to write a persuasive or argumentative essay about a current topic.  Typical assignment, right? Except you have some concerns.

  • How do students pick a topic?
  • How does the student get relevant, accurate and balanced sources in a timely manner?
  • How do they cite and share their sources?
  • Your students do not have very strong organization, writing or research skills and you DON’T have time to devote a lesson to all three skill sets.

We have a helpful tool  it’s called Opposing Viewpoints in Context.  It is a free database for students and teachers available through MeL,  (Michigan e-Library)  Opposing Viewpoints in Context is the premier online resource covering today’s contested social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change, Health Care to Immigration. Opposing Viewpoints in Context helps students research, analyze and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments.  This is an extremely rich resource and will definitely be one of your most powerful teaching tools.

Highlights include:

  • More than 14,000 pro/con viewpoint essays
  • 5,000+ topic overviews
  • More than 300 primary source documents
  • 300 biographies of social activists and reformers
  • More than 775 court-case overviews
  • 5 million periodical articles
  • Nearly 6,000 statistical tables, charts and graphs
  • Nearly 70,000 images and a link to Google Image Search
  • Thousands of podcasts, including weekly presidential addresses and premier NPR programs

Benefits: Students can browse for topics using keywords or by subject. The topic page includes multimedia sources that the students can then use to craft their argument or learn about the controversy.  By giving your students some structure and more specific sources you will prevent them from drowning in a sea of information.  Using this model can reinforce of concepts from lecture in a real-world context, while also stressing organization and proper citation.

Here is how you get there:

Go to Click on MeL databases.  Scroll down to Opposing View points…they are in alphabetical order.  You may have to go through  authentication which may include typing in your driver’s license. 

Try This:   Send your students to Opposing View Points topic page  for homework have them study the various articles.  Instead of lecturing stage a debate style discussion OR create a jigsaw discussion group.  Then give a quiz on the basic information.  After this you will have accomplished:

  1. An engaging lesson,check.
  2. Student self-directed study, check.
  3. Real word application,check.
  4. One less class comprised of straight lecture, double-check.

With all those checks you can write one payable to the CTL…or just tell us how it went 🙂