How Collections by Destiny Has Fostered Collaboration in My School
BY JENNIFER LEWIS
My teachers ask for help with resources when planning lessons but Collections has taken those requests to a new level. Knowing that I can create something so useful for them, they come to me more often to ask for help. Learn why Collections prompts teacher comments like: "THIS IS AMAZING!"
I envisioned creating Collections that would bring relevant and interesting resources to my students and make their time at school more productive. However, school started a few days after the webinar, and I figured I didn’t have time to learn something new. Then at a district media specialist meeting, a colleague showed me a couple of Collections that she had made and told me how easy they are to create. Since that day, I have created many Collections, which have all been extremely useful for teachers and students!
Collections is a new component within Destiny Discover. It allows users to collect resources, such as websites, ebooks, documents, images and physical resources all in one easy-to-access location! Through Collections, we can curate resources for our students that correspond with the standards they are learning.
The first Collections I developed were created as a result of a collaboration with my fifth-grade language arts teachers. Their students were beginning a project in which they compared and contrasted two historical figures. I made a Collection for each of the seven pairs of historical figures that the students could choose to research. I included any print resources we own as well as links to useful websites and ebooks. I also attached the assignment directions, a t-chart graphic organizer and the grading rubric. Students were easily able to access these documents during the research process. I popped into a classroom about a week later to deliver a book to a student and saw a group of students working on this assignment with the Collection I made open on their laptops in front of them!
Collections has become a natural part of my collaboration process with teachers. My teachers often let me know when they are starting a new unit and request that I gather related books. However, now, when I pull books, I also create a Collection to accompany the request. Then I deliver the books directly to the classroom and take my laptop so that I can show the teacher the Collection and how to access it. Some teachers are now requesting Collections or creating their own!
I have been training students on how to access and use Collections as they come in to the media center for lessons. Accessing collections has become easier than ever now that our district has linked Destiny Discover in our Canvas Learning Management System. Students like Collections because they are so easy to use. They have no problems locating the Collections or accessing the links within.
Our district has implemented some curriculum changes that require our teachers to teach the same topic at the same time. My library’s budget doesn’t allow the purchase of enough physical books to supply all our students with multiple copies of each title. Collections allows me to create a list of resources that students can easily access. Of course, I still include the books. However, if the students can’t get the books they need, they have plenty of other options. I found that EBSCO ebooks (available within the Georgia’s Galileo system) generate a permalink, which I copy and paste into Collections so that students can easily access them. Using Collections is a huge time saver. When we curate resources for students, they can spend their time reading and learning.
Here are some benefits of Collections that I have observed so far.
My teachers enjoy our collaborations and ask me for help with resources when planning lessons. But Collections has taken those requests to a new level.
Knowing that I can create something so useful for them, they come to me more often to ask for help. When I create Collections, I usually make them public to our entire school district, hoping that teachers and students in other schools can use them as well. My principal teaches evening classes, and she came in the morning after one of her classes and told me that the several of the teachers in her class (who work at other nearby schools) asked her to thank me for creating Collections that her students are using!
As stated in the Future Ready Libraries frameworks, librarians should “lead in the selection, integration, organization, and sharing of digital resources and tools to support transformational teaching and learning and develop the digital curation skills of others.” Collections provides an ideal platform for curating resources and teaching others about locating resources that are perfect for certain topics or assignments.
A couple of months ago, I was leaving school for the day when one of my fourth-grade teachers came running into the library. She said, “I need all of your books on clouds for a lesson first thing in the morning!” As it turns out, we don’t have very many books about clouds, and definitely not enough for the 32 students in her class! I said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered."
That evening, I created a Collection about types of clouds for her students. I included our library titles, several ebooks and a couple of links to websites that I previewed for content related to the science standards. I texted this teacher later and told her to check her email, where I had sent directions for accessing the clouds Collection. A few minutes later, she texted back, “THIS IS AMAZING!” It only took me maybe 15 minutes to create the Collection. But don’t tell my teacher that! She thinks I saved her lesson, and I hope that she will ask for my assistance locating resources again in the future.
Jennifer Lewis Media Specialist
Jennifer Lewis is the Media Specialist at Indian Knoll Elementary School in Canton, Georgia. She has been in education for 21+ years and 7+ years as a media specialist. You can find Jennifer on Twitter @librarylew and on her blog missliberryteacher.blogspot.com.
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