Using Digital NZ to front load an inquiry- Ulearn

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By Alice

Use the best of New Zealand eResources to front-load your students in their inquiry topics. This was one of the workshop topics National Library ran at Ulearn. Yet again we were interested to learn that most of the attendees had not heard of these resources. One of these is DigitalNZ.

Do you use and promote DigitalNZ to fellow staff members and students? DigitalNZ now has 25 million digital items from over 120 content partners including NzonscreenTe PapaTe Ara and Alexander Turnbull library.

Besides the variety of resources available, another great feature is the easy to use filters. You can filter according to formats (texts, video image etc), type (book, magazine artwork etc), usage (share, modify etc), content providers and dates.  

Let me walk you through an example of how I would use it in school. If I were planning an inquiry unit on the Waikato River; I would frontload the students before the inquiry by beginning with a DigitalNZ search. The images of the river are great primary sources to get the students thinking about how the Waikato River is now and was used in the past. But, there are too many images. So I would utilize another great feature of DigitalNZ, which is to make a set. From the bottom of the home page, click on” make your own”, select the images you want the students to view and create your Waikato River set.

After the students have viewed the images, I would show them a video or two selected from 22 video results. There is footage from 1947 to the present day about the river from which to choose. The students will have enough background knowledge of our inquiry topic now to be ready to form their own questions.

Try out Digital NZ. Have a go at making some sets. Incorporate Digital NZ searching into your next inquiry. If you are in the library – you can make sets to support your teaching colleagues’ inquiry lessons and make them available through your catalogue or website.

If you are already using Digital NZ, tell us how you are incorporating this tremendous resource into teaching and learning at your school.

Here's my Waikato River set. Click on the image to see.