Educators need to be teaching our students how to selectively bring information to them, instead of constantly trying to “find” information as well as teaching them how to use social networking sites in order to network safely and appropriately.
As a result of a grant from DSEF, tackling these educational challenges has become easier for educators in the Dover Sherborn Districts. Destiny, an online library catalog, is an important tool to use for this K-12 instruction. Chickering, Pine Hill, the Middle School and High School libraries all have Destiny.
Destiny is available, online, 24/7. This means that our students can access their respective school’s library catalog from anywhere in the world. Students can see what library materials will help them with their latest project or view ‘Resource Lists’ compiled by their teacher, school librarian or themselves for their assignments. These ‘Resource Lists’ may contain materials available through their library as well as articles in subscription databases or educator reviewed websites. They can compile a list of potential resources, reserve books from home, and if available, the items will be waiting for them in the school library when they arrive in the morning. The list may also include websites that they want to review or academic articles they want to peruse. Our online databases (termed the ‘hidden web’), offers wonderful resources for our students, which are also accessible via Destiny.
Destiny gives us the ability to have eBooks. Currently eBooks purchased from a specific vendor can be utilized by students whereever they may be in the world. These eBooks can be viewed online, downloaded, or used by classroom teachers for instruction with their Interactive White Boards (IWBs – another grant from DSEF).
Social Networking skills need to be taught to all students, even our younger students who might belong to Club Penguin, WebKins, Kidzworld, Togetherville, for example. Destiny has social networking features that allow us to teach students the safe use of this technology. Students may comment on books, such as ‘star’ books, write a book review, audio record a book review or even upload a video clip reviewing a book; they may also comment upon each other’s’ reviews.
Book reviews use higher order thinking skills than just summarizing or re-telling the story. Students tell about their favorite part of the story or how they made a connection to the book, providing evidence for their thinking.
Destiny is an all-inclusive means to helping our students find information they need to build new knowledge and understanding, at school, online and 24/7.