Of the unlimited tools out there, the five most important ones should be focused on using the library, digital literacy, and creativity.
The first two on my list, online catalogue and district databases, may seem a bit boring but are essential for teaching library skills and digital literacy. I've had the opportunity to use Destiny, Blue Cloud, Atrium, and SOAR online catalogues. They all do the basics of summarizing and listing the location of books. But SOAR has an additional feature in which each patron has their own account in which book lists can be created. This level of interactivity is monumental when encouraging reading. The Chicago school district subscribes to several databases full of information on local history, encyclopedias and other sources of information. It is my duty as a librarian to teach and encourage students to use them.
My third tool, Youtube, is something students are already very familiar with and able to use. It is a vast resource for read alouds and tutorials. Plus it is a great platform to store and publish student creations.
Creativity is the focus of my fourth and fifth tools. I had the pleasure of using Seesaw in Malaysia. I was so very thankful to have it during Covid as creating lessons for home-learning were a breeze. It was created with the young learner in mind so the tools are icon based and easy to master. Students are able to capture photos of work, add video and audio. Teachers can create guided interactive lessons using the same tools. The huge library of teacher created lessons keeps growing. And finally, Book Creator, is an amazing tool as well. It gives kids a purpose for their research and creative writing projects. Students can work collaboratively or individually. I envision having classes create a book of book reviews, personal comic books, or present core content.
The following pages list the best features of each tool. Click on the logos for more information from their websites.
The online catalogue isn't just for finding books. Many catalogue systems now support individual student accounts with interactive features like creating book lists. Students can curate their own lists for leisure, research, and even record what they've read.
Any craft or project you can think of most likely has a tutorial posted on youtube. Most books have a read aloud video posted. With careful curation, Youtube, is an excellent tool.
Most school districts subscribe to many databases to enrich the curriculum. It is important to encourage and train students to make use of the information.
Seesaw is a great tool to help young students create & consume digital content. They can capture photos, videos, and audio with easy to use tools. Teachers can create interactive lessons and access thousands of other teacher created lessons.
And finally, my favorite tool, Book Creator is a fabulous and easy digital book making tool and upper elementary and older kids can easily master. It is endlessly useful for publishing creative writing and research products. As well as making interesting blog posts!
There are so many more tools that I'll be utilizing in the library but these are my top five most useful and versatile ones.