Library Media Specialist Mary George is Head of Media at Stamford High School in Stamford, Connecticut. She is also the Content Leader for Media in her school district. She uses the Explore, Create, Communicate units from Applied Digital Skills as a tool to teach students how to explore a topic, conduct research, and cite sources.
How does Applied Digital Skills complement your teaching goals in the media centre?
My goals are to get students to use the school and district databases for research and ensure they cite their sources. This prepares them for college. In the past, I would create my own project to incorporate the databases, a “works cited” generator, and an educational technology. Applied Digital Skills allows me to do all that.
The advances in technology students explore in these courses relate to every subject area.
Which classes at your school use Applied Digital Skills?
The curriculum is used in two child development classes with close to 40 students total. It helps students explore how technology advances are used in parenting. We also use it for culinary arts and health. Coming up, we plan to offer it to students in our interior design, business, and fashion design classes. The advances in technology students explore in these courses relate to every subject area.
How do your students benefit from the curriculum?
Students get excited to do their own creative research on current event topics. They often do research for a specific class, but they really love it when they can explore their own topic. I appreciate that the curriculum includes suggested research questions because some kids don't have an idea for what they want to research.
[Applied Digital Skills] gets kids to create and connect what they are learning to real life.
What do you like best about Applied Digital Skills?
It's a great "getting students to think" tool. I like how the curriculum demonstrates that tech is in all fields. It gets kids to create and connect what they are learning to real life. This is similar to what librarians have always done from scratch--collaborating with teachers and integrating technology and research databases. I collaborate with more and different teachers all the time, and they can't always do these special projects in their classrooms, so they request that from the media center. Applied Digital Skills helps meet those needs.
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