Discovery Education & Scholastic Book Fair Contest

At the November 2012 annual Scholastic Book Fair at Parkdale High School, students were offered an incentive to use a new learning tool. Discovery Education. Discovery Education is a digital learning resource which offers digital video, interactive techbooks, virtual labs and more.

A video was selected by the librarian, Ms. Bianca Johnson to help students develop strategies for understanding complex topics. Students had to respond to a writing prompt on the Discovery website. As a result, five winners were selected. the top student entry was submitted by a 9th grader. John was thrilled to learn how Discovery Education can help him improve his grades. He plans to look at his class syllabus before class and watch videos before the teacher talks about new topics. John was able to select a gift of his own choosing from the book fair. He plans to continue to use his new Discovery Education account to help him get good grades.

Students Select Discovery Education during Library Orientation

Students choose Discovery Education during Library Orientation Web 2.0 style

In the olden days, library orientation could be completed in one class session. Librarians showed students how  to use the card catalog, look for the author, subject or title drawers and then find the books on the shelves. Articles were found on microfiche after students looked up citations using the “Reader Guide to Periodicals.”

The amount of time typically allocated to library orientation is called the “One-Shot.’   Students thought they only needed  to visit the library one time to learn how to use a library.  Now the card catalog is called an OPAC and librarians do more than shelve books. With so many Web 2.0 applications available and the volume of information at one’s finger tips, I conducted library orientation in a new way.

As students log in to the computers, students view my  Slide Share Presentation about what librarians do, how to become a librarian and the importance of information in their daily lives. The presentation also covers internet privacy, and intellectual property.

Students are then directed to the library’’s OPAC, Destiny.pgcps.org.  I demonstrate some on the website’s basic features.   Our Destiny home page  lists some of our  online databases and recommended online resources.   Students are given a brief introduction to the online databases available.   this is also where I show students how to access and use the features of Discovery Education’s website.

The Destiny home page links to the library’s website. Here students have access to information about reading, more online databases and my host of online  video tutorials which provide detailed instruction on how to use the library’s  various online databases.  Students are introduced to the library’s Research Portal which breaks down the Big 6 Research process  integrated with Web 2.0 applications.   A recorded student’s voice using Blabberize talks about the importance of reading and freedom.

Students who like Twitter or Tumblr could choose to read my various posts  which are either about social networks, searching the internet, internet privacy or reading.

After showing the students the location of library sources on Destiny, here, they are also invited to review the resources available at the public library.

Students have  a printed brochure and map of the library for a scavenger hunt . Using their student Gmail account, students create a document and share it with the librarian and the classroom teacher.

Students choose three library resources and write 1 paragraph about each resource discussing the benefits, features, and comparing and contrasting whichever resources  they choose.  They are also asked to reflect on the lesson and to talk about  what they want to learn more about.

Several students explored Discovery Education this way.  In their papers they talk about the quality of the videos available and about the variety of subjects available.

The classroom teacher and I collaborate on whether I need to  provide any feedback and/or grade their papers.

After finishing their essay, students  explored  the library using a map activity where they are allowed to work in groups of their choice .   Students were given 50 points  for checking out a book.  The students completed a  Scavenger Hunt as well.

This is a great way to encourage students to use Discovery Education as well as all other library resources.

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