How I Use It
I had students, in grades 2 and 3, use this resource to answer research questions independently. Students enjoyed the multi-media aspects. The read aloud tool was very helpful in supporting my students with low literacy levels. I think that the word highlight feature during read aloud as well as the glossary helped my students build content area vocabulary and bolstered their literacy skills. Many of my students, however, had research questions that they could not find the answers to using this resource.
My overall opinion of the PebbleGo database is that it is a very user-friendly resource for students doing research in the younger grades. I also think that it is a great way to introduce younger students to databases. I do, however, see some room for improvement. PebbleGo has increased the amount of content they offer through their suite of PebbleGo databases, but I still find that it is lacking. I also agree with other educators, who have reviewed this resource on Graphite, that the cost of the subscription could be prohibitive. I would love to see them make this resource more affordable. The cite tool only has a "print" button. I am currently having my students share the information they've learned digitally, therefore it would be great to also have a "copy" citation button. It is very challenging for students to click and drag then copy the citation text using a right-click or Ctrl+click function. Additionally, the videos provided with the articles have no explanation to go with them. It would be wonderful if students could know what they are watching. This could easily be solved with a voice-over description or caption that would be read aloud when hovering your cursor over the video icon. PebbleGo already does this with the tabs above each section of the article. It could also be addressed by having a voice-over explanation as part of the video itself. I would like to see more breadth and depth of content included in the articles, as well as in the quantity and type of topics covered overall in the database, without it loosing it's child-friendly appeal.