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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The dHL Needs Your Help!

Since the Ministry of Education decided not to fund the Digital Human Library Project, we are now actively seeking support from our local and global community partners.  The dHL is currently searching for a computer programmer to build the dHL database.  Alternatively we are in need of funding to support the development of this unique resource.  If you are interested in helping make the dHL project a success, please read the dHL Project Proposal and contact me via email if you are interested.  Thanks!

Introducing the Digital Human Library

The Digital Human Library

I would like to introduce you to an exciting new resource that we are creating for the students and teachers of the Avon Maitland District School Board called, The Digital Human Library.

Community members - just like you - have expertise in a variety of subject areas that could be shared with students to help enrich our classroom programs.  Field trips and guest speakers are expensive, and as a result, students are only offered a few of these experiences over the course of the school year. The Digital Human Library is a resource that provides students with unlimited access to these unique learning opportunities, not otherwise available from any other type of classroom resource.

Our goal is to create an online database of people who have agreed to share their expertise, knowledge, skills and experiences with students in our classrooms using Skype (free video calling software). Teachers will be able to access the Digital Human Library database, and connect with community members who are willing to teach lessons, lead activities, and answer questions to engage with our students.  The Digital Human Library brings the field trip experience into the classroom!

If you are unfamiliar with Skype, or don’t have access to a computer, we can help! We will assist you with everything you need to get started – all you need is a desire to work with students in our school communities.  The teachers that contact you will work with you to plan your Skype classroom visit, and help you prepare to work with the students. We will find creative ways to link your knowledge and skills to the Ontario Curriculum.

Every community member has something valuable to contribute.  You are one of these people.  We’re looking for you to get involved!

Do you want to learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of our students?

If you would like more information about the Digital Human Library project please contact me by email

The dHL database will be made available to teachers in the fall of 2012.  dHL participants will be contacted by email to confirm their registration before the database is made public.

Thank you for your interest,

Leigh Cassell
Elementary Teacher
Avon Maitland District School Board

So, what have you missed?

It's been a while since my last post, but I've been a busy mom with my new baby.  Now that the dust has settled, I'm back to work on the Digital Human Library Project.  So, what have you missed these past two months . . . ?

1)  Well, the Ministry of Education decided not fund my grant proposal.  The Ministry's feedback was that the Digital Human Library needs to prove itself as a sustainable resource before they would consider funding.  So, I am now actively seeking grants from other organizations and corporations to help fund the development and maintenance of the database.  Alternatively, I am looking for a computer programmer who would be willing to build the dHL database free of charge.  I will reapply to the Ministry in the future, but for now I still searching.

2) All AMDSB elementary schools received a webcam to be used with the dHL.  Thank you to Mornington Communications Company for purchasing the webcams!  And thank you to the Foundation for Enriching Education for distributing the webcams to all AMDSB elementary schools.

3)  I submitted a grant proposal to Ginny Dybenko, the Director of the University of Waterloo in Stratford.  She is very interested in my project and has kindly offered her support by providing me with contacts at the University.  Paul Doherty is one of these contacts, and he has offered to help find a computer programmer (student or university alumni) to build the dHL database.  Paul Doherty is also looking into possible grants I might be eligible to apply for in the upcoming months. Fingers crossed!

3)  I have applied for a grant from the OLA (Ontario Library Assoc), and I am working with Sam Coughlan and Anne-Marie Heckman at the Stratford Public Library to add their incredible collection of Human Library contacts to the Digital Human Library list of participants.

4) On April 11th I was awarded a AMDSB Key Contribution Award by the Board of Trustees.  I was nominated for improving student achievement in all areas of students learning, with a focus on literacy and numeracy. Check out the link for the video presented during the awards ceremony.

5)  On April 26th I met with my dHL project team to discuss how we are going to continue our search for dHL participants.  Thank you to Jeremy Brock and Sue deWinter for attending.  You support and commitment to the Digital Human Library Project is appreciated.

6)  Tonight I will be presenting at the Ignite Parents event in Stratford at the Arden Park Hotel.  Doors open at 6:30PM.  This will be an exciting evening of five minute high energy presentations in the field of education. There is no admission fee and the first 200 to attend receive a free gift bag!  Cash bar and complimentary food treats.
I will be posting a copy of my narrated slideshow presentation so stay tuned!

Well, that's it for now.  Follow me on Twitter @dhumanlibrary to stay informed or check my blog each week for regular updates.