Last year I delved into Thing 6: Curation Tools and ended up using LibGuides to curate resources for Black History Month at our school. Since then I've continued to use LibGuides to curate resources. However, while blogging about curation tools last year, I said the following: "Michelle Luhtala uses Destiny to curate much of her school library's content including student book review trailers. I would like to figure out how to use Destiny for curation because it is a tool the students are already using."
Recently my Follett Destiny sales representative demonstrated a new curation tool to use within Destiny called Collections by Destiny. So, this year for Thing 6: Curation Tools, I decided to explore Collections and will use it curate resources on the rainforest for an upcoming 5th grade project. Then I will compare it to LibGuides.
But first I read Joyce Valenza's SLJ article - "Curation Situations: Let us count the ways." Joyce inspired me with her reasons to curate and to teach curating:
"Librarians are uniquely qualified to curate digital assets. . . . Digital curation is a translation and amplification of our traditional practice. . . . K12 digital curation is about getting our users/students/teachers to the good stuff, pointing them to content and resources they might not themselves discover with their own intuitive strategies. It’s about saving teachers instructional time. . . . In teach a man to fish style, rather than continuing to push resources to our students, we can transfer responsibility and engage them as curators of their research-in-progress and their other original works and encourage them to curate the tools they need for workflow."
Things I like about LibGuides:
Things I like about Collections by Destiny:
It feels a lot like Pinterest. I think the format is visually appealing and comfortable for students and teachers to use. You can place "add to collections" on your browser bookmarks bar to quickly add resources to the collection.
The resources show an image, a URL, a summary (sometimes) and tags.
Things I don't like about Collections by Destiny:
Working on this project reminded me that all digital curation requires upkeep. I ran across many broken links when exploring OERs within Destiny Discover.
Librarians are all about note-taking for research projects, so this topic caught my eye. I have played with Evernote a couple of times, but I just don't get into the habit of using it consistently. I save almost everything to my Google drive. However, I've never used Google Keep, so I am eager to read the Comparison Chart of Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep. I also hope to be able to show my students another way to take notes.
Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are more robust according to the comparison chart, and PC Mag did not give Google Keep a good review comparatively speaking. However, I still wanted to try Google Keep because our school uses G Suite for Education with 1-to-1 ChromeBooks for the students. So I started out with 10 Basic Tips and Tricks for Google Keep.
I started by adding the Google Keep extension to my Chrome browser. While in the Chrome Web Store, I spied another extension - "Category Tabs for Google Keep." I quickly learned the reason for this extension: Google Keep does not provide a way to collect notes in folders per se. This extension lets you associate the various colors in the palette with a limited number of categories or "folders" that you label - sports, grocery list, etc. To set up the color association, I had to go (on by Chrome tool bar) Window > Extensions > Category Tabs for Google Keep > Options.
Things I Liked About Google Keep
Things I Didn't Like About Google Keep
I think it would be interesting to have students try to use Google Keep to curate all their notes on a research topic. They could use the different colors for subtopics (e.g., Rainforest - plants, animals, people, medicines, deforestation, etc.) as they would likely archive or delete the research notes after the project was done. The colors could be reset to new subtopics for the next project.
I like introducing the students to Google Keep because they are comfortable using their Google account, and it's a real-world tool that won't go away when they change schools or the school decides to purchase a different app.
Will the students be able to add the Google Keep and Category Tabs for Google Keep Chrome extensions or will I need to go through the IT department to enable that? How about the Google Keep app? Questions I will need to ask and answer.
*Note-taking image at top of page: By Juhko (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Common Core State Standards clearly call
for students to learn from primary sources.
The Library of Congress blog nicely lays
out the connection between the CCSS
and primary sources.
Explaining Primary Sources
Common Craft created a video to explain the difference between primary and secondary sources which seems suitable for our intermediate students. For younger students, I like "What are Primary Sources?"
Lesson Plans I Can Use
First I read Joyce Valenza's recent School Library Journal article - "Library of Congress introduces three new apps (and a reminder of some older goodies)." I liked the KidCitizen app, and plan to use two episodes ("What are Primary Sources?" and "Community Helpers") with my second grade classes who do a big unit on community helpers each fall.
Another resource that I would like to use is the Civil Rights History Project digital collection from the Library of Congress which includes video interviews of civil rights activists. These could be used in conjunction with "Engaging Students with Primary Sources" (chapter 4 - Oral Histories - Strength and Limitations; Tips for Analyzing Taped and 1of 2 Transcribed Oral History Interviews, etc.)
