Digital Human Library Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Digital Human Library (dHL)?
The Digital Human Library (dHL) is a free educational resource that connects Canadian teachers and students with hundreds of organizations and experts around the world who are delivering interactive curriculum-based programs using video conferencing technology.
(scroll down for FAQs for Experts)
FAQ’s for Teachers
How do teachers use the dHL?
In order to access the searchable library of dHL Experts, you must register with the dHL first. After your registration has been approved, you can log in to the dHL and begin searching the library’s database. Your registration is your library card!
Instructions to use the library are included below, or you can watch this short video to get started!
1. Register with the site.
2. Check your email for a message from the dHL confirming your registration.
3. Within 24 hours you will receive a second email confirming your registration has been approved.
4. Log in to the dHL website.
5. After you log in you will have 2 options: Search Teachers or Search Experts.
6. Whether you choose Search Teachers or Search Experts, you will prompted to type your search terms into a search box. Search terms might include key words, curriculum content areas, geographic location of schools, languages spoken, video conferencing platform, etc. Since 95% of dHL Experts offer programs for free, there is no need to search for “FREE” programs.
Remember, all new teachers who register must have their profiles approved first, before they will be given access to the site. New profiles are reviewed daily.
What technology do I need?
All you need is a computer with internet access, speakers, and a webcam with a microphone. Since most classroom computers are not equipped with a webcam and microphone, you can buy a quality webcam with built-in microphone for around $25.00.
The video conferencing platform you will use for your virtual visit depends on the dHL member’s preferred way to connect (Adobe Connect, Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Polycom, FieldTripZoom, … ). If the dHL meBook does not have a preferred way to connect, there are several free options.*All Ontario school boards are licensed to use Adobe Connect. Please contact your IT department to set up your free account if you are interested.
How much does it cost?
The Digital Human Library is free to use for Canadian teachers. More than 95% of dHL Experts offer their programs free of charge. However, there are a few dHL Experts who charge a fee for their programs and they have indicated their fees in their profiles. Fees can range from $25 – $250 depending on the program.
Who are the Experts?
dHL Experts are registered content providers who present educational content and programs to teachers and students in their classrooms using video conferencing technology. The dHL has Experts in all curriculum subject areas for students in grades K-12.
How are dHL Experts vetted?
dHL Experts belong to reputable organizations, businesses, colleges/universities, or are self-employed professionals. Prior to being approved, Experts are interviewed, qualifications are confirmed, references are checked, and social media sites are reviewed in detail. While the dHL does not accept liability for the content provided by our Experts, or for the contents of external links they provide, over the structure of which we have no control, we are committed to providing schools with the highest quality educational experiences. If your experience with one of our Experts does not meet your expectations, please contact us.
How do I arrange a virtual visit with a dHL Expert?
Each dHL Expert specifies their preferred method of contact and program booking information on their profile page. Most dHL Experts offer customized programs based on your specific curriculum needs and learning goals. To view complete member profiles pages you must be a registered member. Already registered? Log in to the dHL. Register here!
Several dHL Experts offer a schedule of programs that you sign-up for a month or more in advance. These programs often fill quickly on a first come first served basis. So book early!
What are my responsibilities as a teacher using the dHL?
First and foremost it is the classroom teacher’s responsibility to ensure that students have permission to appear on camera during a video conference. Although these sessions are not typically recorded, screenshots and video clips may be taken by the classroom teacher and/or the expert to share and celebrate the experience with others online. Please refer to your School Board’s Administrative Procedures/ Policies with regards to social media use, photographing/ videotaping of students, etc. We do offer an information letter that teachers can adapt and send home to families explaining why and how students will be connecting with experts using the Digital Human Library. Please note this is not a permission form, however the letter invites parents to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
Secondly, teachers have a responsibility to help prepare dHL Expert’s for the virtual visit. dHL Experts will require information like class size and age group, as well as curriculum expectations, learning goals, time frame, and format for the virtual visit. There are a number of questions that need to be answered by both teachers and experts before the visit. Please visit the Tips for Teachers page for more information.
When you invite any guest into your classroom, whether in person or virtually (online), unforeseen things can happen. Since the guest is only connected to you and your students via the internet, if you need to end the session abruptly, the video call can be terminated quickly by simply closing the window in your browser. Should something happen during one of your virtual visits, it will be up to you to use your professional judgement to determine what course of action is most appropriate.
