Silver Chips Online

Technological: Three Must-Have Apple Apps for Research at Blair

By Abir Muhuri, Online Entertainment Editor
October 2, 2013
Blair's Media Center offers a wide range of online and print resources for student research. But one feature students may be unaware of is that they can access online databases and research tools from their own Apple products.

Media Center Specialist, Andrea Lamphier, articulated on how to download these apps and the limitations school resources hold. "You can't get into them without a link," she said. "The app has to be mounted on public access, with an IP address or require remote authentication," she added, "in order for it to be visibly posted on the media center website."

A Blair student uses one of the Media Center apps. Samuel Pinczuk
A Blair student uses one of the Media Center apps.
Although you can access online resources through a desktop computer, getting the Apple app for a school database can be a little tricky. Lamphier emphasized that getting the app isn't feasible through searching on the database vendor websites. For instance, searching the word 'app' on ABC-Clio's website won't yield any results. "When I search [the word] App, it's not going to happen. It's too short of a word to search," Lamphier said. However, some download links have been posted on the Media Center Website for "over a year now" according to Lamphier.
However difficult it may be to access these useful tools, they are out there and ready to use out of Beta. For Blazers in search of on-the-go-info, here are the top three free research apps for your Apple product and where to get them.


AccessMyLibrary - School Edition
This app provides step-by-step access to Blair's subscribed school resources on the Gale Database and eBooks. After filling out state, city and high school, simply type in the password for "Gale/Cengage" provided on the back of your student agenda book and you're all set. The eBook sub-collection on the app is more user-friendly than the website itself. You can access a range of topics from "Chemical Compounds" to the "The Guilded Age." Remember, these resources are specific to Blair's subscription and are used by many classes through throughout the school. More likely than not, a resource that you use in in class can be found in the eBook categories.

EBSCOhost

EBSCOhost is formatted specifically for the iPhone, but can be used on iPads too. This apps saves previous searches, making information you've accessed previously easy to retrieve.
A simple search engine allows you to search any term or topic you want, unlike AccesMyLibrary which has books and periodicals pre-stored and organized. The app allows you to organize searches by date and relevance, and allows you to customize search preferences. Since, teachers often require students to examine the reliability of their sources, EBSCOhost has got you covered. You can check filters for "Peer Reviewed" search results and timely publication dates. For more open-ended idea gathering, EBSCOhost is your ideal app.


Encyclopedia Britannica
This "LinkMap" shows subtopics related to Aristotle. Courtesy of Cloud.addictivetips.com
This "LinkMap" shows subtopics related to Aristotle.
Big Encyclopedias and the library databases can sometimes be slow and overwhelming. The Britannica app allows you to do general browsing by alphabetical topic or trending top articles. If you're assignments are more focused, you can save resources as you go. The most useful feature, however, is “LinkMap” which allows readers to visually connect to related topics as they read articles. Simply tap the icon image of your topic and it branches out into subtopics. This way, your jumbled research through random periodicals can now be neat and clearly connected.


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