Although I have personally blogged for over 10 year on multiple platforms (EduBlogs, WordPress, KidBlog, Blogger and this Weebly blog), this year I am determined to take the next step - to set up a classroom blog.
Each year, our 5th graders keep a "Rainforest Journal" where they record their learning during a major project about the Rainforest. I proposed to the 5th grade teacher leader that we collaborate on the project, with me teaching the students how to use a blog for their Rainforest Journal.
What did I learn?
Did I like learning this way?
The Cool Tools for School format perfectly suits my learning style. I love working at home, at my own pace, choosing my own topics, and having the opportunity to repeat topics from previous years. Polly curates more information than can be grasped in one sitting and technology changes frequently.
I liked the switch to Canvass as it made it easier to see what was completed, what had been graded, etc. However, for my colleagues who were newbies, it was a little confusing having information on both the WordPress web site and Canvass. Nonetheless, I totally understand the need to keep the curated content there for people who want to come back to it later!
Some suggestions . . .
Readings and Resources
Tools - I chose to explore NewsELA as our principal has offered to pay for subscriptions. I signed up for a 60 day pro trial. Here's what I learned:
As part of the Teacher Leaders Team at my school, I want to do some screencasts to cover topics like how to use the catalog (Destiny) to search for library materials, how to use the EasyBib add-on in Google Docs to create a bibliography, etc. I also wanted to know about apps that my students could use to create screencasts.
Last year I explored SnagIt and really liked it because it was easy to use and saved to Google Drive. However, SnagIt has been mothballed, so I'm revisiting the topic. I have ScreenFlow on my Mac, but the latest update requires a $34 purchase, so I want to look into free screencasting options for both my students and me.
To begin, I read some overview articles:
I decided to try out Screencastifiy - Has free Lite or ("Record up to 10 minutes per video with an embedded Screencastify logo. Make up to 50 recordings each month") or premium version ("Unlimited recording length and number of recordings, no watermark, cropping and trimming, MP4 export") for $24 per year.
My Screencastify tutorial on How to Use the EasyBib Bibliography Creator Add-On turned out OK. I could not limit the recording to just one tab as I had to open other tabs for demonstration purposes, so that made for a messier look (not to mention the watermark on the free version). Also, when I watched the tutorial in full-screen mode it was blurry. I do like how it automatically saves to your Google Drive and can easily be uploaded to YouTube.
Next I experimented with QuickTime and found it not too hard to use. I imported it into iMovie with the plan to add a title and perhaps some music. I found out the hard way that iMovie 10 does not include a library of royalty-free music. It was a snap to upload to YouTube. Here's the result (also a bit blurry in full-screen mode).
This week I joined the Black History Month Committee at my school, and I was asked to provide the teachers with a list of resources to use for read-alouds or for Sustained Silent Reading. My first thought was to create two separate resource lists in Destiny. Then I thought that I should widen my scope to make a LibGuide so that I could also curate resources from outside our collection. The RCSD School Library System pays for a subscription to LibGuides and encourages us to use it, so that seemed like the best platform.
However, I decided to first re-visit the Cool Tools Thing 6: Curation Tools to see what other options are out there. So, again relying on Joyce Valenza to curate the best resources and information, I started with the EdWeb Webinar "Curation, Revisited: Aggregating Content in 2016" lead by Joyce Valenza, Brenda Boyer and Michelle Luhtala. Here are my takeaways from that webinar:
How are they relevant to your community at large, outside of school?
How are emerging tech trends relevant to my library, clasroom and school community?
What trends do I feel are most important?
What challenges and opportunities do these technologies represent?
For starters, I watched the two videos posted by Polly - "Amazing Mind Reader Reveals His 'Gift'" and "Jigsaw: for 8-10 year olds" by The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center. These are each great for showing to my students according to their grade level to introduce the topic of digital citizenship and create a felt need.
What is Digital Citizenship?
"The ability to use digital technology and media in safe, responsible and effective ways" ("8 Digital Life Skills All Children Need - And a Plan for Teaching Them").
Why Teach Digital Citizenship?
What Should Instruction on Digital Citizenship Include?
(list from Teacher's Guide to Digital Citizenship)
Resources I Want to Use with My Students?
After exploring multiple options for teaching Digital Citizenship, I chose the following because they seemed easy to implement and included interactive features that would catch the students' attention.
Are there games to help teach Digital Citizenship?
Exploring the topic of digital citizenship allowed me to organize my thoughts and curate the resources that I want to use with my students!