Collaboration and Creativity Hubs
One morning recently, fourth graders were spread around Katonah Elementary School’s library, recording themselves on iPads. One boy was seated at a table, a group of girls were sitting on the carpet in the early reader section, others were standing next to the low bookshelves and propping their iPad upright against books.
The class had just watched a video on online safety. Each student was sharing what they learned with Librarian Jeanne Hand through an app called Seesaw. She’d review the videos later to make sure each student understood the important content.
This type of active learning is possible because elementary libraries are replacing desktop computers with iPads and MacBooks and upgrading their large screens to interactive touch panels. More seating options—colorful beanbags, stools, and various-size tables—are planned.
New Technology - New Ideas
Increase Miller and Katonah Elementary Schools’ libraries are each piloting a new touch panel whiteboard that easily interfaces with iPads and MacBooks. “The change allows for flexibility, different types of partnerships, and different types of work,” said Hand. “I use the touch panel display as an interactive tool. Learners can touch and manipulate items on the screen or draw.”
Meadow Pond Elementary School’s library is benefiting from two new digital displays—a stationary one near the teaching space and a mobile one that Librarian Nick Grasso uses near the story time carpet to enhance read-aloud books. “I am in the process of creating a green screen area so that students can use their iPads as mobile video studios,” said Grasso.
A variety of places to learn
Students Choose the Best Spot for Each Task
Increase Miller’s transformation is complete—thanks to support from the IMES PTO. Children get their wiggles out while reading on stability balls, in seats that look like soup bowls, and on carpets the colors of the rainbow.
"The new flexible furniture allows students to choose the best learning spot in the library for the task at hand," said Librarian Juli Hoffman. "First graders just wrapped up a polar mammal research project, which involved researching polar animals on our library read-aloud databases, note-taking, and then using ChatterPix on the iPads to create a talking head project sharing their learning. Students were able to listen to articles being read aloud and record their speaking parts all around the library with the flexible furniture. Completed projects were shared with the class as well as families using Seesaw."