Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Newsstand billboard in Pasadena
Being in the classroom when students unleash a fury of curiosity is pretty awesome.
 Because curiosity fuels learning,
the questions drive the search for understanding.

Picture this: a group from the class of 2017 gather in the library’s computer classroom. They are tasked with evaluating research sources and learning a new software program.

What makes the experience rewarding is the students’ reaction to information: curiosity.
There was a lively debate about content and authenticity of websites. Comments I heard ran like this: “I’m not sure this site is good enough…..I notice that….” And “I see an ad on the website – that makes me wonder – how good is this site?”

The students challenged their sources; books, databases and websites – questioning their usefulness and authenticity. They were not simply consumers of information, but active participants in the process of evaluation.

With a minimum of instruction, they learned a new software program called Noodletools. But that’s not the remarkable part. What is remarkable is their drive to explore and understand how each part works together to support the whole program.

Two students – driven by their own curiosity and moving beyond the limited instruction- created online notecards with Noodletools. They distilled information from their sources on the notecards. Together, they figured out that the software can link a notecard to a bibliographic citation. After a moment or two of experimentation, they succeeded – and created the link. They explored the limits of the software through curiosity, figuring out that it would be logical for the software program to link bibliographic information to notecards, and then experimenting with the software until they discovered the linking mechanism. There was no instruction given on creating notecards and linking them….just the motivation of curiosity.

It was a remarkable three days. Mrs. Hodge and I always appreciate the opportunity to work with students. If we can share our passion for information and research and pass along strategies for research success, that’s pretty cool. But if the synergy between librarians and students creates a culture of curiosity, then – that’s just awesome.

-Mrs. Eldridge

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