Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Teacher-Media Specialist Collaboration Is Recipe for Student Success


As editors, we are privileged at times to get out of the office and visit schools and libraries to witness how librarians, media specialists, teachers and students use ProQuest resources at their points of need. We visited Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and observed a recipe for student engagement: the collaboration of a media specialist and teacher.

Deb Svec, media specialist, collaborates with as many teachers as she can who are willing to join her on fun, innovative projects for high school students. Knowing this, we were very excited when Deb welcomed us to her media center to consult on use of our resources and observe her current project in partnership with 10th grade English teacher Julie Mooney. Deb and Julie joined forces for a lesson centered on the book Escape from Camp 14, the story “of the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped.” Nonfiction was selected due to Language Arts Florida Standards’ emphasis on nonfiction proficiency.

ProQuest provides content-based reading and research for nonfiction units.

The nine-week lesson starts with pre-research to learn about the contextual themes of the book including North Korea, human rights, genocide, torture, and historical comparison to the holocaust. Deb demonstrates three ProQuest resources in the media center: CultureGrams for country research, eLibrary for in-depth current and historical reference and SIRS Issues Researcher to delve into the ethical angles. Then with Julie’s guidance, students team up in the computer lab to research ProQuest resources and gather as many facts as they can. In another class, they produce poster boards illustrating their research, which are posted in the classroom for reference.

Collaborators in Education: Julie Mooney and Deb Svec
Palm Beach Gardens Community High School (Photo by Christie Riegelhaupt)

Next, the students are immersed in the story of Shin Dong-hyuk through reading and discussion of the book. As their understanding is enlightened through the narrative of Escape from Camp 14, students return to the media center to dig deeper into thematic research in ProQuest resources including eLibrary Research Topics specially created by editors for this topic. In subsequent class activities to engage in critical thinking, students answer questions through Cranium Core games to prompt in-depth discussion and promote comprehension.

In their final project, the students collaborate and produce public service announcements (PSAs) on the horrors of North Korean internment camps. These PSAs are broadcast via the school media network.

At the end of other book units, Deb and her collaborative teachers often invite authors for Skype or in-person visits with the students. Students are inspired by the experience of interacting with authors who often have experiences similar to their own.

Collaborative lessons like Escape from Camp 14 don’t just promote rote knowledge but build college-ready skills through collaboration,  reading comprehension, technology use, information literacy, critical thinking, and oral presentation. Educators like Deb and Julie are an example of how collaborative teaching and use of media center resources provide dynamic immersive learning.

Research Topic

Shin Dong-hyuk, one of several ProQuest eLibrary Research Topics
created specially by editors for the Escape from Camp 14 unit.


Originally published November 12, 2014.

Makerspace Inspiration for March

Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52926035@N00/12229383703">Makerfying your library</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

Sketchnotes from a session at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference on “Makerfying Your Library.”
Photo Credit: Sally Wilson via photopin (license)

Creativity not only exercises your brain, it’s good for your overall well-being. Playing, creating, tinkering, experimenting, inventing and programming are just some ways children and adults alike can exercise their “making” powers. All the tools and materials we might use to make a creative project shine are stored collectively in what are coined makerspaces, and they come in all varieties and sizes. Makerspaces are DIY places to collaborate, co-create and innovate. Whether you want to build a makerspace for the classroom, the library, on a bus or even at home, the possiblities for doing so are endless. There’s really no wrong way to build a makerspace, so we’ve pulled together some different types to inspire you during the month of March. Perhaps the start of spring will also be the start of a new makerspace!

1. Mobile Makerspaces: Around the world, makerspaces are becoming traveling ‘create’ spaces that can be housed on buses, RVs or basically anything that can be transported easily to a new location. Equipped with anything from a 3-D printer to Play-Doh and wire, you can find an online starter list of existing mobile makerspaces. There are currently over 1,000 Meetup groups in various countries just for makerspace enthusiasts.

"FryskLab" by lauwersdelta35 via Flicker, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Children Working in a Makerspace at an Innovation Center in The Netherlands
Photo credit: “FryskLab” lauwersdelta35 via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Hackspaces: Hackspaces often focus a lot on technology, computers, electronic art and engineering. You might find a combination of electronic gadgets, hardware, science experimentation and digital art creation here. The hackerspaces wiki contains an extensive list of current locations in the U.S. and beyond.

3. Fab Labs: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was an integral collaborater in making the first fab lab come to life. By definition, one of the most important aspects of making a fab lab is having open access. Materials should be easily available and the fab lab itself should promote free expression. The FabFoundation is a wonderful resource for first-time and experienced fab lab founders.

4. Makerspaces at Home: What if you could convince a student to make his or her own toys or games? Building a makerspace makes that possible. Whether you need a space for making electronic-powered robots, dolls, board games, glow-in-the-dark Play-Doh or a digital piece of art, it doesn’t take much to get a personal Makerspace started. The dollar store is a great starting point as well as collecting common items like batteries, tools, cardboard, wires, crayons, paper and beads. Sometimes the best materials turn out to be the ones you forgot you had. Scholastic recently featured an article on how to build a mini makerspace at home.

5. Library Makerspaces: Libraries have always been cool. What makes them even cooler is the way they have latched on to the Makerspace Movement. Academic and public libraries alike have shown maker enthusiasm and some of them can be found Libraries & Maker Culture: A Resource Guide. Chances are there are even more you may not know about.

Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/63392151@N02/14167513417">Innovate @ Your Library - BCPL</a> via <a   href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Innovate @ Your Library – BCPL
Photo Credit: Baltimore County Public Library via photopin (license)

6. Makerspaces at School: Makerspaces at school are wonderful because they are a little bit of everything wrapped into one space–part woodshop, part art station, part science lab. Since students are already at school, they will be able to collaborate with each other easily. Deciding some of the basics like where to build one, when to allow use and what to include are important decisions that are made easier with the help of how-to articles. Edutopia features an entire section devoted to Maker Education.

7. Makerspaces To-Go: Teacher Librarian and Technology Integration Specialist Shannon Miller recently shared a blog post on her Makerspace To-Go. Materials including books, crafts, markers, Legos and more were able to be stored in her oversized bag and she also set up a Makerspace Mobile by storing a collection of apps for makerspace play on her iPad.

What type of makerspace inspires you? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest