In our state's library association's magazine, Media Messenger, there was an article by Cathy Nelson about a document titled "The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies." This document was created by the ISTE SIGMS group. This is a useful document for librarians trying to define their place in the modern education system. The document outlines how librarians can and should be technology advocates and guides.
A few things stood out for me.
The document states that school librarians:
- frequently provide professional development to their colleagues in areas related to instructional and technology resources
- often serve as primary technology integration specialists in their buildings.
These two points are accurate descriptions of what I try to do at my middle school. I comb through websites, tweets, and blog posts for ideas that teachers at school may use. I email them and bookmark them in our school's Diigo group. I show one web tool at the beginning of each faculty meeting. I call the series the "Eliterate Minute". So far I have shared Diigo, Big Huge Labs, Zamzar, Wordle, and Poll Everywhere. I organized an Electronic Gadget Petting Zoo for the staff. I blogged about it if you want more information. It was a big hit. The district administration asked if I would organize an encore of the petting zoo for all of the librarians in the district. It is scheduled for January and I am very excited about it. I believe my efforts have helped the administration, both school and district, and teachers to see me as someone that can help them troubleshoot technology issues and brainstorm ideas for integrating technology into the classroom. I try to model the use of technology in the library for the students as well as the teachers when they bring their classes. I have used Flip cameras, digital cameras, clickers, text notifications, iPadio, Voki, Poll Everywhere, book trailers from Youtube, Glogster, Google Earth, Prezi, Skype, Weblist, Jog the Web, iPods, Kindles and created a Facebook page for library news. I have a long way to go to convince some of the value of technology, but I feel that I am making progress.
I encourage all of you to read the document. Use it to advocate for the profession by sharing with teachers and administrators. As you read it evaluate yourself. Are you meeting these needs? How can you step it up to better meet the needs of your faculty?