This is a guest post by Leigh Cassell, the founder of the Digital Human Library.
I believe that geography should not be a barrier to great conversations and meaningful experiences for all students. Simple and easily available technologies make it possible for us to create global connections for our learners so all students can experience the world of learning that exists beyond the walls of the classroom.
So how do you connect your students with global learning partners?
That’s where the Digital Human Library comes in – it is a free educational resource that connects teachers and students with hundreds of organizations and experts from all over the world via video conferencing. Based in Ontario, Canada, the dHL has mostly been marketed to Canadian teachers, however with commonalities across all areas of the curriculum from country to country, the resources are available to all educators around the globe.
The Digital Human Library creates opportunities for teachers and students to meet new people, visit new places, and experience the world. Imagine your students collaborating with experts in a variety of subject areas who are interested in sharing their knowledge, skills and experiences to help further student inquiry . . .
Who Are The Experts?
The dHL includes hundreds of Digital Human Library meBook Experts offering educational programs and content that can be shared with teachers and students in their classrooms.
Visit with Fox 4 Meteorologists and learn about systems, cycles and storms. Explore Habitats of the Gulf of Mexico presented by the Texas State Aquarium. Want to take a class trip to the North Carolina Zoo? Or chat with an award-winning Children’s Author? How about visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario or ROM for an art history lesson? Why not build Scribblebots with the Forth Worth Museum of Science and History to learn the scientific concepts of electricity, force and motion with a wildly creative outcome? Are you a high school science or math teacher? Connect with Virtual Researchers on Call (VROC) and study with STEM experts from Canadian universities. Or be inspired to make a difference in the world by collaborating with the Centre for Global Education and work with students and experts around the world on projects that explore global issues and the potential youth have to shape a better common future. All of these exciting new opportunities for learning and more are just an email away.
The majority dHL meBook Experts offer their programs for free, however some content providers do charge a fee for their time.
How To Get Started?
It is simple and free.
Once registered, you will receive an email confirming your registration and you can begin searching the collection of meBook Experts right away.
Once logged in, you’ll be able to search the entire library of dHL meBook Experts and reach out to the ones that would be a good fit for your class. You work out the details (date, time, web conference platform, etc.) by email with the meBook Expert.
When students connect and collaborate with dHL meBook Experts they have opportunities to learn the school curriculum in new and exciting ways, and develop the interpersonal skills they need to be successful. What’s more, the experience of learning the school curriculum in these wider digital contexts introduces students to a variety of career opportunities, and provides students with authentic learning experiences that help them to better understand their learning as it applies in the world beyond the school. Connecting students with dHL meBook Experts builds and strengthens relationships within, and between our communities and schools.
Every week more and more teachers and students are using the Digital Human Library to bring the field trip experience into their classrooms and collaborate with an audience of experts. As the Digital Human Library continues to grow, and connect more teachers and students with experts around the world, I hope to inspire other teachers to think differently about how they engage their students with the curriculum.