Galileo Galilei was an astronomer and physicist who pioneered the “experimental scientific method” to make many important astronomical discoveries. His method of inquiry characterized his scientific originality. Instead of being overwhelmed at the impossibility of the unknown, he used his everyday experiences and common sense logic to reduce, refine, and simplify problems to a simple set of terms. (1). Today, we are going to embark on a quest of discovery using Galileo’s techniques, and I know that you will find success and new knowledge in your “expedition.” I know that Galileo would want us to bring our “sense, reason, and intellect” along for the ride. Let’s go!
GALILEO (all caps) stands for Georgia Library Learning Online, and it is a worldwide web-based virtual library that provides access to a plethora of information resources. This initiative was developed by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in an effort to improve library services and access for all Georgia citizens, no matter where they may reside. So far, more than 2,000 GALILEO institutions are in operation: K-12 schools, public and private libraries, adult technical institutes, some private colleges, and the entire University System of Georgia. These institutions have over 100 databases which can access literally thousands of journals and periodicals, as well as encyclopedias, government publications, business directories, and links to other fun and fact filled websites. (2).
According to the Office of Information and Instructional Technology (OIIT) which supports GALILEO, the award-winning virtual library benefits over nine million Georgia citizens WHEREVER they are in order to provide “premier electronic information” to result in a “more educated Georgia” (3). GALILEO helps leverage funding for excellent resources and services that would be otherwise unattainable by many small or rural libraries. It provides ways to work with other management systems, and it offers access to core materials for Georgia learners of all ages. GALILEO provides the finest tools that search multiple databases and offers links among electronic journals. According to OIIT, GALILEO “brings together a vast collection of learning resources that support education from K-12 to graduate and lifelong learning” (3). And this vast collection can be accessed anywhere, anytime, by any Georgia resident. With this opportunity to discover so many new horizons, why NOT use GALILEO?
From the comfort of your own home or from your academic classroom, office, or library, you can access GALILEO anytime, day or night. The discovery process begins with ease. If you are at school, just double-click the GALILEO icon located in the Novell window. If you are home or have access to the Internet (on vacation, at Starbuck’s, waiting in the doctor’s office, on a flight to Rome), go to http://www.galileo.usg.edu/ and log in using the school’s password of ********. However, this password is regularly changed because of security reasons, so if you are unsuccessful in your log in attempt, contact your medial specialist, technology coordinator, or supervising educator.
Galileo Galilei was a lifelong learner who was still making discoveries up until his death at age 78. You, too, can be a lifelong learner on Georgia’s GALILEO, starting as young as a five-year-old kindergartener. After you have logged into the system, scroll down the page to select the category that fits your educational (or whimsical) needs. You may select from (left to right) GALILEO Scholar (Higher Education), GALILEO Library (General Use), GALILEO High School (9 th -12 th grades), GALILEO teen (6 th -8 th grades) and GALILEO Kids (K-5 th grades). Depending on the click of your mouse, you will be escorted down the path of adventure and enlightenment that meets your educational needs. For the purpose of this instructional PowerPoint, I will be demonstrating GALILEO search strategies that focus on eighth graders. Because Georgia students are expected to read multiple novels of different genres during their eighth grade year, and since they are also required to perform extensive writing assignments, I decided to combine the two requirements into one assignment. These eighth graders are to research an author of their choice, find two biographical articles about that particular author, and write a comprehensive summary of their findings (being sure to use correct citations, of course). Since this assignment focuses on eighth graders, I will choose GALILEO Teen.
Since I chose GALILEO Teen, this screen appeared for my use. Notice that an adventurer can search via several different “paths”: by topic, by type, a general search, or accessing all resources. The screen currently visible displays the various topics from which to choose. “By Type” allows students to be discriminating in their modes of research; they can peruse periodicals, books, dictionaries, multimedia, pictures, and even search engines and related web sites to name a few. The “Search” button allows explorers access to 16 various subject areas in four different variations: articles, pictures, web links, or encyclopedias. All the student has to do is choose a subject area and a resource, and then they enter a search keyword. The last category, “All Resources,” contains an alphabetized list from which to choose; there were almost 100 diverse choices available! Since the students’ assignment is to research their favorite authors, we will click on the language arts icon.
Since the students’ assignment is to research their favorite authors, we will click on the language arts icon. Notice that the Language Arts screen appeared. Since our assignment is to research and discover author biographies in article form, we will proceed to the Literary Reference Center, a full-text database that includes information from major respected reference works, books, and literary journals as well as original content from EBSCO Publishing. In addition, it contains plot summaries, synopses, and work overviews; articles of literary criticism; author biographies; full text of over 430 literary journals; book reviews; classic and contemporary poems and short stories; full text of over 7,000 classic novels; author interviews; and images of key literary figures. Just imagine, all this without the expense of an iPad or a trip across town to the library!
