Monday, May 13, 2019

Technology: Library Centers Deep Dive Part 4/10

Technology is such an all encompassing word, especially in a school library.  Many libraries I see on social media seem to have an endless supply of technology. When the Merge Cube hit the scene and then dropped in price to just a dollar per cube I saw librarians across the country filling their shopping carts full of Merge Cubes.  I was not one of these people.  I had paid full price for my Merge Cubes and then a parent generously donated several more.  The issue wasn't access to a Merge Cube unit.  The issue for me was lack of technology to bring the Merge Cube learning experiences into my school library.

The lack of technology is an issue that plays on a continual loop when it comes to technology in my school library.  

Current technology tools I have available for student use include:
  •  2 iPod Touch (1 1/2 years old)
  •  4 iPad Air (5 years old)
  • 12 Chromebooks
  • 14 MacBooks

I have also tried a flurry of headsets to use with the 2 iPod Touch units we have and the only one that has come close to being useful is this particular Google Cardboard headset:

Google Cardboard, Splaks V2 Google Cardboard Mobile VR Cardboard 3D VR Glasses Compatible with Phones Up to 6 inch with Magnetic Trigger, Phone Sucker, Comfortable Forehead Pad Nose Pad and Strap

It still isn't ideal mainly because it is paper/cardboard and multiple uses tear the paper and rip off the velcro that is also a part of the headset.  I've tried to rectify this particular issue  by wrapping the cardboard in colorful duct tape and applying my own velcro closures.

What works with this headset is that it includes a magnetic trigger that actually works with an iPod Touch which I did not find with the other units I tried.  I also can't say enough about the "phone sucker" feature.  Getting the tiny iPod Touch to stay in place was always a big challenge.

The point being is that we all have differing availability to technology within our respective school libraries.  The key is finding ways to get the most out of what you have for maximum student learning and engagement.  This is where centers play a critical role in my school library.

Because I have a large variety of centers I like to offer over the course of a school year I separate out the Technology Center into subgroups. This way I can maximize the technology I have available while still bringing new learning activities to my students.

  • Green Screen Center - one iPad (students work together as a group)
  • OSMO Center - two iPads (students work in pairs)
  • Research Center - three to four laptops/one per student
    • Introduction to and use of research databases
  • Google Center - three to four laptops/one per student
  • Robotics - two iPads paired with two robots (BB8/Dash) students work in pairs
  • Coding - depends on coding activity
    • Coding App - example: Coding Safari - two iPads (students work in pairs)
    • Coding Website - example: Hour of Code - three to four laptops/one per student
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality - iPods, iPads, Virtual Reality viewer, VR/AR apps, Merge Cube
  • Bloxels EDU- Bloxels kits, iPads
    • students build games, they become the writers, artists, designers, and developers of their own interactive stories

Original post that started it all:
Links no longer work as my former district set up their Google admin rules to permanently delete rather than transfer former employee accounts.

Library Deep Dive Part 1 of 10:

Library Deep Dive Part 2 of 10:

Library Deep Dive Part 3 of 10:

Library Deep Dive Part 4 of 10:

Library Deep Dive Part 5 of 10:

Library Deep Dive Part 6 of 10:
Coming Soon

Library Deep Dive Part 7 of 10:
Coming Soon

Library Deep Dive Part 8 of 10:
Coming Soon

Library Deep Dive Part 9 of 10:
Coming Soon

Library Deep Dive Part 10 of 10:
Coming Soon

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