What's Happening at FHPS

Information Literacy

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The FHPS high schools now have a subscription to the SPIE Digital Library, which contains the world’s largest collection of optics and photonics research with over 415,000 papers from conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journals, and eBooks. Content covers the broadest range of applied optics and photonics science and engineering papers anywhere.

Some of the technologies covered are:


Biomedical Optics and Medical Imaging

Defense and Security

Electronic Imaging and Signal Processing

Illumination and Displays

Lasers and Sources




Optical Design and Engineering

Optoelectronics and Communications

Remote Sensing

Sensing and Measurement

Solar and Alternative Energy

Here is a link to the SPIE Digital Library User Guide.

SPIE is an international not-for-profit society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. Optics and photonics technologies enable researchers, scientists, and engineers to help improve life.

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If you want to find information around the web to use in your documents and presentations, you can use the Research tool.

To open the Research tool:

1. Open a document or presentation.

2. Do one of the following:

  • Go to the Tools menu > Research.
  • Right-click on a specific word and select Research.

3. The Research tool will appear along the right-hand side. Start a search by typing into the search bar.

4. You can narrow your search to specific types of results (e.g. images, quotations) by using the drop-down menu in the search bar.

Here's a short instructional video illustrating the process:

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The Internet has a lot in common with real life. Just as in real life, it’s important to keep a few simple guidelines in mind  to keep yourself safe. YouTube’s “Playing and Staying Safe Online” reminds us of the importance of maintaining one’s privacy, considering carefully what we post, respecting ourselves, and using common sense when navigating the online world.

"Google for Education: Google Digital Citizenship: Basics." Google for Education: Google Digital Citizenship: Basics. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.

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 In order to help students develop into digital literates, they must understand to basics of online search. Google Search has a number of features that make finding the right information quick and easy. Here are a few things to know about Google Search: 

  • When using the Chrome browser on a computer, tablet, or mobile device, you can use the omnibox (address bar) to search using Google
  • Typing in keywords can start you off on a search but using search operators can helpyou search more efficiently
  • Filters can help narrow down your search; they appear below the Google.com search bar when you view your results
  • Enable voice search in the Chrome browser to speak the “Ok Google” phrase to begin a search
  • Specific Google databases can provide better search results – try Google Scholar to search scholarly literature or Google News to search the headlines

Learning to use Google Search effectively is a process. Here are some ideas for starting out using the basics of Google Search: 

  • Start with a simple search for information using one or two words, for example, “Sao Paolo”
  • Add a location to a search for a thing; “New York City parks”
  • Understand what is relevant in your search terms
  • Spelling: Google's spell checker automatically uses the most common spelling of a given word
  • Capitalization: A search for “New York Times” is the same as a search for “new york times”
  • Punctuation: Most punctuation (?!,.%^*()[]\) is ignored when you search
  • Common words: “a” and “the” are usually ignored unless they are included in quotations as part of a phrase.


Take a look at this video to learn more about how to select the keywords necessary to perform a successful Google search:


"Google for Education: Google Search: Basics." Google for Education: Google Search: Basics. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2015.

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The data and information that you leave behind on webpages and on social media services such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, or Facebook makes up your digital footprint. You should know that the information you provide may be stored with or without your knowledge  - intentionally or unintentionally.

Once a video, photo, or message is uploaded to a website or social network, or sent to a mobile device, it can be nearly impossible to retrieve or delete. With this shared information, other people can duplicate it, share it without permission or take a picture or screenshot of it, so even if the owner deletes it, it may not be gone completely. 

Learning to manage your digital footprint is a critical skill to have today and includes how to search for information about yourself and how to share information responsibly. To learn more about managing your online reputation, check out Google's Support Center.

Watch the following video created for A Platform for Good (a fosi.org project) to hear teen perspectives on the importance of digital reputation.

"Google for Education: Google Digital Citizenship: Introduction." Google for Education: Google Digital Citizenship: Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.

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We've all visited the online encyclopedia Wikipedia before. We may have even used information found at Wikipedia to complete homework assignments or research projects. But is that a good idea? Easybib takes a few minutes to explore how articles are created, whether or not they are reliable and/or credible.

To learn even more about Wikipedia, read through this eBook regarding the online encyclopedia published by our friends at Easybib.

Wikipedia eBook

Or take a look at this interesting and fun infographic, also from Easybib.

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Primary and secondary sources come in many different formats. The librarians at EasyBib share the differences in this short video tutorial so you can best choose which to use in your assignment.

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Google Scholar can be a great way to find peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly articles. Simply visit scholar.google.com to get started. You’ll find that by searching Google Scholar you will find books and articles rather than websites. You can see who has previously cited the articles that you find, save article to your own personal Google Scholar library, and set alerts to learn when Google Scholar adds resources that are of interest to you. Take a look at Richard Byrne’s short tutorial video to learn more!

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Many of you will be writing research papers at some point during the school year. When you do, you'll want to be able to give proper credit to the source from which you are borrowing information. You can do this by using in-text, or parenthetical citations. EasyBib and NoRedInk have put together a short but very informative video about in-text citations. Take a minute (2:51 to be exact) to learn more about how and why to use in-text citations.

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If you're interested in reading current magazines (such as Newseek, National Geographic, Girl's Life, ESPN, and more) on your computer, tablet or smartphone, you should pay a visit to your public library website. Both the Kent District Library and the Grand Rapids Public Library have digital magazines that are available for checkout. All you need is a valid library card.

If you're interested in learning how to do this, you can either view this introductory video:

Or, you can access the introductory guides provided by each library district:

GRPL - Zinio quick start guide

KDL - Zinio quick start guide

After you have further questions after viewing the video or reading the quick start guide, feel free to contact Mr. Patrick at cpatrick@fhps.net, or contact your public librarian. They will be more than happy to help you download your first magazine.

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Easybib School Edition is now available for all students in the FHPS district.

Easybib is an online citation tool, but it’s also a lot more. With its notes & outline, website evaluation, and plagiarism prevention features, it’s a tool that can help you organize and complete a successful research project.

Take a look at the following Easybib introductory video to get an understanding of how it can help you with your research.

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Watch the following video to learn how to checkout an eBook to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using Overdrive and your school username and password.

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