Find Free Content for your Blended or Flipped Classroom  

5 Activities: Click to view each activity
#1 Read - Using Google Classroom Button to Engage Students Read - Using Google Classroom Button to Engage Students

Read the following story and think about how you could use this free content and utilize powerful features to deepen the learning for your students.

Using Explora and ISearch with Google Classroom to Engage Students

Mrs. Lee’s freshmen English class is working  on citing textual evidence. They are in the midst of studying The Book Thief. The topic of book banning came up in class, so Mrs. Lee thought a current article on the subject would provide a good formative assessment on citing textual evidence within informational texts.  

Mrs. Lee turned to INFOhio and Explora 9-12. She searched on “book banning in schools” and chose a short editorial, “Banning books in school only ensures ignorance.”  Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID), May 09, 2015.

Within the HTML version of the editorial, she clicked the  Google Classroom icon in the right side toolbar and selected her freshman English. The system asked her whether she wanted to create  an assignment, a question, or an announcement. She decided to create a question that required students to read the article and cite three pieces of textual evidence that support the stance in the article’s title. She clicked Post, and the question and Explora article automatically appeared in Google Classroom. Students then read and responded and Mrs. Lee sent timely feedback to students, all within Classroom.

A few days later Mrs. Lee decided she wanted students to explore the topic on their own. She created an assignment in Google Classroom specifying that students find two additional articles, one for and one against book banning. She directed them to INFOhio’s ISearch.  Once they found an article, the students used the same Google Classroom icon to post it to the assignment that Mrs. Lee created in Google Classroom. Mrs. Lee could quickly see the sources students gathered and assigned a future argumentative research paper.


#2 Activity - Sending PDF Articles to My Drive Activity - Sending PDF Articles to My Drive

Send PDF tomy Cloud


The send PDF cloud feature, available in the EBSCO products (Explora, Biography Reference Center,  Points of View, Literary Reference Center and Science Reference Center) is valuable if you wanted to try making assignments without a learning management system or wanted to try adding content to a class in a LMS that doesn’t allow you to embed or upload articles. You can use this if you are a Google Apps for Education, GAFE, district.

  • Complete a search for a curricular topic in one of the Exploras (Explora PreK-5, Explora 6-8 or Explora 9-12).
  • Then look down through the results list for PDFs of articles that you would like to assign to your students.
  • Click on the Send PDF to my Cloud link in the results list for articles that interest you.
  • Choose to save to your Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive option.
  • Explore ways to make the articles available as an assignment for your students.
#3 Read - Using RSS Feeds in Your Blended Class Read - Using RSS Feeds in Your Blended Class


Now let’s take a look at a tool that will save you lots of time and put good, frequently updated content into your class, RSS feeds.  The technical name for RSS is Really Simple Syndication.  You can use it to subscribe to current digital content from many types of sources.  Then, you will not have to look for new stories -- instead, the stories “appear” in your blended class as a result of starting with a good search.

When you create a feed, the digital content will continue to “feed” or give you new articles on your topic every time something new is available. A feed is simple to create and incorporate. See if your LMS includes a built-in tool to accept feeds.

Just think of all of the up-to-date articles you can add to your assignments from one search in INFOhio’s Explora or Points of View. One science teacher recently told us how he set up a feed of articles on science topics in the news, requiring his students to read one article a week and come to class on Fridays ready to present and lead a discussion on one article. He is amazed at the interest his students have in current science topics as a result.

An RSS feed is simple to create.  Click here for step-by-step directions on creating an RSS feed for your class from articles out of the INFOhio databases.


#4 Explore - Research 4 Success, R4S Explore - Research 4 Success, R4S


Are you teaching research skills to high school students? Take a close look at Research 4 Success (R4S). R4S is an online research course that is ready to link to in your learning management system. R4S works best when it is used along with a research project assignment.

Consult the R4S teacher guide for ideas on using R4S in a learning management system or your Google Classroom. 

#5 Extend the Learning Extend the Learning

Think about content you can add to your blended or flipped class. Can you create assignments for students to search and send you articles using the Google Classroom button in ISearch or Explora?  How will using the INFOhio resources in your blended class help your students become critical thinkers and problem solvers?

Extend the learning with these tools: