Keeping staff and students updated on Grant Wood AEA’s Online Resources is one of Kathy Kaldenberg’s many activities as a PreK-12 media specialist with the Solon Community School District.
Kaldenberg explained that she frequently shares “just in time” information about Grant Wood AEA’s Online Resources with the district’s educators and students. This includes distributing online resources ID/passwords each year to district educators.
“Each year, I present to our district’s new teachers showing them how to access the Grant Wood AEA and Iowa AEA Online resources,” Kaldenberg explained. “This presentation helps create a familiarity between the resources and classroom projects, and sharing which databases might be useful to support these specific classroom projects.”
“For instance, several language arts classes use citations from databases,” she continued. “To support these classroom projects, I complete searches using EBSCOhost to accompany the articles. Then create webpages with references to the online resources being used. In this example, I’ve used EBSCOhost and Integrated One Search. However, we use whatever online resource would be best for the specific project.”
“Often times, I might compose a search and save the search as a clickable website,” she continued. “It’s beneficial to integrate the online resource searches with classroom projects that the students are already doing.” Kaldenberg explained that one example is a recent sixth-grade astronomy assignment that resulted in use of the online resources for information exploration. “As I share with the students, find a topic that you want to know more about, ask a question and complete exploration of an interest area.”
Kaldenberg explained that the online resources are often used to support the curriculum resources that the students are already using. “If students have a set of resources they are suppose to use for a project, the online resources can be used to supplement their research. EBSCOhost video tutorials can be used as a way to obtain citations, creating an easy bibliography.”
“We believe in ‘just in time’ learning and do a good job of sharing Grant Wood AEA’s Online Resources depending on the specific student project,” she continued. “I also like to point out to the students that the Online Resources are peer-reviewed resources, and that they will need to know how to use these resources as they transition to college.”
“I continue to be impressed with Grant Wood AEA’s efforts to support our staff and students with outstanding online resources, the training to maximize their use and marketing materials to promote them,” Kaldenberg said. “GWAEA staff solicit feedback and suggestions and work hard to make the user experience a positive one. Being able to tap into their expertise and obtain professional advice when I need it is a great help for me as a K-12 school librarian.”