Today Ruth and I introduced our 11th Jazz Age Research Pathfinder to Ms. Pickart’s 11th Honors American Literature/Composition classes. Of course, we always want to create effective pathfinders for all our students, but I felt the impetus to do with this group.
Why? Of all the students at CRHS, our juniors are the ones I feel we have impacted the least. We mainly saw them in English classes last year, and that was it. We have seen them even less this year as juniors when the trend should be the opposite as they should be doing more research and more rigorous coursework. Let’s also not forget they are now less than two years from being college freshmen! I was so troubled by the lack of progress I saw with information literacy skills during 2006-07 that I even raised this concern about this group in my end of the year report last May.
However, this post is not about that challenge. Instead, I wanted to briefly blog about how students reacted to our introduction to our Creekview HS Library del.icio.us account and how we integrated it into our pathfinder. Because the honors juniors seemed to be so resistant to our research databases as sophomores and because we have not seen them using them this academic year, I wanted to be sure to try and bookmark some “goodies” from our GALE databases into our del.icio.us pathfinder for this project as did Ruth. Sometimes if you can lead the horse to water, he will indeed drink! :-) I found with that our del.icio.us bookmarks to JSTOR and GALE articles (those are the only databases I can do direct article links for right now) seemed to be a great entry point for our honors sophomores in December, so I thought it would prudent to try this approach with our honors juniors.
While many students tuned out the mini-lessons on the pathfinder in the 5th period class, one student actually wanted to create a del.icio.us account from that class, so I showed him how, and then I showed him how to add our “network” to his so that he could get to our del.icio.us account more easily. He seemed really excited about having his own account and tapping into it; I also showed him how he could do infomarks with the GALE articles at his request! Yeah!
The 7th period class seemed more receptive to the mini-lesson, and many of them seemed very impressed by what del.icio.us can do. They asked some good questions about this service, and I noticed many of them right away to our del.icio.us links, including the ones to specific searches and articles we had bookmarked in our account. Yes! I decided to add two additional links to our pathfinder this afternoon: one is to the “about” page from del.icio.us, and the other links to the “getting started and creating your account” page.
IfI have any time tomorrow, I will try to create a little quizlet or survey (Quibblo?) they can do quickly to get feedback on how helpful del.icio.us was to them. Stay tuned!