Two Telling Infographs on American Education

At Citelighter, we focus on making research and writing more efficient for anyone interested in learning. And the most basic and crucial component of learning, of course, is reading.

Linked here is a startling recent infographic on the state of reading in our schools among elementary school students—it shows just how important it is to academic and life success. Below is one element of it:

A more elaborate set of infographics was released recently by the United States Census Bureau, highlighting the strong link between school enrollment, attendance, and college success. Definitely worth checking out below:


Interview with Knowledge Expert

We’re happy to showcase an ever-growing library of more than 2,300 Knowledge Cards, but it’s hard to imagine how it would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our Knowledge Experts–like Anastasia Romanova, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration this year from Fordham University.

I recently talked to Anastasia, who just returned from a sojourn to Russia, to shed some light on what appealed to her about Citelighter, why she enjoys creating Knowledge Cards, what the process was like to first start creating the cards, their value to viewers, and potential applications.

What initially attracted you to Citelighter and how did you learn about us?

I first saw an ad for a Knowledge Expert position on my college job posting  site. The position sounded interesting by itself (creating projects on the topics you choose – awesome!), but the selling point for me was that Citelighter was a startup. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and have founded several companies over the period of their careers, so I know how hard–but also how inspiring–it can be. That’s why I wanted to be a part of Citelighter.

When you were putting together your first Knowledge Cards, what were the main challenges? What was your thought process like for creating them in the most logical way possible?

I am not going to lie: my first Knowledge Card (Austrian Economics, I think it was) took me about four hours. Looking back now, that’s way too long! But I wanted to be very precise about each fact I captured, and I wanted these facts arranged in a certain way, so that they read as a whole article. Now, I realize that that is not necessary. A Knowledge Card should, of course, look like an article, but what people are really looking for is a collection of citations from very different sources, in different formats, offering different takes on the matter, that they can use in order to create their own project.

In what ways do you think Knowledge Cards stand out from Wikipedia or other forms of learning?

Knowledge Cards are not wiki articles that tell you everything there is to know (important or not) about the subject you are interested in. They are more like guides. They tell you, ‘Look! Here is a fascinating fact about what you’re researching. Follow the link to find out more.’ Yeah, you’ll get a picture of the subject just by glancing over the Knowledge Card, but you’ll also want to click on the sources, you’ll want to find out more. A Knowledge Card doesn’t do your work for you, it encourages and makes it easier for you to do it yourself.

How did you become interested in producing the Knowledge Cards you’re responsible for? An inherent passion for the subject areas you chose, or curiosity that developed along the way?

I think I’ve dabbled in over fifteen different categories. I started with economics and business, simply because it was my major, I knew that stuff, so I thought it’d be easier to do them. But then I moved on to music and history and art and literature and poetry and fashion and… the list goes on. Basically, anything that gets my attention gets a Knowledge Card. Sometimes it’s something I like and want to share with the world, sometimes it’s something I’ve never heard before and want to learn more about. A lot of times, actually, I get an idea for a topic by seeing something interesting while researching for an entirely different Knowledge Card.

Given all the time you’ve spent on Knowledge Cards, do you think there might be interesting ways to further develop or expand on them that could make them more useful?

I definitely think that communication between Knowledge Experts and users is the way to go. When you create a Knowledge Card, you get to know the subject pretty well, and so can give advice on it and the best way to utilize the sources cited. I’m glad that the team is already working on it.

Another thing, I suppose, would be to let the users tag their projects to the related Knowledge Cards, so that others can get an access to a wide range of citations.

But, honestly, there is almost a limitless list of possibilities for Knowledge Cards, and that’s what makes being a Knowledge Expert so exciting for me!

Citelighter PR Director

Interview with Gary Bender, University Technology Lead

As part of our ongoing endeavor to connect with educators across the country, our team loves to elicit feedback on our fact-capturing tool as well as broader commentary from thought leaders and experts in the field. Kevin, our Director or Partnerships, recently had the chance to chat with Gary Bender, who serves as head of the Technology Training & Development Group at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and who has spent 33 years in K-20 education.

Kevin demonstrated the Citelighter toolbar for Gary, who came away pretty impressed with its functionality. “It’s the ideal tool for me to use when I am looking for scholarly articles on the use of technology in teaching, or if I’m doing research on a favorite topic such as learning–or just web surfing and come across a resource I want to remember,” he observed, adding, “It’s great because it is integrated into my web browser.”

Asked how Citelighter might be useful in a university context, Gary said that it’s important to be able to quickly gather and organize information for student researchers. “We have many students who are learning how to do research as well as assisting in research, and tools such as Citelighter can enhance the research data gathering and organizational phases,” he noted.   He added that he thinks the tool would be valuable for its broad application: “Whether they are in freshman English or Petroleum Engineering seminar, students need to learn organizational and research skills that will be foundational regardless of career choice.”

We were equally curious to know how technological advancement in general has shifted the position of technology experts like Gary who work in university systems. He offered that as technology takes on an increasingly critical role in everyone’s lives, it’s compelled more educators—even those “who have stood by the sidelines”—to become active in fostering that integration. “Faculty are looking for greater support and ideas on how best to either begin the process of integrating technology into their teaching or are looking to expand what they are currently doing,” Gary noted, further adding,  “We’re the office they come to, for help, questions, discussion, and ultimately confidence building as they incorporate technology into their teaching.”

In many ways, we here at Citelighter seek to play exactly the same role for educators on a larger scale—so don’t hesitate us to send over your own questions and comments!

festklänningar alla olika så jag valde en annan klänning, vet hur man använder kläderna temperament, vilket är vad vi väljer att klä sin middag.