Web 2.0 technologies introduce a new quality in delivering library instructions
A number of school libraries offer online tutorials encompassing animation programming, streaming audio and video, coupled with interactive quizzes and handouts for downloading ( PRIMO ).
Web-based tutorials are very convenient because they are available any time and students can study at their own pace. A drawback is that students have no opportunity to interact with the instructor or with other students.
This shortcoming of web-based tutorials can be solved by introducing wikis as a platform for creating library instruction materials.
THE WEATHER PROJECT
school library is an extended classroom, a technology reach environment offering to students a great variety of resources in different formats
Web 2.0 attitude and technologies can effectively support PYP curriculum framework by helping students to become active learners and encouraging them to learn in collaboration with others
linking up information literacy with children’s literature has a strong effect on children’s learning motivation
helping students to develop skills that will encourage them to learn beyond their classroom and beyond the limits of formal education
Reading and discussing the story
What is the idea behind the story The Thundercake by Patricia Polacco?
How is the story organized?
What did students like in the story The Thundercake ?
Information resources about weather
What kind of information resources we need to research about weather?
How to use nonfiction books?
How to use encyclopedias?
How to decide whether a website is good and useful?
New information technologies
What is wiki and how to use it?
What are podcasts?
How to create an MP3 file with Audacity?
What do we want for students to learn?
literary work appreciation, and to understand that a good story can be a starting point for further inquiry
to acquire information literacy skills: use wiki, search information resources, evaluate website, create audio files
to learn and generate new knowledge
in collaboration with others
to participate in project development
Learning with wiki
Wiki project participants
year 3 students in Library Club in KJS - Hong Kong
All the students except one were ESL children
No previous experience in web publishing.
Software used in the project
it is offered for free for educational purpose in K-12 schools.
easy to use
contains a history page
contains email and a discussion page that allows users to put comments
page RSS feeds
Has a capability to imbed audio, video or any other multimedia file
an option to import a blog entry
Includes usage statistics
can be arranged that only invited members can edit the content.
The project offered 2 types of activities for students:
Literary activities, connected to the story
information literacy activities
Literary and literacy contents and activities were interwoven and they support each other during the project
Activities related to the story
1. Reading the story about weather
discussing the story elements: setting, characters, problem, solution
writing the story elements into a worksheet
Audacity – recording thoughts about the story
2. Searching for other stories about weather in KJS Library
brainstorming key words connected to weather
3. Learning the parts of a book
Parts of a book
4. Creating a list of stories - bibliography:
students used worksheets with bibliographical data
students learned how to use the Citationmaker
Collecting information resources on weather
How to search nonfiction books – PowerPoint lesson
creating a list of nonfiction books about weather in KJS Library
Searching encyclopedias – PowerPoint lesson
creating a list of encyclopedias with information about weather
How to find a good website – PowerPoint lesson
How can you tell it’s for real - exercise
testing websites on Weather by using a Web detective worksheet
Inquiry about thunderstorm
In the story The Thundercake by P. Polacco the grandma advises the little girl to count seconds between lightning and the sound of thunder to be able to guess how faraway a thunderstorm is. Students were surprised by this statement and wanted to know if it was true and why.
What is a thunderstorm?
Why do we see lightning first and hear thunder afterwards?
How do we know how far away a thunderstorm is?
During the inquiry students used resources like nonfiction books and the Internet, made notes and formulated answers and explanations. They presented their finding in Wikispaces.
Creating a podcast Thunderstorm
Students prepared a script and recorded audio by using Audacity
In the podcast Thunderstorm children explain the elements of the story The Thundercake by P. Polacco, talk about their inquiry about thunderstorm and tell jokes about weather.
discussion about the story structure
creating a basic story structure by using a worksheet
writing a story about fear of thunderstorm
Students stories (click the icon) (click the icon)
What did they learn?
how to use wiki
how to record an audio file (Audacity)
parts of a nonfiction books
how to know if a website is good or not
What they liked, and what they didn’t like?
recording with Audacity
What grade would they give themselves?
Observation during the lessons
students enjoyed the story and discussed the story elements
collaborated inside a group but there was no inter-group collaboration
once the work was published students didn’t make any changes
used messaging to contact each other and the librarian for instructions in using wiki
rarely used discussion space
asked questions (what is a thunderstorm?) and suggested other activities (story writing)
history page showed that all students were not equally active
considered their work as a group effort and success
worked also during the recess time and from home
Students enjoyed recording the audios with Audacity
Analysis of students’ final work
Students’ work is displayed on 4 wiki pages:
Thunder Cake Stories by students Weather fiction books Information resources
The textual part is done by students (librarian inserted pictures)
Information resources page is a good resource for unit of inquiry about weather
Stories are short but well structured
List of fiction books about weather is useful for the weather unit of inquiry (teachers borrowed some books for classroom reading)
Thunder Cake page shows students’ feedback to the story
Conclusion for the Weather project
children’s story was a good introduction to the project
wiki is a useful instructional tool for teaching information literacy
students still have to learn to manage wikis to make use of it in its full potential
library is a platform for collaborative and personalized learning
students acquired new information literacy and other skills
students worked collaboratively on the project, asked questions, participated in planning project activities
learning was personalized, students picked project tasks according to their interests and skills
students had the opportunity to work on the project at any place and any time they found convenient
research skills (how to use nonfiction books, encyclopedias and the Internet)
critical thinking skills (how to decide if a website is good)
decision-making (made decisions about division of labor in the project)
communication skills (worked collaboratively on a project, learned how to use wiki)
Practical benefits (in PYP discourse called “action”)
Year 3 teachers used some of the resources created be students in their everyday classroom work
they checked out books from the collection of stories about weather and read them in classroom:
used nonfiction books about weather for practicing research skills
IB curriculum is officially described as “ inquiry -based” and “ resource -based”, and this already makes the library essentially involved in the whole process of teaching and learning.
I showed here some illustrations of the role that the school library can play in the implementation of the IB program.
There are many more contributions that the library can offer, which are made by other librarians or are waiting to be explored in the future.
It would be a pity if these opportunities were missed or forgotten in the development of the curriculum, as they apparently sometimes are.
For instance, in the new and very comprehensive document Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education the search for the word “library” gives the result “total instances found: 0”.