April 24, 2013

DSBN Celebrated for Library Innovation 

 Director visits Crossroads LibraryChase Brunton loves a good scare.

From “The Legend of Ghost Dog” to anything in the “Goosebumps” series, the Grade 3 student at Crossroads Public School often immerses herself in some creepy literature.

One of Chase’s favourite ways to create a truly spine-chilling experience is to listen to a story using the DSBN’s vast collection of audio-books.

“I really like listening to the story because I can close my eyes and create my own pictures using my imagination,” said Brunton.

Thanks to the DSBN’s online library software, Chase is able to access a whole host of scary books, educational resources and other interesting features. Named Destiny, the system is available in all DSBN schools, but can also be accessed at home giving students the ability to read, write and research at any time.

Dino Miele, Chief Information Officer for the DSBN said the Destiny software is one example of how the Board is moving to integrate powerful learning technology in schools. “We have gone from having only printed materials to a more blended environment that integrates technology alongside the printed materials,” said Miele.

Teacher-Librarian Kim Salierno agrees that the Destiny system has many benefits for students as they develop their literacy skills.

“The audio books are particularly engaging because kids love being read to,” said Salierno. “The audio book can act as a guest reader, incorporate sound effects, and help bring the story to life.”

Additionally, Salierno said that listening to audio books can support students with their language skills. “Hearing modeled, fluent reading helps students who may be experiencing difficulty properly forming sounds,” she said.

Aside from just the audio books, Destiny gives students the ability to research the catalogue of printed resources, write reviews of books they are reading, write notes, highlight text and bookmark pages.

Staff can use the software to teach specific literacy concepts and then place them on the smart board, teachers can also add links to author websites, public library resources and review the types of materials being checked out to ensure the library is stocked with materials that students are interested in.

So impressed with the DSBN’s use of technology to improve school libraries, Follett School and Library Group recently visited Crossroads Public School to produce a video of the system in action.

Frank Coster, Follett’s Vice-President of Canadian Operations said that Destiny is truly a “one stop shop for learning resources.”

“This is just one way we are telling the digital story of the DSBN,” said Miele.

Those interested in learning more about the learning technologies are transforming school classrooms and energizing education at the DSBN may wish to attend the 2013 Connect Conference. The conference, being held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls will take place on May 6-7. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit the Connect website.