Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pre-Practicum Musings: Part 5

Today was a quiet day class-wise in the library, so it meant a focus on some of the more administrative tasks in the library. In a nice juxtaposition of the old and the new, I helped in the weeding of more ancient library books and also prepared the contracts for this term's NOOK rentals. As part of a grant a few years ago, the library was gifted a number of NOOK e-readers and one of the History teachers has used them with one of his classes each term to read a companion novel to the time period they are studying. This is not my first go-around with the NOOKs but I haven't ever asked that many questions about how they are used. Stay tuned for a future blog post...

A quiet library meant a little time to chat with the LMS about how the virtual museum pilot worked out (See previous post). It didn't seem to be a slam dunk, per se, but she noted several strong positives that came out of the project. The major con was really just time. With 6 snow days that chopped up a part of 3 consecutive weeks, it just became too difficult to carry the project through to the end. Tthe final museum will be put together by the LMS and the Academic Facilitator, using the criteria and the artifacts agreed upon by the students. Although it's a little disappointing that the students won't be able to see it through, there's no doubt they'll feel a sense of pride and ownership when they see the final product online.

Among the many pros? Students created a much more robust set of artifacts than the LMS observed from the other classes who did a more traditional approach towards learning about Egyptian culture. She also felt the learning was much broader, as some of the group work and classifying exercises meant that students working on the virtual museum had greater exposure to a wider range of aspects of the culture. Another strong positive was a ripple effect throughout the teachers - word spread about the cool new thing she was working on with the History teacher and there are 2 other teachers who have now come to her with interesting ideas on how to improve some of their upcoming projects with the resources in the library.

Perhaps, this is the biggest win of them all. It's a tactic I used in my past professional life when part of my job entailed working with sales people to have them better use the research and marketing tools we had at our disposal. It's overwhelming to try to hit everyone at once with a new idea (and then it's a struggle to meet everyone's needs), but it can be very effective to find one person willing to be a trailblazer, do great work with them, and then watch how word spreads naturally from there. Very cool to see it in action, and I am interested to see what other projects come out of the library this year.

Today's hours: 2.5

Total hours: 12

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