Friday, May 16, 2014

3rd Grade Go Wild about Brittanica Online

Iowa AEA Online Resources is an incredibly amazing and valuable online resource for students in grades PreK-12!

This school year I made it one of my personal goals to increase awareness and usage of Iowa AEA Online to staff and students!  I even included it on my district individual professional growth plan.  I wasn't sure how to go about increasing awareness and usage, as I caution on the side of not wanting to overwhelm teachers, or even "add one more thing to their workloads."  I kept pondering the idea of how can I increase awareness and usage, while also incorporating collaboration and a team effort between the classroom teacher and students.

In the January, I introduced third grade students to BookFlix and TrueFlix.  You can read about it by clicking here for a blog post.  The following quote from a student shows just how much this student, and even others, enjoyed and LOVE these two resources!  To this day, they continue to re-visit BookFlix and TrueFlix.  I am particularly amazed at how students select TrueFlix, and are eager to learn from what is presented on TrueFlix.

Three weeks ago, all three 2nd grade classroom teachers and two of the three 3rd grade classroom teachers were in the school library checking out the entire animal book collection for an upcoming animal research project.  A day later, another 3rd grade teacher came into the library to also check-out animal books for her students.  I could clearly see how upsetting and frustrating it was for her to discover the entire animal books collection had been checked out.  The classroom teacher then told me, "I guess I will take the students to the computer lab and have them use Google Search."   Yipes, there is more to seeking resources other than Google Search.  While I admit that I use Google Search for various tasks, it is one I do not recommend to staff and students.  So many things can go wrong with Google Search.  Just ask Alan November (@globallearning) and he will tell you that there is more to Google Search than just typing in the a word or phrase into the textbox.

Of course, the teacher's comment presented a great opportunity and perfect timing to share and teach this classroom teacher about Britannica Online.  As I was showing her how to use Britannica Online, another 3rd grade teacher entered the library and was also hooked on Britannica Online!  Before you know it, by the next day, all three 3rd grade classroom teachers were convinced that Britannica Online would be an excellent resource!

Not only did students use Britannica Online to obtain research for their specific animal, but students also used IC Skills class time to find images from Britannica Online to use for a classroom project.

Students download the images from Britannica onto a Google Doc, so they could use it to print for their classroom projects!

Check out the pictures of 3rd grade students using Google Drive and Britannica Online!

3rd Grade Students accessing, logging in, and using Google Drive.

3rd Grade Students combining the use of Google Doc and Britannica Online to obtain images for a classroom project!