Lower School Librarian Angela Smith and Lower School Technology Director Jenni Swanson Voorhees have been working as a team to develop a forward-thinking curriculum that blends the worlds of library and technology. In June, they presented their work at the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Denver, Colorado. The session was filled to capacity with librarians and technology teachers from all over the United States and other countries who were interested in the curriculum and its approach to key information literacy skills, including critical reading, evaluation of sources, and a new skill: reading online sources online (not on paper!).
Projects for Lower School classes include a step-by-step introduction to the research process, with discussions about the merits and pitfalls of encyclopedias, online resources, and print resources for specific projects. Students gain an understanding about who makes Web sites and how to determine which ones to trust. They explore favorite authors through books and the authors’ Web sites, including last year’s all-Lower School read of Winnie-the-Pooh, which included a Google Earth trip to the Hundred Acre Woods. Fourth graders reviewed the LS library’s picture book collection for older readers (there are many in this category) and created Voicethread projects in response to the books. First and second graders read fiction about dogs and created picture books about Bridget, the dog who came to school, which they illustrated and published. To see the outline of the ISTE conference session, follow this link to the Lower School Projects wiki.