Can I register to use the dHL if I am a teacher living outside of Canada?
Yes. dHL Experts offer a variety of educational programs that may fit with your curriculum or Core standards.
The dHL does not accept liability for the content provided by our Experts, or for the contents of external links, over the structure of which we have no control. This statement is valid for all of the links on the website and for all contents of the pages to which the links or banners lead.
FAQ’s for dHL Experts (Content Providers)
Why should I register as a dHL Expert?
One of the greatest ways you will give back to the school community is to get involved in education. Your contributions to this resource not only bring communities around the world together, but have a profound effect on the lives of our students. By agreeing to be a dHL meBook expert, you are making a commitment to help educate our children, and strengthen the relationships between our global communities and schools.
If I agree to become a dHL Expert, what does that mean?
dHL Experts connect with students in classrooms across Canada to support and further student learning. Registering for the Digital Human Library involves creating a profile which includes information like areas of expertise, programs offered, and method(s) of contact. By registering, you are agreeing to receive and respond to emails from classroom teachers who are interested in connecting with you. It is always up to you to decide if, and when you would like to work with the teachers that contact you. Teachers understand you may not always be available.
What are my responsibilities as a dHL Expert?
The teachers who contact you will provide you with the subject area, learning goals (the curriculum being explored and the skills students are learning) and the content/topic they would like you to discuss/ present. It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to help you prepare for the virtual visit. The classroom teacher will work with you to decide on the format for the video conference, whether it’s an interview, demonstration, presentation, lesson, Q&A, as well as how to make the video conference as interactive and engaging as possible. Since you are the Expert, you will decide how much preparation is required for the virtual visit.
How do I know if my occupation and/or expertise would be of interest to teachers and students?
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” ~Bill Nye
EveryONE has something valuable to offer. With such a broad range of topics explored in grades K-12 across the curriculum, teachers will find connections between your occupation and area(s) of expertise, and the inquiry and learning happening in the classroom.
How much time am I committing to the dHL if I agree to register as an Expert?
The amount of time you commit to the dHL is entirely up to you. You decide how many sessions you are willing to offer each year.
What technology do I need?
All you need is a computer with internet access, speakers, and a webcam with a microphone. Since most computers are equipped with a webcam, microphone, and speakers, you probably already have everything you need!
The video conferencing platform you use for your virtual visit depends on your preferred way to connect (Adobe Connect, Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Polycom, FieldTripZoom, …). If you don’t have a preferred way to connect, there are several free options. We also recommend asking the teacher you are working with if s/he favours a specific platform.
What if I don’t have the technology, but I want to get involved?
We recommend contacting a friend or relative who could provide you access to the technology. Visiting your local library is also a great option. Public libraries offer free access to the internet. All you need to do is find a quiet space to connect!
How do I develop an educational program for students?
Collaborating with the teacher is the best place to start. Teachers are full of creative ideas. Ask lots of questions and plan together. Remember, you are have the expertise and the teacher knows how to engage the students. Together you will design a program that meets the needs of all learners. If you find you need additional support, please contact us!
How do I modify my existing educational programs so they can be delivered using video conferencing technology? Will my program still be engaging?
Talk to the classroom teacher for ideas. Ask questions and plan together. In most cases the content in your program can be delivered in an engaging way just as it would if you were presenting in person. Consider how much time you spend talking, allowing for questions, and answering questions when you present. You can still lead activities, teach lessons, read books, show pictures, share videos, play music, and experiment … . The only difference is, you aren’t standing directly in front of your audience. They won’t be able to touch or handle artifacts or animals (for example), but your audience can see those artifacts and animals up close – sometimes in greater detail than can be seen by the naked eye! Kids start off engaged because they get to see you on the BIG screen. Involve them in your presentation like you would in person, and you will have a captivated audience.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
I have registered as a dHL Expert, but I can’t view other Expert profiles. Why?
In order to protect the privacy of our Experts, the only users that have access to complete dHL Expert profiles are registered teachers.
I hope you found the answers you were looking for! Remember, all new users must register first, and then login to access the library of dHL Experts. Please contact us if you have any other questions!
This post is also available in: French