Collaboration between school librarians and classroom teachers is one way to highlight and promote quality print and digital resources available for teaching and learning. BLUEcloud Course Lists, a resource list management tool, can be used to create lists of curriculum-aligned resources for students and teachers.
This product is available to librarians and their teaching staff who use INFOhio’s Library Services Platform (LSP). BLUEcloud Course Lists supports access to print and digital resources in an online platform, facilitating collaboration for busy educators with little or no common planning time. School librarians can work with classroom teachers to create interactive lists of resources to supplement curricula and impact student learning. BLUEcloud Course Lists unique collaborative features of Staff Notes, resource tags, and an interactive review process allow librarians and teachers to easily communicate and build resource lists. Join us for the second installment of this three-part blog series as we explore ways BLUEcloud Course Lists can help you collaborate, innovate, and share high-quality, curated resources to supplement teaching and learning in the library and the classroom.
Continuing to build upon the introduction to BLUEcloud Course Lists, let’s look at a few of the foundational features that help to make Course Lists an easy-to-use curation tool. BLUEcloud Course List’s Bookmarklet tool allows those creating lists to add resources found on the internet with just a few clicks. It is added to the bookmarks bar of a web browser for easy access. Lists can be built without the Bookmarklet tool, but it is much quicker and easier to add resources outside of the library catalog with it. The bookmarklet will capture reference details from a webpage, saving the resource to a selected list. If the resource matches an existing item in the library’s catalog, Course Lists users can choose to select the library resource instead. In the example below, a title was recommended for purchase but when using the bookmarklet, the librarian was made aware that instead of purchasing, students can find the title in the library. They can easily select the library copy and add it to a list.
To add the Bookmarklet tool to a web browser, log in to BLUEcloud and navigate to My Classes or Classes. There the "Add Bookmarklet" button can be found. Don’t have BLUEcloud login credentials or don’t see access to Course Lists? Contact the Library Support Staff at your ITC for further help.
Click the "Add Bookmarklet" button and a pop-up window will appear showing how to add the bookmarklet to the browser’s bookmarks bar.
To add, click and hold the "Add to My List" button and drag it to the bookmarks bar. "Add to My List" should now display and is ready to be used to add resources to lists.
If multiple people are collaborating on a list, each person will want to add the bookmarklet to their browser’s bookmarks bar. Librarians can help teachers to add the bookmarklet and give them a quick demonstration of how the bookmarklet can be used. The bookmarklet can be used at any time, without the need to log in to BLUEcloud Course Lists. As you browse the web and find a resource that would be a good fit for an existing list, click “Add to My List” and save the resource. For more information on adding resources to a list using the bookmarklet, please see the Adding Resources to Classes lesson found in the BLUEcloud Course Lists class in the BLUEcloud Learning Pathway.
Let’s look at an example of how the Bookmarklet tool works using INFOhio’s Digital Video Collection (DVC). The DVC includes more than 5,000 educational streaming videos that are segmented and downloadable. Most videos in the DVC also include teacher guides and related websites. Students who learn best from visual and auditory methods will benefit from curated lists of videos. It’s easy to add a video from the DVC to a list with the Bookmarklet tool.
Start by browsing the DVC collection by subject, series, or by doing a keyword search. Review the videos to find the one that meets the needs of students. Use the bookmarklet to capture individual segments if needed.
To add a video or a segment of a video to a list, click on the video or segment. Then click the “Add to My List” button in the bookmarks bar.
The bookmarklet will open. Click “Edit” to make changes such as adding a title or including information about the video. Then click “Add to list” to save the resource to a list.
A confirmation the resource has been saved will appear. When finished, log in to BLUEcloud, review the resource(s) added, and make any necessary changes to the resource entry.
A new feature added to Course Lists allows librarians and teachers to tag resources as they are added with the Bookmarklet tool. Adding a tag or tags to a resource can help students find what they are looking for within a completed list faster and easier. Tags are unique per library instance and a list of suggestions will appear as the user begins typing. The list of suggested tags is updated automatically as new tags are added. Tags are searchable in the Student View interface and add context to a resource. A tag of “Week 1” would indicate the materials to read for Week 1. A tag of “required” could indicate which materials students must have for class. “New” could indicate newly added library materials. Keeping a master list of the tags used and sharing that list with those collaborating to create lists will help keep them consistent and reduce confusion for users.
Once a resource has been added to a list, those collaborating on the creation of the list can communicate through BLUEcloud Course Lists Staff Notes feature. If a teacher is adding resources, they can use the Staff Notes feature to ask the librarian questions or make comments.
If a note is available, the Staff Notes icon will display a red circle.
Staff Notes can play a role in the review process of the resources in a list. For a more formal review, BLUEcloud Course Lists contains a list of review actions that collaborators can use to keep track of where they are in the review process.
If a teacher is adding resources to a list, when finished, they can choose Request Review in the Review Actions drop-down menu when they are finished adding materials. This will add a date in the “Date Review Requested” column in the list of Classes. The librarian can then begin to review the resources the teacher added to the list.
The librarian and teacher can then keep track of where the review process is by reviewing any Staff Notes and noting the date and time of when the review was requested, started, and completed.
Once the review is complete, the URL to the finished list can be shared with students and other audiences. These included supports will help strengthen the collaborative efforts of the library and classroom teacher, ensuring students have access to quality supplemental resources when they need them.
If you are interested in giving BLUEcloud Course Lists a try, please contact the INFOhio Provider at your ITC for more details. To learn more, please visit the BLUEcloud Course Lists class found in the BLUEcloud Learning Pathway within INFOhio Campus. Already using BLUEcloud Course Lists? Share your Course Lists with INFOhio on social media by tagging us (@INFOhio) and including #INFOhioWorks in your post. Questions or concerns? Please reach out at support.infohio.org.