Our ICL team (Sue Anderson, Doris Clingman and myself) teach in our scheduled classes and “just in time” teaching the value of students and teachers in using our online databases. One of our goals is to make our PS Library website with its many databases the go to place for our student researchers as they purse their inquiry.
We start our Kindergarten students with BrainPop Jr and BrainPop videos in Spanish and French. We introduce PebbleGo in Grade 1 followed by Britannica. Spanish and French databases come into play next as well as the incredible Britannica ImageQuest. ImageQuest is so important as it provides an excellent alternative to sending students searching on the Web as the provided ImageQuest images are rights cleared covering a wide variety of topics.
Sue is currently supporting a Grade 3 unit of study on economics by introducing more sophisticated databases using them to have students learn about supply and demand. She teaches ICL skills of information literacy and analysis by having the students go into the provided databases to gather information on supply and demand. She gives students the handout inserted below as they do their exploration.
Sue shared important insight with me yesterday regarding another goal in teaching databases. She stressed how important it is for the students to move beyond basic literacy in using them. As part of our ICL curriculum, we push for students to become fluent in how they analyze information, media, visuals and technology. A part of this fluency is becoming so comfortable that one is willing to persevere and stay on task in doing a database search when the information is not so easy to find.
Sue explained that the last thing we want is for students to have limited experience with databases so that they do not become adept in using them. With limited use and skill development they are more apt to quickly drop a database search when faced with an obstacle and jump into a search engine. In other words, the faculty and parents have to be all in when teaching and supporting the use of databases in school and at home so that they truly become a part of our students’ personal learning systems.
How “all in” is your school’s community in supporting your students to become skilled and dedicated database users?