Virtual Classroom (www.abilenetx.gov/apl/class) is a new feature found on our digital webpage on the Abilene Public Library’s website. It made its debut introducing our Axolotl, Sir Lancelotl. The Virtual Classroom is a site built by library staff about current, pertinent information. People will have knowledge of some of the subjects that we will be posting about, but most will not have in-depth knowledge. We will include resources to find out more on the topic shared, sample lesson plans if parents want to sue the site as a teaching tool or as a place to enhance school curriculum. The information is designed for everyone, but those with small children will need to preview the videos prior to their children watching them as some may have some PG content. There is also a tab that will allow you to test yourself and report back to library staff how much you learned.
The first installment of the virtual classroom featured the Axolotl. On this site were videos about how to care for an Axolotl, how to handle an Axolotl, how to pronounce Axolotl and how to draw an Axolotl. Librarian Marianne Vadney introduces us to the new Abilene Public Library pet in a video too. We included library resources to check out, lesson plans for primary grades and a tab where you can test your knowledge regarding the Axolotl. Finish the test and email us about what you learned.
In the next installment of the virtual classroom, we learn more about viruses, specifically coronaviruses. The reader will be introduced by a short video on the origin of COVID-19 and other viruses like it. An electron microscope image of the virus and structure of a coronavirus are part of this virtual class. Topics also include homeostasis and viruses and the debate about whether a virus is alive. Also included are videos on hand ashing and how well do masks work? Both videos are enlightening and show exactly how long you need to wash your hands and exactly why masks are practical. Once you see the steam cloud out of the actors nose and mouth, it makes you wonder why we haven’t always worn masks. Ewww.
After the virus virtual class, the Periodic table is next. Most people know that the periodic table exists, but how many know about who created our modern chart, the names of the newest elements, who discovered them and how much each component on the chart weights? The videos explain many aspects of the periodic table and the Royal Society of Chemistry has some fantastic interactive graphs on their site to explore each chemical in depth. So for example, Molybdenum #42, a chemical on the periodic table was discovered in 1781 by Peter Jacob Hjelm and the name is derived from the Greek "molybdos" meaning lead. Included about this chemical, are a history, a podcast and a videorecording specifically about this chemical as well as other pertinent information. This class will also include sample lesson plans, suggested sites for worksheets, and testing your knowledge based upon the videos posted about the subject.
We hope you enjoy this latest addition to our virtual webpage. Let us know what you think and if you have any suggestions for future subjects.
Post Contributed by Janet Bailey, Technical Services Manager, Main Library