Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blog Post 4: Technology Leadership Role of School Librarians

In today’s age, technology—especially in the form of computers, the internet, and web 2.0 tools—is incredibly important to the growth and development of current student learners and future members of adult society. While the classroom is an important area to learn the necessary skills to thrive in the adult world, another equally important place is the library. The library—as well as the librarian—has moved beyond what used to be thought of as an archaic, dull, quiet, book-focused locale. Today, school librarians are also media specialists and are looked at by fellow educators to help students grow, prepare, and build the necessary skills for adult life. While there are many important skills for the 21st-century learner, there are three that are particularly important in conjunction with technology and skill building: Giving equitable access to all technology and materials for all students, building crucial technology skills for future employment needs, and participating in the important social context necessary for learning.

The AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (2007) details the important standards for every school librarian. Although most are crucial, one of the most important standards is giving equitable access to all technology and materials for all students. Many of today’s youth are low income or, for any various reasons, cannot access certain technologies or books. It is the librarian’s job to make sure every student—no matter race, gender, or socio-economic status—has equal access to the same materials so that every student has the opportunity to have an equal learning experience. Once students have this equal opportunity learning experience, then the librarian’s other standards can come to fruition.

With technology growing exponentially throughout society, it is only natural that technology must be incorporated into both learning and employment. For the youth of today to become skilled workers in the future, they must learn appropriate skills in school, much of which will be taught by librarians. Church (2011) explains that librarians must master the learning process to better prepare themselves for college and careers, and they must lead those students into growing those “skills of inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking” (p. 10). There are many tools to use to build these skills, as well, but they are not the only skills necessary to build to create successful workers.

As the AASL Standards also explain, there is a social context to learning. Students must be able to build social skills, though sometimes it is difficult to do so due to potential embarrassment or social awkwardness. Weaver (2010) uses the example of Twitter and how useful it can be in a classroom setting. It can be used to post questions or conduct polls. And for the more reluctant students who might not want to raise their hands or respond in class, Twitter (or other social media or Web 2.0 tools in general) gives the ability to overcome the public fear by allowing them to respond ‘silently’ or anonymously.

Overall, technology is highly beneficial in the classroom setting, and it is up to the librarian to help push further technological tools in order to make stronger learners and build better, important skills necessary for succeeding in today’s society. Without the school librarian, it is still possible for the classroom teacher to implement technology, but the classroom teacher does not always have the time or knowledge to do so. The librarian is the perfect facilitator to bring these skills together practically and easily.


ALA. (2007). AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Retrieved from

Church, A.P. (2011). School librarians as teacher leaders. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 77(3), 10-12.

Weaver, A. (2010). Twitter for teachers, librarians and teacher librarians. Access, 24(2), 16-20.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blog Post 3: Technology Implementation Strategies

One of the first points the article discusses is the important use of the internet in the classroom, particularly if the textbook is outdated. Students hearing the use of vocabulary in context via an online video or animation helps students to both understand the meaning and concept much easier than if merely reading in a textbook. The article discusses that students not only understood material easier but were able to functionally use high-level terms and vocabulary that they otherwise would not have been able to use nearly as quickly under regular circumstances. Then, students are asked to share helpful websites with each other as they are doing online activities, making it a more active experience that allows them to cogitate on the material more than silent reading.

A second point discusses the use of video podcasts in the classroom. The author discusses having her students record video lesson reviews to post up on the class website. These can be accessed easily, allowing for students who have missed class for whatever reason to access them to stay caught up. It’s also a much more fun experience since they are being taught by peers rather than by the teacher.

A third point discusses motivation and how students need more social interaction. Many students these days lose that physical social interaction due to constantly being on computers or video games, even with technology-based lessons. However, using presentation technology, students are more likely to do research to build their presentations, as they want them to be as good and entertaining as they can for their peers. Presentations become fun, and students become motivated and engaged.

One way to incorporate technology into instruction is the dramatized podcast. Podcasts dramas (or serials) are becoming quite popular these days, harkening back to the days of radio serials. In an English/Literature classroom, students could write out scripts that serialize fiction into a podcast drama. For example, a class focusing on Romeo and Juliet could tell the entire story as a news report podcast, or another class might take an Edgar Allan Poe short story and do a dramatic reading and add music and sound effects to the background.

