Every fall the freshman history teachers assign an research project to introduce students to research skills and tools they will need at the high school. At the same time, the same students were writing a paper for English class. Last year we combined these assignments in to an interdisciplinary research project.
Students are asked to choose a revolution and answer the question "What causes a revolution?" They are to find causes and evidence for each cause (the number of causes and the amount of evidence required depends on the level of the class).
The project requires close collaboration with the school librarian (me). One of the things we noticed during last fall's work with students was that students become frustrated with all tools they are learning for the first time.
This year we dedicated more in class time for students to complete their research. Each block the students had specific tasks and tools they were to use. This allowed plenty of opportunities for students…
Tomorrow is the third day of school and we are about to have freshman students creating accounts for a variety of digital tools. I know their heads are spinning just trying to navigate their way around the school building. I also know when I was transferred to the high school library 3 years ago, I struggled with keeping all the tools and accounts straight, what to use when, how to logon, etc. And I am a school librarian, not a 14 year old!
I created this slidedeck to help students keep all the accounts straight, as something to refer back to and to help guide any absent or new students who need to set up accounts later in the year. I am sure I will be editing and fine-tuning to meet student needs. Further lessons will go deeper in to each of these tools but I am hoping this helps our students remember what is what and to set them up for success!
I love to learn!! As a school librarian there is ALWAYS something new. Professional opportunities abound on the Internet with online classes and webinars. Google, PBS, Coursera, and Creative Commons are among the organizations offering virtual learning opportunities and awarding certificates or badges. Some companies, like Flipgrid, offer badges based on usage.
Jennifer Casa-Todd recently reflected on her journey to Google Cerification on her blog. Casa-Todd states "Preparing for the test taught me so much that I would definitely use and show others." I agree that these certifications and badges have merit and are valuable ways to continue learning. Badges/certificates are a great visual to show teachers and students what we know and how we can help them. They also demonstrate to administrators the independent work we do to grow professionally.
We know that certified school librarians are being cut in school districts across the country. My fear is that school officials will…