Libraries and Digital Learning
Lakeside’s libraries will always be places to read and research – but as digital skills and information literacy skills overlap, librarians’ and technology specialists’ work blends, and they become partners with our teaching faculty in guiding students’ learning.
Librarians place a high priority on teaching students the skills to effectively sift and discern the credibility of sources and quality of information. In the age of information abundance, students develop the ability to “curate” – select, vet, and synthesize information into a cohesive, useful, and shareable form. Lakeside’s librarians and instructional technology team support students in becoming not just consumers but also producers of information, for an audience of their teachers and the wider world. In addition to a traditional research paper, that might mean creating a website, video, performance, or online exhibit.
Technology Access and Support
Dependable access to technology – including a dedicated digital device, access to the internet at school and home, and technological support – is a fundamental aspect of a Lakeside education.
Our 1:1 mobile device program ensures that every Lakeside student has access to a digital device. Students in grades 5 and 6 receive a digital tablet for use at school; starting in grade 7, families are responsible for purchase of a laptop for each of their student(s). Families may purchase the laptop on their own, or through Lakeside (financial aid may apply to laptops purchased through the school). The school’s password-protected wireless network provides internet access to all devices on campus, and Lakeside works with families to make sure that students have dependable internet access at home as well. Lakeside’s technology team provides support to students, and teaches them how to take responsibility for tablets and laptops used for schoolwork.
Middle School: Balancing digital learning with love of reading
Students in grades 5 through 8 benefit from the expertise of librarians and technology specialists in digital life classes. The grade-level classes teach students digital literacy (everything from basic computer skills to how to be ethical, responsible users of technology) and information literacy (how to sift through, evaluate, and synthesize information).
Digital Life is also the place where students are introduced to technologies they will use in classroom projects, such as programming languages like Scratch and Logo; 3D software like SketchUp and 3-D printing; podcasting software; and physical computing hardware like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Librarians and the technology team provide continued support and training to teachers and students as they work on projects in the classroom.
Even when surrounded by technology, Middle School students still love to curl up and read with a book. The library has a screen-free couch for reading, and librarians have monthly themed book displays that introduce students to new authors, genres, and books in the collection.
Upper School: Contributing to the information landscape
Upper School librarians support the work of the academic faculty by empowering students to not only use but meaningfully contribute to the information landscape. When facts can be easily assembled, the bar is raised for students to pursue more complex questions that may not have a single answer.
Librarians partner with faculty to teach students about information literacy – including copyright, evaluating sources, paraphrasing, asking good questions, and plagiarism – speaking to classes in person, and producing how-to videos (see an example) and online guides. They regularly teach lessons to classes embarking on major research projects, and meet one-on-one with students for research conferences.
The library’s collection supports Lakeside’s diverse curriculum and includes both academic books and casual reading (both print and digital), videos, and other media. Upper School students have 24/7 access to college-level databases, including thousands of scholarly journals, periodicals, historical documents, and books. Questia alone includes 83,000 entire books, each fully searchable. Students can also borrow or use video cameras, digital cameras, recording equipment, a green screen, and other digital devices.
Pigott Memorial Library has multiple zones for different types of learning. In addition to areas to meet with librarians, there are spaces for group collaboration, including the Think Tank, with whiteboard walls to encourage brainstorming and sharing ideas. Students can also study in the silent reading room or relax with a book in the literary lounge – also a great place for naps.