Zotero Library Assignment

Zotero is an online resource management tool that allows you to keep all of your research and the citations for it in one place.

Our Zotero/ Library assignment for EDTECH 501 was intended to give us a foundation in using online research tools. Fortunately for me, I already knew how to use the interface for the BSU Library, because we did extensive research during Senior Seminar in German. Because most of my research involved journal articles and/ or foreign-language sources, I got quite comfortable using the online library tools. It was only much later that I realized that the only time I stepped into the library was when I went in to pick up a book that I had ordered from inter-library loan, and these usually came from Europe.

Using Zotero to Organize Your Research

Zotero I was not familiar with before this assignment, although right away I thought about how useful it would have been for Senior Seminar given the amount of research that I had to cite for my senior project and the number of resources I wound up using. Because Zotero can format a bibliography in just about every citation style, it would have saved me so much time and allowed me to keep all of the resources together in once place, include the notes that I had with these resources, and give me the ability to do keyword searches—something that I’ve grown quite accustomed to and quite spoiled by at times.

Although we used MLA in seminar, Zotero’s interface allows you to switch between different citation styles. In general, any kind of research project that I would have that involved heavy-duty citations that I have to keep track of would be a candidate for using this tool to keep your research organized. While I’m speaking about it in the context of the classroom, you could use it for large projects like writing books, which require you to keep pages and pages of citations depending upon the book you’re writing.

Using Google Scholar and Other Online Research Tools

Additionally, this assignment required us to become familiar with Google Scholar in addition to the BSU Library (Albertson’s Library). I was also familiar with Google Scholar because of some research I did in Bob Rudd’s class, Mass Communication and Democracy. I wasn’t familiar with these tools then, and I had talked to Bob about it. He came into class one day and showed us where to find it. I became further acquainted with what Google has to offer because of my work online as a writer. Google has quite a few tools that can help you organize your work.

In any event, Google Scholar allows you to search for a topic, but to only pull up scholarly resources. It’s an excellent tool for when you’re doing online research, because you don’t have to weed through what might be substandard research sources. This saves you time as well as giving you access to some of the best articles that pertain to your areas of interest. And like its regular search function, it allows you to create alerts for your areas of interest, which brings these topics to your email box daily.

Like the RSS Feeds Assignment, this particular tool falls under the AECT Standard 4.4. The standard allows for information management, and includes “planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.”

Graphic Novels in the Classroom

Dr. Kemp suggested that we begin using this tool to collect research information for our areas of interest. Right now, using graphic novels—both digital and hardback—in the classroom is a strong interest of mine. To start my search, I first started looking for scholarly articles and publications that talked about using comics and graphic novels in the classroom. I allowed for both digital and hardback books, because I felt that it would not only give me a broad understanding of the subject, but also I found out that graphic novels can be used to help develop visual and media literacy. Both of these subjects will figure strongly into my EDTECH studies, so I included them. To round out my research, I also included resources dealing with ebooks and electronic publishing as well as mobile apps, because much of publishing is moving in that direction.

Once I got my resources gathered into a folder on Zotero, I copied the information onto my clipboard, having set my citation preference for APA, which is what I’ll use in EDTECH from here on out for research purposes. For my classroom citation, I was to include only five resources. However, I gathered more than that, because I’m interested in the subject.

The start of my research bibliography is below. Unfortunately, WP doesn’t seem to like the hanging indents common in research citations, so those are missing.


Adams, J. (1999). Of Mice and Manga: Comics and Graphic Novels in Art Education. Journal of Art & Design Education, 18(1), 69–75.

Barron, D. D. (1991). Zap! Pow! Wham!: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Education. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 8(3), 48–50.

Boone, R., & Higgins, K. (2003). Reading, Writing, and Publishing Digital Text. Remedial and Special Education, 24(3), 132–40.

Bucher, K. T., & Manning, M. L. (2004). Bringing Graphic Novels into a School’s Curriculum. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 78(2), 67–72.

Burn, A., & Reed, K. (1999). Digi-teens: Media Literacies and Digital Technologies in the Secondary Classroom. English in Education, 33(3), 5–20. doi:10.1111/j.1754-8845.1999.tb00720.x

Connors, S. P. (2012). Toward a Shared Vocabulary for Visual Analysis: An Analytic Toolkit for Deconstructing the Visual Design of Graphic Novels. Journal of Visual Literacy, 31(1), 71–92.

Goldsmith, F. (2009). The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels. Amer Library Assn Editions.

Gorman, M. (2002). What Teens Want: Thirty Graphic Novels You Can’t Live Without. School Library Journal, 48(8), 42–47.

Green, M. J., & Myers, K. R. (2010). Graphic medicine: use of comics in medical education and patient care. BMJ, 340(mar03 2), c863–c863. doi:10.1136/bmj.c863

Karp, J., & Kress, R. (2011). Graphic Novels in Your School Library. Chicago: ALA Editions.

Laquintano, T. (2010). Sustained Authorship: Digital Writing, Self-Publishing, and the Ebook. Written Communication, 27(4), 469–493.

Monnin, K. (2010). Teaching Media Literacy with Graphic Novels. New Horizons in Education, 58(3), 78–84.