TexQuest Online Resources
TexQuest - Quality Online Resources Available for Families 24/7!
by Ann Vyoral, Educational Specialist, Digital Resources, Education Service Center, Region 20, San Antonio, TX
The internet has made it easy for students and parents to access information quickly. However, it isn’t easy for young learners (or their families) to know which resources are reputable, accessible, and safe. Parents who want their students to acquire twenty-first century skills can now guide them to TexQuest, supported by an appropriation by the Texas Legislature to supply quality digital resources for all Texas K-12 students attending public and open enrollment charter schools.
Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TexQuest includes ebooks; full-text magazines; articles from newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and reference books; and historical documents; along with images, videos, and audio files. Over 95% of eligible Texas students attend a school that has signed up for TexQuest. Because these resources are online, students and their families in TexQuest districts have 24/7 access to student friendly resources, aligned with the Texas curriculum, by connecting to the internet.
Follow these suggestions for using TexQuest at home so your students can search (and learn) on the internet safely:
1. Know how to access the resources. TexQuest has multiple content providers and multiple ways to access them. Each product can be searched from http://TexQuest.net using your student’s district/school usernames and passwords; however, most districts also have direct links from their library, school, or district portals. Check with your student’s librarian/media specialist for this information or contact the TexQuest Support Center at the email address/phone number below.
2. Become familiar with resources on your student’s grade, interest, or reading level. TexQuest provides resources, aligned with Texas TEKS for all school levels. Check out Gale’s Kids InfoBits and National Geographic Kids for your elementary students, Research in Context for your middle school students, and Student Resources in Context and Opposing Viewpoints in Context for high school. Britannica allows students to choose a content level and then switch to easier or harder articles within that framework. Students who learn best in Spanish have access to several Spanish language resources, along with the opportunity to have most articles translated into Spanish. There are resources for special areas of interest including Adam Matthew Digital’s American West and American Indian History and Cultures; and Gale’s GREENR, Health and Wellness, and Literature Resource Center.
3. Explore the features that make TexQuest articles accessible to all students. Students can take advantage of features to translate resources, highlight and notate selections, and even have articles read aloud. Quick links to high interest articles and videos are provided daily. Students can access engaging images, download videos and audio resources to build context, enrich academic vocabulary by just clicking for the definition of a word, and save their resources to online accounts or Google for Education.
4. Encourage your student to use TexQuest resources to delve deeply into subjects about which he/she is passionate. Not only will students be able to read authoritative, engaging content online, but they can also research topics of personal interest. TexQuest provides easy access to information in multiple formats, not just a website rising to the top of an internet search. You can rest easy knowing that the TexQuest providers carefully select the resources, and that students are building skills that will prepare them for college as well as multiple career areas.
5. Have fun with the resources. TexQuest includes full-text E-books and magazines from National Geographic Kids, along with learning games and activities in Britannica School. Students (and their families) can find plenty to educate and entertain themselves within TexQuest.
Students and faculty eventually go home for the evening, and schools may close for the summer, but quality online content doesn’t need a rest. Texas students and their families can always connect to TexQuest.
Education Service Center, Region 20 serves as the TexQuest Support Center for TexQuest and will remain open for business all summer. For questions or additional information, please contact the TexQuest Support Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-844-719-1501 (toll free).
Parents who want to access or learn more about the TexQuest resources may find what they need at http://TexQuest.net. Check the Training tab for online webinars and tutorials, or go to the Connect tab, Resources for Program Support, TexQuest Parent Connections.
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