About Woodinville High School
Built in 1983, this public high school serves the community of Woodinville, WA, located about 20 miles from Seattle. The student population has grown in recent years to over 1,400, and the school has been undergoing a major remodel in which everything except the gym and the administration building have been razed and rebuilt in two phases. The new library was part of the first phase, and opened in its new location two years ago. The second phase, which includes the classrooms, will open in Fall 2011.
The Woodinville High School Library is a teaching library with the goal of promoting life-long learning for students and staff. The staff includes Dione Garcia and Andy Hegeman, both National Board and Washington State Certified Teacher-Librarians, and the collection includes over 20,000 volumes, with a balance of print and electronic materials from a variety of sources.
The new library is an open, airy building with high ceilings, lots of windows to bring in natural light, and well-designed teaching spaces. It’s also a state-of-the-art facility, with Promethean white boards (interactive computerized boards for multi-media instruction and presentations), 34 Macintosh computers on the library floor, and an adjacent computer lab with another 34 computers. In February 2011, it became the first public school in the nation to install a BookScan Station, the industry’s first affordable, easy-to-use, self-service book scanning solution for libraries.
Why BookScan Station?
“We had a scanner in the library, but it was a hassle to use and it didn’t do what we needed to do,” said Andy Hegeman, Teacher-Librarian and English Teacher at Woodinville High School. “We also have a Ricoh copier with a scanner function, but the scans go to the district folder, and it requires about seven steps to access that folder.” Neither machine was simple enough for students to use.
Then Hegeman took a technology class at the University of Washington and heard someone mention a book-edge scanner, which allows the book page to lie flat on the glass to capture a distortion-free image and protect the spine of a book from damage. “I’d never heard of that before, so I went to do a little research on-line and the BookScan Station came up. I thought it was pretty cool, so I started reading about it.” Quickly, he realized the BookScan Station had more going for it than its patented beveled book edge, and he shared the find with fellow Teacher-Librarian and Library Department Head, Dione Garcia, who teaches English, Social Studies and Library Media.
The BookScan Station allows scans to be saved to several common formats, and includes advanced Optical Character Recognition to create searchable documents. The scans can then be saved to a flash drive, e-mail or GoogleDocs.
“We could immediately see the potential, not just for students, but for teachers,” said Hegeman. “Teachers have file drawers filled with lesson plans and study guides going back years. But we’re trying to move to digital, so what do you do with all that stuff? With the BookScan Station, a teacher can scan those things into Word, then manipulate them to bring them up to date and print them out as needed.”
Still, they carefully researched other options. “This was a large purchase for us, so our vetting was extensive,” said Garcia, who also serves as Staff Technology Resource Teacher and recently completed the Library Media Specialist Program at Central Washington University. “We called many, many libraries, and we compared the BookScan Station to other products. We had some other products recommended to us, but they didn’t scan to e-mail or to GoogleDocs, so they didn’t fill our need.” Scanners that had more capabilities were more expensive – and much more complicated to use. Nothing else had the BookScan Station’s easy-to-navigate touch screen to guide users through the scan process.
“Really the most important aspect of the BookScan Station is the convenience,” said Hegeman. “Before, we’d have a class of 35 kids come in to do a history paper. They’d line up and one of us or a TA had to stand by the copier pushing buttons, making hundreds and hundreds of copies” BookScan Station is so simple that it’s self-service. “They can do it themselves, so it frees us up. Kids just walk over and somehow genetically know how it works. They’re digital natives.”
BookScan Station Improves Student Learning
Unlike the copy machine, located in the faculty room behind the circulation desk, they set the BookScan Station up right on the circulation desk, where everyone could get to it. The goal, said Garcia, was not just to save time and paper, but to actually improve student learning by getting them more involved in their research, encouraging them to use more sources, and preparing them for life in a digital world.
Introducing the new technology was easy, said Hegeman. “We made a short PowerPoint, including a 40-second video, and before the start of a research project, we show that to students. They say, ‘That’s all you have to do?’ Now they are its biggest fans.”
The next step was to teach students to scan responsibly. Teachers and Librarians talk to them about ethical use and attribution. Then they encourage students to start by scanning the verso page on the reverse of the title page to make sure they have the source’s catalog and publication information. That way, they’ll have the information for citation.
By scanning their own material, “they know where their information came from so they can be authoritative and credible about what their sources are,” said Garcia. “Knowing where information comes from and how to use it is more important than ever for today’s students. Now, they are not taking home some paper copy that’s really difficult to read, that can get out of order easily, with print that’s too small. With the scanner, they can have it in the format they enjoy most – digital – and they can manipulate it.”
The result? “Our teachers are finding that more diverse sources and better quality sources are finding their way in to student projects” since the BookScan Station was installed, said Garcia.
Hegeman agreed. “It has really breathed new life into our print sources,” he said. “Kids are more likely to use the books. And they are more likely to quote a source if they can cut and paste it than if they have to retype it. Students used to groan when teachers said they have to have three print sources. Now they don’t complain because instead of going to the photocopier, then can go to the scanner and get a nice Word document or JPEG.”
“Our primary purpose (in getting the BookScan Station) was to improve student learning, and it’s done that,” said Garcia. But everyone in the Woodinville High School community has found ways to use the scanner. The front office and counseling office have used it to scan and e-mail forms and assessments to parents. Teachers can easily e-mail work sheets and homework assignments to sick kids so they don’t fall behind. The yearbook teacher is taking advantage of BookScan Station’s book edge and 11”x17” scanning bed to start digitally archiving 20 years worth of yearbooks. One art teacher is digitizing a collection of photographs he uses for classes. And art teachers and students alike are using it to scan art projects for digital display or to create a portfolio of their work.
“What I like about the BookScan Station is that it’s one of the most efficient ways to use information,” said Hegeman. “We use things like GoogleDocs or Turnitin.com, but you need to have a digital infrastructure in place in order to move to the 21st century classroom. The BookScan Station forms part of that infrastructure.”
BookScan Station has also helped Woodinville save trees and money.
“One day I had 150 kids waiting for copies,” said Hegeman. “If each kid just copied six pieces of paper, that’s 900 pages – almost two reams in one day.” Now, he said, the copier sees hardly any use. “So the savings in paper and man hours, with the addition of the ease of use and our ability to help them with other things instead of the copier . . . that’s huge.
In addition to savings on paper and toner, the library will likely be getting rid of that copier behind the circulation desk. Since the BookScan Station was installed, said Hegeman, “we’ve hardly used it at all. Most everything we need we can scan. If for some reason we need a copy, we can walk across the hall to the office.” That will save even more money, since the copier is leased.
It’s also saved them a bit of stress. “We are pleased that we haven’t had any issues with it,” said Hegeman. “That’s a pleasant surprise. Often electronics – computers, copiers, scanners – have issues. This has been reliable, day in and day out. It’s a joy to use and we don’t have to worry about it. It just sits there and does its thing.”
“I would recommend (BookScan Station). It saves time, energy and paper, and students will be able to use sources better in their papers for a higher quality learning experience.”
Teacher-Librarian & Library Program Department Head
Woodinville High School