iPods, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, whichever piece of new technology comes to mind, every day more students are using them. The days when students would go to a computer to quickly Google something or check the weather are over.
All this technology of course makes keeping up with the social networking sites and playing games such as Angry Birds and Temple Run easier, but it can also be used in the classroom. Schools around the world are integrating new technology into the classroom daily, and now Woodland is attempting to follow suit.
Nooks are now available for students to borrow from the library, coming with popular titles such as The Hunger Games and required reading classics like The Scarlet Letter. The Nooks can be checked out for a week at a time and be renewed if needed.
A new order for even more popular and classic titles is going out soon, so even more books like The Fault in our Stars and Frankenstein will soon be available to students. The nooks are easy to use and suggestions for titles to put on them are welcome.
But Woodland is taking this new technology a step further.
“We are hoping to make e-books available to our patrons so that they can load them on their own devices,” said Jinize Pugliese, librarian at Woodland.
However, at the moment, Pugliese said, “We have these e-books but we are still struggling to make this available to our patrons. We don’t yet have the capability.” But, she is hopeful that sometime this year, students will be able to borrow e-books digitally to read on their own devices. They are just waiting on the “Follett” upgrade, which has already been purchased by the district, to be installed. Once it is, the librarians can test it to see if it is compatible to lending books to students. If it is not, they will try another program, “Overdrive”.
Pugliese feels that this will be a very beneficial service for students, once it is in place. “A lot of people now are so used to using their electronic devices for reading. It’s just that matter of convenience; they are so much more portable and easier to manage if you’re reading multiple books.”
Student and Nook owner Chelsea Williams seconds this opinion. “I think it would make it easier because I won’t have to be carrying around like 60 books; it’s all on my nook.” Williams also thinks it would be very convenient if textbooks could be e-books, so students would not have to lug around heavy books.
Woodland students will also soon be using iPads in class. Teachers Paul Geary and Deb Flaherty have already received iPads for their respective classes. However, the iPads are proving difficult to utilize just yet.
“We’re not really using them at the moment,” said Geary, “My plan was to go paperless and make the iPad an all-inclusive tool for text-writing and multi-media projects.
“Kids could read and annotate works, watch related media clips, and visit internet sites. They could respond and complete assignments on the iPad and email them to me,” Geary completed. Geary also wanted to utilize the iPads in his film class, so kids can film with the iPads and edit their movies on them.
However, Geary said, “Right now they’re more of a decoration in my class than a learning tool,” because he has been running into many difficulties when trying to use them with a limited amount of class time.
Many students and faculty at Woodland have experienced frustration with the firewall, and would agree with Geary in saying “Every site I need to go is blocked.” However, Geary said, “I hope to work with the technology department and come up with an educationally beneficial plan.”
Hopefully these new technologies will soon be available to students, and provide them a more engaging and convenient way to read and learn.
Although these new devices are causing some difficulties right now, hopefully Woodland will get past them and end with an even better system, just like the school has in the past when figuring out how to use the new laptops, Mac computers, and different software programs. But until that time, students and teachers will have to learn together to make these convenient devices less of an inconvenience.