Welcome to the dHL ‘Tips for Teachers’ Page!
If this is your first time visiting Digital Human Library—welcome! Now, let’s get started…
The BIG idea is let student inquiry drive the need for virtual content and connections with dHL Experts. Engaging learners in virtual tours and virtual reality experiences helps bring context to learning for students. Connecting students with Experts brings the curriculum to life in authentic and meaningful ways. Every connection is an opportunity to teach students how to network and build relationships with others for the purpose of learning. Connections-based learning experiences help students develop critical digital literacy skills, transferrable skills (global competencies), and social “soft” skills they need to be successful, while also building character, citizenship, and providing a foundation for students to begin building their own personal and professional learning networks.
If you have any questions or require assistance at any time, please contact us.
Virtual Tours & Virtual Reality
If you aren’t able to find the right virtual tour or virtual reality experience for your students, we want to now about it! Let our team of talented Provincial Library Curators find the virtual content you need to support learning in your classroom.
Letter Home for Families
Ongoing communication with families about the programs you are offering in your classroom is very important. In an effort to support your communication efforts, we have drafted an information letter that you can adapt and send home to families explaining why and how students will be connecting with experts using Digital Human Library. Please note this is not a permission form, however the letter invites parents to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
Letter Home for Families
It is the classroom teacher’s responsibility to ensure that students have permission to appear on camera during a video conference. Although these sessions are not recorded, experts have the ability to see and interact with students during a virtual program. Please refer to your School Board’s Administrative Procedures/ Policies with regards to internet use, social media use, photographing/ videotaping of students, etc. We do offer an information letter that you can adapt and send home to families explaining why and how students will be connecting with experts using Digital Human Library. Please note this is not a permission form, however the letter invites parents to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
There are a number of things to consider when planning for a video conference. For example, how will the format of the video conference (presentation, Q&A, demonstration, activity…) or the live streaming event inform your classroom set up? Will students gather around a computer, or will the Expert be projected on a SMARTBoard or big screen? Where will students stand or sit so they can be seen and heard? Please refer to the Teacher Checklist to help you plan your program!
Matching dHL Experts with the Curriculum
Although some connections between the curriculum and dHL Experts might be obvious (Art = Artist), if you take some time to search dHL you might be surprised who you find (Art = Robotic Art Teacher)?! With this in mind, searching dHL by keyword(s) is the best way to connect with the right Experts.
Contacting dHL Experts – Let the Collaboration Begin
Please remember to send your requests to dHL Experts well in advance, and remember that they may not always be available when requested. The more advance notice you give each dHL Expert, the better your chances are of booking a video conference. Once you and your students have found the Expert you want to connect with, please include the following information in your introductory email:
- your class name (e.g. Mrs. Cassell’s Grade 2)
- your school, grade taught, age and number of students in the class
- curriculum subject area
- video conference topic and learning goals (What are your students’ learning needs? goals?)
- possible formats for the video conference (presentation, interview, activity, Q&A, etc)
- possible dates and times for the video conference
Note: It is the teacher’s responsibility to help prepare the dHL Expert for the video conference.
dHL Expert Introductions
The teacher and/or students may want to prepare a brief introduction for the dHL Expert. Preparing an introduction requires students to learn more about the Expert prior to the video conference which is an important part of the networking process -background research. Some Experts may prefer to provide you with an introduction they have written themselves, however they are not required to do so. Every introduction has three goals: get attention, spark interest, and build anticipation. Please see dHL Expert Introductions for ideas!
Ways to Engage Students
We believe that student inquiry should be the driving force behind the connections that are made Digital Human Library Experts. There are a variety of ways that students can make connections with dHL Experts (even though the request must be submitted by the teacher) and learn some of the foundational skills of networking:
- Teacher logs into Digital Human Library and students search for experts by keyword(s) based on their inquiry needs/ curriculum/ area of study
- Students engage in a shared writing activity/ independently draft an email to the Expert requesting a video conference; teacher sends the email (see Contacting dHL Experts below for information to include in an introductory email to Experts)
- Students draft all remaining emails to finish scheduling the video conference with the Expert
- Students tryout the video conferencing platform in preparation for the video conference
- Students conduct research online to learn more about the Expert and his/ her area(s) of expertise
- Students prepare their questions for the video conference based on their inquiry needs
- One or more students take on the responsibility of introducing and thanking the Expert
- Students take turns interacting with the Expert during the video conference (e.g asking questions)
- Teacher helps facilitate the discussion and documents the video conference
Note: We are currently working towards providing secondary students with access to dHL Experts. More information coming soon!
Looking for suggestions you can offer the dHL Expert to make the video conference as interactive and engaging as possible? See more Ways to Engage Students.
Dealing with Unforeseen Issues
What would you do if something went wrong during your video conference/ live streaming program?
Student safety is a priority. Although every effort is made to ensure our dHL Experts engage with students appropriately, unforeseen things can happen. We believe it’s helpful to make sure you have taken a moment to think about how you would respond if something did go wrong. Please read the following section on safety so you are prepared to deal with any situation if one should arise.
dHL Expert Sample Videos
These videos showcase samples of programs being offered by a diverse group of Digital Human Library Experts. Since the purpose of our Video Conferencing Service is to engage students with Experts in real-time personalized conversations about learning, we don’t record our programs.
Request New dHL Experts
If you aren’t able to find the right Expert to connect with your students, we want to now about it! Let our team of talented Provincial Library Curators find the Experts you need to support learning in your classroom.
Download your dHL Teacher Badge
Download your dHL Teacher Badge and add it to your website, social media channel or blog! Posting the dHL Teacher Badge helps us spread the word and results in even more connections-based learning opportunities for students across Canada.
This post is also available in: Français (French)