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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

NEW dHL YouTube Channel Link

Check out my new YouTube Channel for videos showcasing the Digital Human Library. Watch for new videos appearing each week.

Friday, 23 December 2011

AMDSB dHL Wishlist

Thank you to all AMDSB staff who completed the dHL Wishlist survey. We appreciate your input as we continue to build this unique and exciting new resource which will be made available to all staff in the fall of 2012.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Digital Human Library Information Night

The dHL Information Night was a huge success!  Thank you to everyone who came out to support my project.  Video footage of the event will be made available soon.

Monday, 21 November 2011

One Teacher's Dream to Bring the World into her Classroom - Video Link

Watch the newest video about the Digital Human Library to learn more about the project, as well as the kinds of unique learning opportunities that will soon be made available to the students in your community!

A BIG thank you goes out to Steve Howe for putting this video footage together for my project.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Why Do Students Need the Digital Human Library?

The "more opportunities students are given to relate their knowledge and skills in all subject areas to wider contexts, both across the curriculum and in the world beyond the school, the more students will be motivated to learn and to become lifelong learners" (Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum Documents, 1998 - 2009).
Students using the dHL will engage in 21st century social learning which is supported through conversation and collaborative inquiry with dHL participants. Many of our students are motivated users of ICT in its' various forms, so incorporating the dHL into our classroom programs provides students with (1) a safe environment to explore ICT; (2) access to experts in all curriculum subject areas; and (3) opportunities to communicate their learning, share their knowledge, experiences and worldviews with people in their own communities and abraod, bringing the local and global community into the classroom.  In other words, students gain a sense of connectedness to the global society in which they live which motivates them to seek out new opportunities for academic learning both in and out of the classroom.  As they engage in interactive tasks which stimulate their interests, there is an increase in student engagment and participation, which also improves the classroom learning environment, promoting greater enjoyment of academic learning, and improved academic success.

Ontario Ministry of Education (2009). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: The Arts. Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Education (2006). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Language.Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Education (2005). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Math.Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Education (2004). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Social Studies.Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Education (1998). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Science and Technology. Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario. 

Why Do Teachers Need the Digital Human Library?

Preparing students to enter a glocal society is a challenging task for all teachers, but essential to student success.  As teachers learn new ways to build the meaningful use of technology into their classroom programs, they are also faced with the challenge of using that technology effectively to engage students, and further their academic progress. The purpose of the dHL is to (1) provide students with 21st century learning opportunities by integrating information and communication technology (ICT) into the classroom program to improve educational achievement, enrich curriculum experiences, stimulate student interest and curiousity, and increase student engagement and participation; (2) emphasize cross-curriculur learning and integrated learning by helping students to make connections across all areas of the curriculum, and to the world beyond the school, with a focus on how this knowledge will affect their lives; (3) support and communicate student learning by connecting with people in local communities and abroad, bringing the global community into the classroom to meet diverse student needs; (4) strengthen the relationship between communities and schools by involving parents and community members in student learning to improve student performance and achievement; and (5) provide a new instructional resource for teachers to support their teaching in all areas of the curriculum, by offering students unlimited access to "guest speakers, as well as visits to local museums, archaeological digs, geographic features, art galleries, and festivals" without the added expense of transportation and admission costs (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2004), therefore establishing a more inclusive and equitable learning and teaching experience for all.

Ontario Ministry of Education (2004). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Social Studies.Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

dHL Vimeo Channel

Check out my dHL Vimeo Channel!  New videos will be added each week to showcase this unique resource that will soon be made available for all teachers and students in the Avon Maitland District School Board.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Digital Human Library Video Link

Check out the link to Avon Maitland District School Board's Vimeo Channel to learn more about the dHL.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Digital Human Library Information Night

First Nations Cree Students Performing for Stephen Central P.S.
A Digital Human Library School Presentation

The grade 2/3 class has been using Skype (free video calling software) to connect with Cree students at Chief Poundmaker School on Poundmaker Native Reserve in Cutknife, Saskatchewan.  As part of our social studies curriculum, the students have been learning about First Nations people in Canada.  In order to compliment these curriculum expectations, my students and I have been working with one of the participants in my Digital Human Library to bring the field trip experience into the classroom!

The culminating activity for our unit will be a celebration of traditional Cree songs and dances which will be performed via Skype by students in all grades at Chief Poundmaker School.  Elders from the Poundmaker Native Reserve Community will also be participating in this performance.

Our class would like to extend an invitation to all students and family members in Huron County to attend this performance which will take place at Stephen Central P.S. in the gym, on Thursday, November 17th beginning at 11:30AM.  Come and experience the Digital Human Library!

Leigh Cassell
Elementary Teacher
Avon Maitland District School Board

What is the Digital Human Library?

What is the dHL?
The Digital Human Library (dHL) is an online database of people who have agreed to share their expertise, knowledge, skills and experiences on a wide range of topics in a variety of subject areas.  Using only a computer, a webcam, and Skype (a free software application), people in our community and communities around the world are connecting with teachers and students in classrooms to share their ideas, teach lessons, answer questions, and collaborate with educators to build a classroom program that better meets the needs of our children.  Think of the  Digital Human Library as you would a library, but instead of books, the resources that can be signed-out are the participants (people).  These participants have agreed to be contacted by classroom teachers to collaborate on an activity, lesson, or presentation that would then be shared at an agreed upon time using Skype.  So, in addition to the use of books and other classroom resources, students will now be able to engage with real people in real time using video calling software to learn curriculum based concepts and skills in a new and exciting way. The  Digital Human Library brings the field trip experience into the classroom!