Digital Learning Day 2013: Make Your Library SHINE! January 29, 2013Posted by Jen Habley in Check this out!.
By Suzanna L. Panter, School Librarian, Dumbarton Elementary School, Henrico, VA
Digital Learning Day (DLD) is a great time to make your library SHINE! If you’re thinking about participating in DLD keep these things in mind.
For a successful Digital Learning Day this Feb. 6, 2013, it is important to get everyone in your school involved. As a school librarian you are uniquely qualified to do just that. What an excellent opportunity for you to be seen as an important leader in your school. Meet with your leadership team, explain what DLD is, and make a plan for your school to participate.
Host Your Community
DLD is a perfect opportunity to advocate for your library by hosting your stakeholders. Invite parents, school board members, central office personnel, heck invite the local press to come and visit your library on DLD. This is a perfect time to showcase and share the important learning that goes on in your library everyday.
Inspire Your Students and Staff
When planning lessons with your classroom teachers, use this opportunity to show them what can be done with technology. We are planning a variety of activities for this year. Our 5th graders are learning about oceans, so my teachers and I created a bingo game to using the Wii game Endless Ocean. Through the video game, students scuba dive to discover all the wonders of the ocean and identify landforms, light zones, and sea creatures.
Our fourth grade team and I will be using DLD to teach our students how to use Xtranormal to share what they are learning about the civil war. They get to direct an animated movie complete with sets, camera angles, and special effects. This is one of their favorite projects on the year. Here is a link to one we created a few years ago: Harriet Tubman.
With my 3rd grade team, I will be planning interactive stations in the library to review map skills. There are so many great apps and websites that help students discover the world.
Co-teaching with the 2nd grade teachers, we will use databases such as PebbleGo to further our research of past and present. Technology can bring the past alive for students. First graders will work with Pixie 2 to create slides for a class slideshow on farm animals and our Kindergarten classes will use iPads and the app Puppet Pals to tell stories about their shape monsters.
Our Students Are Digital Natives
Don’t be afraid to try something new. We are often the ones who hold back our elementary students from using technology. They are digital natives; they can participate in DLD no matter how young they are. Our students are very intuitive; they understand how to use new technologies faster than we ever will.
Sometimes using technology is frightening for some of our teachers. This is a wonderful opportunity for us. Encourage your staff to use technology in their classrooms, by teaching them. As DLD comes closer I hold after school classes where teachers can come and learn new ways to use their interactive whiteboard and tools for their laptops and iPads. Ask them to co-teach with you so you can teach them along with their students. Participating in DLD is a great way to give your technophobic teachers a positive experience.
Digital learning should not be limited to a day, but embedded into everything we do in the library. However, DLD is a great way to celebrate what we do and highlight our successes to others. So go forth and make your library SHINE on Feb. 6th.