After reaching out to the lovely and energetic Leigh Cassell, creator of an important video-conferencing resource for educators and students called the “Digital Human Library” and a teacher herself in the Avon-Maitland District School Board, a sharing of ideas ensued.The Digital Human Library is a resource I believe in, and is extremely beneficial, particularly to rural classrooms where field trips are not always at our fingertips. Now, they can be. Leigh has worked tirelessly to procure many, many contacts for “meBooks”, or, experts in various fields who have agreed to provide teachers across the country and beyond with the virtual field trip experience. For example, students may be led on a museum tour of the Art Gallery of Toronto while sitting at their desks, all the while being inspired beyond the reach of a well-meaning research project and browsing books and Internet sites. This website brings the subject to life. This website makes the subject matter personal and relatable to the student. Perhaps best of all, this website is….FREE. Video-conferencing in the classroom is an inexpensive way to link students to amazing learning opportunities, and blended learning is here to stay.
Here is the link to Leigh’s site.
Further, here is a podcast where Wei Chen from cbc.ca interviews Leigh about the Digital Human Library. Scroll to 34:04 and take a listen.