Need a good book to read this summer? Try the school division’s Virtual Reference Library (VRL), maintained by the Office of Professional Growth and Innovation (PGI).
The online library houses nearly 500 books specifically of interest to educators, including books from professional organizations such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD) as well as Corwin, an online professional resource center.
With unlimited concurrent use, books are always available. Best of all, books are free and can be downloaded as pdf or mp3 files to read or listen on your smartphone, iPad or other device. VRL can be accessed via the school division’s intranet page vbcps.com under the applications tab or from PGI’s intranet page.
“VRL’s Access My Library app can be added to your phone or other device making the library accessible anytime, anywhere,” said Chelyse Miller, professional learning specialist with PGI. “Many of the books available on VRL are also featured on the PGI Reads blog series, a forum that brings school division educators together to share professional growth resources and conversations.”
With so many books available on VRL, PGI works to help you easily navigate titles in a variety of ways. First, titles are searchable by keyword. Second, PGI also organized topical book lists that can be found on the home page of the library. Links to the most accessed books are posted there as well.
In the 2016-2017 school year, the top-five most accessed books were:
- “Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement”;
- “Causes & Cures in the Classroom: Getting to the Root of Academic and Behavior Problems”;
- Integrating Technology in the Classroom: Tools to Meet the Needs of Every Student”;
- “Uncovering Student Ideas in Physical Science, vol. 2: 39 New Electricity and Magnetism Formative Assessment Problems”; and
- “Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success.”
Recently, 135 new books were added, including “Excellence through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement for Every Student,” a book that was highlighted at last year’s Region II Excellence through Equity Conference attended by educational leaders from across Hampton Roads.
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