We use Noodle Tools and really like it. The company is very responsive if any issues arise, including errors in citation format. We once found one in an obscure citation - it was fixed within a few minutes of when we called them. Our seniors often subscribe once they graduate so that they can continue using it in college if their schools do not offer them something similar. It is easy enough for our youngest students at the basic level, and can also handle the most complex citations with ease. We don't get the groans we used to when teachers ask for lists of works cited - most students don't mind this program. They really used to dread poring through the MLA handbook.
We are looking at End Notes for our seniors, or something closer to what many universities use, but so far have not made any decisions.
We also use Citation Machine for easy citations. Of course, when they're using databases, they're frequently able to use the citations that those resources provide. If teachers want to go in-depth, we'll show them how to use the MLA guide, or for when we want some background info, we take a look at OWL at Purdue's online MLA Formatting and Style Guide.
We use Noodle Tools, and like it enough to have subscribed for two years. I will say that the note taking feature is underused because we still have a lot of teachers who want students to take notes by hand. I am not sure that this is realistic with digital natives.
We also have a number of kids who love EasyBib. They actually debate the relative merits of the two sites, which means we're doing something right, I guess. EasyBib has an autocite feature that fills in web site and book information if you just plug in the URL or ISBN. I show older kids that feature, but make the little guys do it themselves.
We love NoodleTools! It has been extremely helpful for students who made need a little more organization or help in putting citations together. I have been very impressed with the notetaking feature as well. Another wonderful feature is that Noodletools allows the student to keep three research projects going at the same time and keep everything organized and accessible for future reference.
I taught the 7th and 8th graders to use NoodleTools for their Works Cited page and also taught them how to use the notecard feature. I was just told by the Head of the English Department that next year all of the students 6-12 will use "the binder method." This requires them to make a copy of every source they use and put the information into a three ring binder. Any suggestions? I feel like we just stepped back a century.
When an idea like this is presented, our first (internal) response is "Huh...?" Rather than confront the Head, it's important to understand why this solution is being proposed. For example, it may be that the person doesn't want to have to search and check each source online for plagiarism - reasoning that it is quicker to scan the sources in print. Once you have a sense of the motivation, it's easier to determine if there are other ways to solve the problem (e.g., checking notecards online from the URL). When NoodleBib's new notecard features are implemented this July, there may be other solutions (organizing, outlining, searching by keyword) that may appeal to the department head. Obviously for any significant amount of research, this is going to mean a whale-load of print - or should I say a lot of dead trees? This could be a "budget item" as well as a significant backpack weight issue.
Is there a way to print notecards by date... specifically for a student to print all notecards created AFTER a certain date? Our teachers do several notecard checks on the same assignment and only want to see the ones created after the previously graded set. Thanks!
I am planning to use the notecard feature of Noodle tools as well as the citation feature with my 4th and 5th graders this year. Has anyone used notecards with younger students? Do you have any suggestions about how I can have them use the notecard features? one of my big concerns now is the Direct Quotation feature from Print sources and the students' keyboarding skills. How can I help them not get stuck dealing with the keyboarding and get to the thinking part of the note taking?
I'd suggest having them use post-it notes to identify quotes from print sources. Some ways to get the quotes into a digital form:
1. Buddy system with a class of older students;
2. Parent-assisted homework assignment;
3. Ask the librarian if an e-book version is available;
4. Simply put the page number in the quote field, and have them put their energies into the paraphrase and my ideas.
We start our 6th graders with NoodleTools, thanks to our wonderful librarians, and it has worked very well for us. By the time, they get to the higher grades, it is second nature. Plus it is simple and sophisticated and easy to use.