Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Students Create K-12 Lesson Plans Using Resources from the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository

Ball State history education students are using the Digital Media Repository to create lesson plans targeted for the second, fourth, and sixth grades.

A project by students in Dr. Ronald V. Morris’s Social Studies 392 class during the 2010 spring semester illustrates how students are using digital resources produced by the University Libraries for educational purposes. Five groups of students researched and prepared lesson plans that adhered to Indiana state standards and guidelines, using materials from the Ball State Digital Media Repository.

The DMR collections used include the Middletown Women’s History Collection, U. S. Civil War Resources for East Central Indiana, World War II Government Publications, and World War II Films. The plans will be added to the DMR and linked from the specific collections that they utilize and support.

According to Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, “A fundamental goal of the University Libraries is to support students’ pursuits of academic success.” These lesson plans may be used by teachers throughout Indiana and perhaps beyond. The students’ work provides one more avenue for expanding Ball State-produced digital assets globally.

U. S. Civil War Chandler Cross, Courtney Nowak, and Tiffany Pienta prepared lesson plans on the U. S. Civil War using materials from the East Central Indiana digital collection. The lessons provide resources that afford fourth grade students opportunity to study the war through photographs, letters, and other digital resources and to create posters and present a play based on their work.

Community Helpers in World War II Students Tyler Buis, Doug Furman, Marion Miller, and Alexandra Ruble designed five lessons to increase second grade students’ knowledge of different types of careers and volunteer activities that helped communities during World War II. They utilized pamphlets from the World War II Government Publication digital collection that described volunteer activities in health, medical care, and nursing; recreation; child care; schools; family security; and fire fighting. Each second grade student role plays as a mayor of a town during WWII and must choose four different community workers that will most benefit their community.

World War II Moises Fairchild, Chase Gervais, and Jared Stites created five lessons to introduce sixth grade students to World War II and key events that occurred during that period. The unit used the World War II Films collection in the DMR to examine Pearl Harbor, women in the war, home life, and the victories over Germany and Japan. Students watch the films and complete activities regarding information covered in them, including writing journal articles as if they were there when the events occurred and creating a timeline of events.

Women’s History Two groups used the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection for their lesson plans. Katie Bradshaw, Kalene Heckman, and Tyler Roberts developed a unit for fourth grade students to study how women made a living, created a home, educated their children, and engaged in community activities. Tasks the Ball State students developed for the elementary students to perform utilizing the digital resources included creating a play about the role of women in Middletown during the 1880s through the 1930s and developing a learning project for community organizations.

Sarah Cortesi, Kristen Gibson, Nikki Jones, and Stephani Ward created a five-day unit for fourth grade students to discover what women’s lives were like in Middletown between the 1880s and 1930s that focused on women’s rights and suffrage, exploring how life has changed for women by comparing the past to today. Activities included participating in a mock vote, using photographs from the digital collection to compare with ones from their families, creating an informational brochure for a women’s organization, and studying jobs that women worked based on photographic evidence.

For more information, contact John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, JStraw@bsu.edu, 765-285-5058.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Additional Items Available from the Art History Images Collection

The Art History Images digital collection is a selection of significant artworks, ranging in date from prehistoric to the late 1990s, and include styles from Abstract Expressionist, Fauve and Surrealist, to Pop and beyond. In October 2009, images were selected in consultation with the Ball State Department of Art for use as a teaching aid and to coincide with specific textbooks.

This month, 689 works were added to the collection, bringing the total number of artworks represented to 1519. View the latest additions, such as Cassatt's Mother and Child and Pollock's Lavender Mist here.

Note: Images are licensed through vendors for use at Ball State University. Thumbnails are available to the general public, but links to the larger full-resolution versions of the images are limited to Ball State students, faculty, and staff only.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Libraries’ LSTA Mobile Computing Grant Project Brings Ball State Digital Media Repository to Smartphones

The University Libraries are expanding their hand-held mobile device Web presence through the support of an LSTA Technology Grant from the Indiana State Library. Researching and developing mobile device access to library information resources has been an interest at the University Libraries since 2005.

Phase 1 of this project involved updating the University Libraries’ mobile site www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile, including enhancing the CardCat Mobile application, a mobile-device-friendly interface to the Libraries’ online catalog.

Phase 2 introduced a computer availability application to allow students and faculty to plan their visit to the library facility. See www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile/comp_avail.php comp_avail.php.

Phase 3 is the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) Mobile user interface at http://libx.bsu.edu/m/index.php.

The DMR Mobile application provides mobile-device- friendly access to the CONTENTdm-based Digital Media Repository. It is the first small screen interface for CONTENTdm repositories. With browse functionality to access digital assets and metadata for the image collections, DMR Mobile is a feature-rich program. Search functionality will be added to it this summer.

An early question that was addressed was whether to build a mobile-devices specific app, or to develop a more diverse mobile Web user interface (UI). Because we want to reach as many user devices as possible, we decided to build a mobile Web UI. DMR Mobile is linked in the Academic Resources section of the mobile Web site.

Grant participants include Daniel J. Lakes, Part-time Mobile Computing Developer; Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries and co-PI; and Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services and co-PI.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services, BFaust@bsu.edu, 765-285-8032.