Lori Lee Pike
More and more, libraries are transforming, evolving from repositories of information to hands-on resources for in-class instruction.
"Libraries support teaching and learning by giving access to emerging technologies," said Crystal Rose, head of public services at Grenfell Campus's Ferriss Hodgett Library. "We make this technology available to all faculty and students."
Using everything from 3D printers and pens to virtual reality viewers, Ferriss Hodgett Library is working with faculty members from a variety of programs to provide innovative classroom solutions.
"We incorporate these technologies in curriculum delivery to stimulate students' minds in a different way," she said.
One classics student, for instance, used the 3D printer to print a sculpture/model of traditional clothing worn in Roman civilizations. Similarly, visual arts students have created 3D designs of their artwork and then printed their creations.
One particularly interesting application was in a folklore course. The subject at hand was deconstructing folktales using folklorist Vladimir Propp's system of folktale analysis. Propp analyzed basic components of folktales and came up with a system that could be used to describe and analyze any folktale. There are 31 narrative elements or "functions" and seven "character functions." These functions are represented by Greek letters, Latin letters and numbers and other symbols. The 3D printer was used to produce these symbols and students placed them on printouts of the folktale to identify the various functions.
"It's an outside the box way of learning about a subject matter," said Rose. It's almost like a game; students got the concept much more quickly."
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