New! A Broader Range of Biographies in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next
PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next aim to provide students with a diverse range of articles and topics to explore and discover. This includes a broad selection of biographies detailing the lives of historical figures. However, we have come to realize that there are many historical figures who we would like to include, but whose biographies still remain absent. Our goal is to display accurate textual information and images for each of our articles, which means that in the past, if we could not provide an accurate image of a historical figure, then we felt we could not include the article in PebbleGo or PebbleGo Next.
This meant that there were many historical figures whose stories students would not be able to discover through PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next. Many of these historical figures, despite being notably influential, might not have had the ability to have a portrait made or photograph taken. In the past, portraits and even photographs were expensive, and would have been difficult for people of different economic, social, and racial backgrounds to obtain. Additionally, in some cases, there was some debate as to how accurate these portraits were to the historical figure’s actual likeness. Rather than include a portrait of dubious accuracy, we opted not to include the article at all.
However, upon further consideration, we felt it was important that biographies of historical figures reflecting a wide range of backgrounds should be included in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next, regardless of whether or not an image was available for them. It is with this idea in mind that going forward, we will strive to include a broader range of biographies in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next, and utilize a basic template silhouette in place of an actual portrait or photograph. In doing so, we hope to give students the opportunity to learn about historical figures, no matter their background.
We reached out to Beatrice Rendón, a Curriculum Content Strategist here at Capstone, and she explains in more detail why this update is so important:
“At Capstone, we believe that reading is for everyone, and that includes PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next. When kids access our research databases, we want it to be easy for them to find topics that support their school’s curriculum, pique their curiosity, and reflect diverse experiences. One of the challenges associated with adding biographies of historical figures is image sourcing: There are many historical figures whose likeness was never captured during their lifetime, usually because they lacked the privilege, access, and status to have portraits made. We believe that the inequities of the past shouldn’t be a barrier for today’s students—we’re committed to telling the stories of all kinds of history makers, even if we aren’t able to provide a photograph of each one.”
So the next time your students dive into the Biographies section of PebbleGo or PebbleGo Next, you can feel confident they are able to explore and learn without boundaries! Check out the biographies currently available in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next, and stay tuned for more!