Another way of incorporating technology into instruction is to use organizational tools such as Timeglider to help fully understand the flow or connections of a story or time period. For example, Timeglider could be used in a history class for students to understand the timeline of a time period; it can also be used in an English class for students to document the timeline of a story and its sequence of events. This would be especially useful in a story like The Odyssey, where many events happen over the course of many years.


Boles, S.R. (2011). Using technology in the classroom. Science Scope, 34(9), 39-43.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blog Post 2: Handheld Devices

The article itself was quite outdated with many technologies that either do not exist or have been greatly upgraded in the last thirteen years. Even still, Richards (2002) makes a few good points that are still relevant today.

The article discusses e-books first and foremost. They were in their infancy at the time the article was written and are far more relevant for today's librarians. Richards discusses using either e-book catalogs or infrared kiosks in order to help patrons locate these non-physical books.

Today, however, e-books are overtaking physical books for many people as they are far more accessible. With Nooks, Kindles, or even free Kindle apps for phones or tablets, it's easy to download and read electronic books without ever leaving the house. The advantage for an electronic book library would be, of course, the price. Offering free rentals from online selections with a library card will benefit many patrons who might not be able to afford constantly buying new e-books.

The article also discusses a program known as "Portrait" that allows video conferencing. Richards says this could be used for reference librarians to ask or answer questions without having to go to another location.

Today, Portrait is far more well known by its modern predecessors, Skype and FaceTime. Almost everyone has at least one of these free programs on their phones, tablets, or computers. People can use these to contact the librarians to ask reference questions. A modern library can use it for an Ask A Librarian feature of the website or maybe even video conference a famous author or artist who cannot travel the library but would be willing to talk to an audience via long distance calling for free.

The final note to discuss from the article is that librarians or library staff will need to be trained in the technology. Richards states that libraries need to hired already trained staff in order to work these areas, especially if libraries want to continue forward to be a great resource for upper education.

This idea continues to hold true today. Perhaps many older librarians are wary of upgrading to modern technologies because of the learning curve, or perhaps there isn't enough money in the budget to hire staff who are equipped to work with this technology. However, if libraries want to continue to be relevant and important in the education of modern society, they need to upgrade their technology and how they present their information.

Other vital handheld devices not discussed in this article include tablets/iPads and cell phones, as both were not around as they are today at the time this article was written. Many libraries use tablets these days in fun ways, like using their video cameras to film short movies with youth groups. Cell phones, if used properly, could also be vital to the success of modern libraries. Cell phones today are the books, as many people read from their phones, so a library or catalog app with a list of available e-books or other electronic materials would be a great use to incorporate cell phones (or tablets) into modern library usage.


Richards, S.L.F. (2002). Innovative library uses of handheld devices. Library Hi Tech News, 19(9), 8-9.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Class Projects

Blog Post 1: Technology Strengths and Weakness

My technological strengths involve anything to do with audio/visual equipment, especially for the use of the first teacher standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (2008), “Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments” (p. 1). For example, my first year teaching, we studied Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey. With my guidance, my students adapted each story into a modernized re-telling script (with modern language and setting). Students were then cast into different roles—acting, music, camera, etc.—and together we filmed the movies. I also used my editing skills to help put the films together, and then students helped choose music to score the films. The end results were nothing Oscar-worthy, but they were definitely special to all the students. Over five years later, I still have students talking about them when I see them around.

My primary weakness would be the fifth teacher standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (2008) which states, “Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources” (p. 2). My school was not particularly updated with technology and using technology for learning and therefore had inadequate professional development on the subject. Because of this, I do not feel that I ever got the proper knowledge and growth on the subject as a teacher that I should have. To overcome these weaknesses, I feel I should do two things: 1) Seek out a school district that understands the importance of technology in a learning environment and knows how to properly utilize it and teach its educators about it, and 2) Seek out my own professional development to bring back ideas and pitch the to the administration about why it is important or necessary to help enhance student achievement.

I would like to learn and gather ideas on how to use a multitude of online websites, such as blogs or other, lesser known forms of communication, to enhance student interest when used as a part of an assignment. Because students love when assignments are out of the norm and/or technologically based, it is most beneficial to all involved when out-of-the-box thinking and creativity is used in building assignments that enhance the learning process. And going from a school teacher to a school librarian, I feel this is even more necessary as a librarian is there to help give teachers ideas and methods on enriching student learning.


International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). ISTE Standards Teachers. Retrieved from