My Grade 8 class at UTES recently participated in two Digital Human Library presentations using Skype. During the month of October and November our class worked on a ‘Land Use’ project for Geography. In order to gain a ‘real life’ perspective of land use we contacted Phil Dawes (a land use planner in Brockville, Ontario) to ask questions that about how to create more detailed projects and presentations and to ask what type of careers are offered in the land use field. We also discussed the reasons for particular land use and the education needed to get into this exciting field.

Our second Digital Human Library experience was Skyping with Tom Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins is a retired Special Agent from St. Marys, Ontario. We found him through the ‘Memory Project’ link on the dHL website. We used this opportunity to discuss Courage, Ant-Bullying and Remembrance (as we contacted him during November). Mr. Jenkins was an excellent speaker and he shared several stories of courage and anti-bullying. The students were very engaged and asked several higher order questions. During the presentation the students collaborated and communicated with Ms. Julie Moffat’s Grade 6/7 class and Mr. Jenkins about their ideas around courage. We then displayed our thoughts on chart paper for Mr. Jenkins to see via Skype and we discussed his thoughts around the topic of courage. This experience ‘spring boarded’ our students into a very critical thinking discussion based on their ideas of courage. We then finished the day with a ‘Better Answer’ response based on Mr. Jenkins presentation for text support.

Lastly, I would like to say how great both experiences were. After the initial set-up of an account and navigating through the dHL site, we found the dHL to be an excellent resource for any grade level and subject. This truly is the education of the future.

Keep up the good work Leigh,

A.J. Moses
Upper Thames Elementary School
Avon Maitland District School Board

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