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Libraries on Vancouver Island support at-home learning for kids & teens

Online resources include PebbleGo, TumbleBookLibrary, Academic Search Elite, Career Cruising, KnowBC, and Mango Languages.

Friday August 21, 2020 ~ VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. ~ Island Social Trends

Many families are either taking up home schooling, embracing remote learning, or realizing that at the very least there will need to be a wider range of resources for their children during the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Especially as flu season is looming along with a likely second wave of COVID… staying home is likely, and remote learning is key.

For now, in BC schools are likely to be ‘restarted’ in September in the Ministry of Education’s Stage 2, with presently a requirement for mandatory attendance in schools. Physical distancing requirements in accordance with public health guidance is part of the learning group (cohort) model of people maintaining their ‘bubbles’.

All the possible things that can happen to burst the tidy bubbles of social alignment are obvious to most parents. A silver lining is that education has perhaps come more to the forefront in households with school age children and teens.

And even teachers in BC are calling for more reliance on remote learning, including a full system of remote and/or hybrid delivery should in-class learning become difficult, unwise, or impossible.

Library resources by VIRL:

VIRL, logo
Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is headquartered in Nanaimo.

In the present COVID stay-at-home climate and uncertainty of what the fall school term may bring, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) system is taking steps to ensure they are “a valuable resource both for teachers and for families more comfortable with remote learning”.

“We are currently looking at how best to expand the resources available in our eLibrary to ensure we are helping set Vancouver Island students up for success,” says David Carson who is VIRL’s Director, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives.

Rosemary Bonanno, Executive Director, Vancouver Island Regional Library
Rosemary Bonanno, Executive Director, Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Under the guidance of the VIRL board and under the watchful eye of VIRL executive director Rosemary Bonanno, the VIRL system already offers a wide selection of digital learning tools to anyone with a library card:

For kids

Explora is an EBSCO database designed for kids. You can search for thousands of topics covering a wide range of subjects including art and music, literature, language arts, geography, history, social studies, world cultures and languages, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health and sports. This is a great homework tool!

National Geographic for Kids: science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space for kids ages 6 to 14.

Reputable, authoritative, and appropriate content for children aged 6-14.

PebbleGo is a digital information and research tool for K-3 students. Two modules are available: Animals (includes Dinosaurs) and Science. Each module features articles, activities, games, maps, videos and engaging read-aloud audio.

Find trustworthy, factual information and foster independent learning with PebbleGo. Explore resources for families here: https://pebblego.com/parent-resources

An online collection of animated picture books, audiobooks, graphic novels, children’s classics, early reader chapter books, and National Geographic videos.

For teens

A scholarly resource providing superior full-text, academic journals covering the major areas of academic research.

Career Cruising programs help people build more purposeful futures by assisting with career exploration and planning. This database offers career assessment tools, detailed occupation profiles, and comprehensive post-secondary education information.

Career Cruising: self exploration and planning program for people of all ages.

Indigenous Peoples: North America sources collections from across Canadian and American institutions, providing insight into the cultural, political and social history of Native Peoples from the seventeenth into the twentieth century.

Kanopy is a video streaming platform for libraries with one of the largest and most unique collections in the world. It features more than 26,000 movies, documentaries, and indie and foreign films from hundreds of producers, including The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers. Browse by subjects to explore and expand your interests.

KnowBC is the online portal for Harbour Publishing, an independent publisher based on the Sunshine Coast that focuses on British Columbian coastal history and culture. KnowBC features the Encyclopedia of British Columbia.

Language learning database designed to equip you with conversational abilities. Mango immerses you in real, everyday conversations in 45 different language courses.

National Geographic Virtual Library gives access to the complete archive of National Geographic magazine — every page of every issue — along with a cross-searchable collection of National Geographic books, maps, images and videos.

Points to the Past is your gateway to a world-class collection of primary sources, made up of nearly 200 million pages of digitized historical content – maps, photos, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, portraits, and much more.

TeenBookCloud (aka TumbleBookCloud) has 600 titles for middle and high school readers! This collection contains a wide range of audiobooks, classics, graphic novels, novels, poetry, and short stories!

For more information about VIRL’s educational resources, please contact 1.877.415.8475 or send an email to info@virl.bc.ca.

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