Thursday, January 28, 2016

Digital Resources and 1-to-1 by Cathy Potter

Our library has both a physical presence and an online presence. Third grade students with 1:1 iPads have access to all of the FES Library’s digital resources all day, anywhere they are in the building. Students use their devices in the classroom and in the library for research and literacy work. Having the 1:1 iPads in third grade has been powerful because students always have access to digital library resources such as online databases, ebooks and online encyclopedias. For example, we subscribe to PebbleGo which provides readers with digital articles on a variety of science and history topics. We also have a school subscription to True-Flix where students may access nonfiction e-books, and our library catalog offers readers many fiction and nonfiction e-books that students may check-out on their iPads. It’s like having the library at their fingertips. Students can visit the library website to access material for research without searching Google, which we know isn’t the most effective way for an elementary student to research a topic.

The library also subscribes to Tales2Go which provides unlimited streaming of thousands of children's audiobooks to our students. Students have access to these audiobooks on their iPads for reading class. It allows students that might not be reading at their grade level to access material and listen to stories that their classmates are reading so they can take part in class discussions and book groups.  If you look at the Common Core Standards, we're asking learners to read and write but we also want them to be able to speak and listen effectively. Listening is a crucial skill that students needs to develop, and listening to audiobooks is a way to improve those listening and comprehension skills. Students also listen to audio books for pleasure which has been motivating for our readers and has encouraged a love of reading.

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