Friday, October 1, 2010

Databases & Flip Cameras

Going Paperless
With databases!
As we attempt to save paper (and money) in our school, we might consider the use of databases in terms of assigning Current Events. Newsbank in particular works well for these types of assignments. As you may know, Newsbank is a database containing the FULL TEXT to hundreds of newspapers and news journals from around the country. A variety of titles are included, such as The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Buffalo News. Students can access myriad sources from official newspapers, read entire articles, and cite their sources all in one place.

It's easy to go paperless with Newsbank. Just have your students log in and search for a topic. They can then jot down the citation for the article they choose. To verify their source, simply log in to Newsbank and search for the article they used. 1-2-3! No more copies to be made of magazine articles and you know your students are practicing the much needed skill of accessing quality online resources for the assignment.

All students learn how to use Newsbank in 7th grade Information Technology. Please feel free to stop in the library for a brief one on one review of Newsbank, or any other database you'd like to use. We are happy to help!

Flip CamerasThe library currently has 5 digital video flip cameras for faculty to borrow. These cameras are simple to use - one button and you're recording. All computers in the High School Library have the proper software needed for uploading and editing the video files. Media Club members, as well as myself, would be happy to give you a tutorial on how to use these very handy cameras.

Ideas for classroom video projects include:

  • videotape a field trip and have students add a written narrative to go with the video
  • record a book review
  • create a 'public service announcement' on any number of topics
  • tell a digital story
  • record a biography (students dress up as person they have researched)
  • "Then and Now" project contrasting the Laurens of today with the Laurens of long ago

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