The Literary Reference Center homepage appears, and now it is time to take this quest “personally.” The students claim ownership of their individual assignments at this point as they decide which author to investigate. All they have to do is type in their favorite author’s name and hit the search button. Notice, however, how many other options are available right on this screen: a reference shelf complete with timelines, dictionaries, encyclopedias, research guides, and citation assistance. Some “summer reading” in the form of novels, poetry, and short stories are easily accessed, and the bottom of the screen displays various book highlights and an author biography. Since it is the 50 th birthday of To Kill a Mockingbird , one of my favorite books, I have entered the author’s name, Harper Lee.
At this point in our expedition, we can refine our search by choosing which type of resource to utilize. Notice the vast choices: biographies, criticism, plot summaries, reviews, reference books, periodicals, poems, short stories, and images. (I wonder what Harper Lee looks like?) Our choice is rather simple at this juncture…biographies, of course! Let’s click and explore our options.
Although we are gaining momentum, we haven’t quite reached our “exploration destination.” We just need to dig a little deeper before we strike some literary gold! Notice on the left side of the screen that students can narrow search results by subject and publication. Again, there are a myriad of paths by which students can travel. On the right side of the screen are 17 various formats: essays, biographies, encyclopedia entries, and the like. Each numbered entry gives the author, date of publication, number of pages, publisher, etc. Number five, a biography of Harper Lee, looks interesting. Let’s see what it has in store.
This resource looks promising. Note that this page has all the information needed for a correct MLA or APA citation. It also has a brief abstract that summarizes the article. Eureka! I think we’ve almost “unearthed” our treasure! To see the full text, click on the HTML Full Text Link or the PDF Link if it is available. Also, recognize to the left of the arrow a small citation icon. This tool will quickly provide the students with APA, MLA, or other formatted documentations, but students always need to double-check with their teachers for the appropriate and accepted style of citation.
GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us withsense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”Galileo GalileiAstronomer and Physicist, 1564-1642
GALILEO…Is a worldwide Web-based virtual libraryProvides access to multiple information resourcesAllows access to over 100 databases with thousands of periodicals and scholarly journalsIs utilized by over 2,000 Georgia institutionsSeeks to provide equal access to information for all Georgia citizens
Why use GALILEO?GALILEO is readily accessible WHEREVER you are: school, home, library, office, on your schoolhouse steps, or on vacation…GALILEO offers universal access to core materials to learners of all ages: K-12, university, to infinity and beyond!GALILEO provides methods to work with other learning management systems.GALILEO provides a higher level of services for all Georgians at a substantial low cost.
How can we access GALILEO?It’s easy! If you are at school, double-click the GALILEO icon located in the Novell window.If you are at home or have access to the Internet, go to http://www.galileo.usg.edu/ and log in using the school’s password: ******** Check with your school’s media specialist because the password changes quarterly.
Who can use GALILEO?•ANY Georgia resident from five to 105 canuse GALILEO! Just choose a category thatwill meet your educational needs.
Where do I go from here?Decide on an assignment or question to be answered.Choose a “way” to find the answer to your question. (There are many “paths” from which to choose!)
Forget Google! Ask GALILEO! •Begin your quest! Search by 1. Topic 2. Resource type 3. With keywords Today’s Assignment Using GALILEO Literary Reference Center, find two biography articles about your favorite author.
GALILEO…Take me away!!•Narrow yoursearch.•Type in yourauthor’sname.•Make newdiscoveries!
Continue exploring GALILEO!Refine yoursearch bychoosingyourresource. Ourassignment is to find two biographyarticles, so we would click the“Biographies” tab. Easy!
Dig a little deeper, GALILEO…Notice that youcan furthernarrow yourresults bySUBJECTandPUBLICATION.Thepossibilities areendless!
We’ve made a Discovery!You’realmostthere! To“unearth”your find,click on theHTML FullText Link orPDF Link (ifavailable).
GALILEO “…one giant leap for mankind”Congratulations! You conqueredthe unknown; you made a discovery;contemplate the secrets you revealed! …but don’t forget to cite your work!
“Houston, is there a problem?”Have fun,scholar,exploringGALILEO onyour own.There is somuch to learn.If youexperience aproblem,contact yourmediaspecialist or click the HELP link.