I’ve discovered that some of the best advice I have to share with practicing school library media specialists comes from my own students at the University of West Georgia! For example, my Ed.S. students provide some excellent examples of developing student engagement through use of web 2.0 tools and apps. I’ve pulled (with permission) some suggestions of recommended websites/apps and a brief statement about how they used them with teachers to get students involved in producing quality projects. Even though these examples are with P-12 students, they are applicable for public library children’s programs as well as, in some instances, academic programs. I’ll share three excellent ideas here and others over the next couple of months.
SMORE: (Eighth grade) Students will create a Smore flyer on one of the world religions that they have recently been introduced to. This will be a two day activity. The first day is overseen by the classroom teacher in the computer lab and the second by the SLMS in the library.
• (Day 1) Students will choose a world religion for their flyer: Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. They have been introduced to the basics recently in class. (They may work as partners, but each partner will have a different religion.) Students will gather their content information. They will use a chart (provided by the teacher) to gather their needed information– founder/ when and where, 3-4 basic beliefs, the holy book(s), symbol(s) of the religion, and two major holidays/festivals.
• (Day 2) Students will use www.smore.com to design a flyer (inputting their content, images, pics, etc.) to communicate a basic understanding of their chosen world religion. **For images, I would suggest pictures of the founder, holy book, religious symbol(s), person practicing the religion, etc. (These would be collected and put into a shared file folder on the school server.) https://www.smore.com/ Jennifer Bennett
KAHOOT!: (Sixth grade) Kahoot! is an online student response system that can be used with computers and mobile devices. It is very simple to use for both teachers and students, and it does not require loading an app to a mobile device. To use Kahoot!, the teacher creates an account and then creates a quiz or activity on the Kahoot! website. There are also thousands of public Kahoots you can use. Once the quiz is finished, the teacher gives their students the code to get into the quiz. Students go to the student Kahoot! website, type in the code, and they are ready to go. The questions are projected from a computer, and the students answer each question using their mobile device or computer. The leaders in points are projected on the screen after each question, so it brings an element of competition into the activity. The main requirements for using Kahoot! are some type of projection system in the classroom, such as a Promethean Board, as well as computers or mobile devices for the students to use. Teachers tell me that their students are much more enthusiastic about reviewing for quizzes and tests when they use Kahoot!, and they think that it improves some students’ performance. https://getkahoot.com/ Stephanie Conley
CHATTERPIX / THINGLINK / DROPBOX: (Kindergarten) The library media specialist read the book Click, Clack, Boo! Pauses were made during the reading to check for understanding and for students to voice their thoughts/observations. After the story, a discussion about Halloween was held with students. Then students brainstormed Halloween safety rules. The media specialist had previously downloaded or taken pictures of Halloween objects. The media specialist & students used the app Chatterpix to record each student making a talking picture of a Halloween safety rule. Then students worked together to decide on a background picture and make “hotspots” for a class ThingLink using each Chatterpix. The teacher projected the ThingLink on the interactive board. This was used as a center where students could touch each hotspot on the ThingLink and listen to a Halloween safety rule. Students also drew a picture and wrote about Halloween safety rules using the Paint program on the computer. Dropbox was used to share the Chatterpix and embed them into ThingLink. https://www.thinglink.com/ https://www.dropbox.com/ Amy Matthews