Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Observation

Today, I observed an SLMC* in the Nathanial Hawthorne School in Rochester. It was a lively and bustling SLMC, with fixed and flexible scheduling as well as a computer lab located inside.
It was a dose of reality, since when I asked the SLMS if she uses Web 2.0 tools in her class, she said no as the students did not have access to computers outside of school, so it was pointless for teachers to use blogs and wikis for homework. She also mentioned that the teachers had so much curriculum to cover and with such a heavy emphasis on reading, that they simply did not have the time to cover Web 2.0 tools.
We discussed databases, which were sponsored by the district (of Rochester) and included Culture gram, WorldBook encyclopedia, and WBKids. A neat trick that they used was access to NYPL (which was free) and allowed them access to many additional databases at no charge-such as Grolier, etc.
For their school library catalog, they are using Destiny and that was a really neat catalog since it had the accelerated reader feature on it, allowed use from home, and students were able to use it themselves for Interlibrary loans! (pending approval from the librarian). It also had the standards that the teachers need for every grade.
But it was disappointing that they are not able to take advantage of the Web 2.0 tools :(
*SLMC =student library media center

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