Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Digital Package: Give This Gift

If learning is changing, what will be the role of the teacher-librarian in relation to that learning in schools? I think there will increasingly be a need for the work of teacher-librarians as a school's and district's resource experts simply because formats for resources and information-delivery are changing rapidly.

At a recently convened Databases Roundtable, teacher-librarians reviewed the current array of digital resources -- what do we have and what do we need to see more of, what's being used, who's not getting what they need, and how do we get the best "bang" for the investment?

There are bigger questions as well. How do we provide an array of digital products that support not only broad information needs but specific classroom and curriculum needs? How do we see our role in relation to promoting and reviewing these kinds of products, and in advocating for funding to support the digitally activated learning community? What expectations are there for teacher-librarians in this changing landscape? How well are they prepared to keep the pace of change? Remember the September Update metaphor of sandcastles at our Update sessions this year. Your teachers will need your expertise if they are just getting started.

The new look of the databases page certainly helps "sell" this package, as will opportunities for sharing these more broadly within your educational community. Sharing the digital resources is like giving a gift. Last week JO's technology-focused Pro D day featured Stephen Heppell's "Empowering Young Learners" on the mobilelearninginstitute's A 21st Century Education webpage. They explored various digital resources that piqued interest and generated really good questions. They are educational bloggers. Some of the district's newest teachers were keen to find out more about using the digital resources. Learning Services had its annual update on digital resources. French Immersion administrators were next. The package is "tipping" now into the educational community.

Digitally Yours: TL Studio II has Morphed!

Part of the work this week has been designing and re-designing plans for TL professional development in January and February. With just a little consultation, the name of the TL Studio II was changed to "Digitally Yours: Using VSB online resources and Web 2.0 Tools in Classrooms and School Libraries" to broaden its audience appeal. The on-going support of TLs in exploring particular resources and applications is absolutely important. Digital resources will be the focus presentation on January 13, leaving time for hands-on to get into specific databases for practical consideration.

Do you have someone on staff who might like to come or accompany you? There is still lots of room. If any of you are looking for a review of databases or new ideas, or have a particular group of teachers for whom this can be focused or for whom you would like to make a presentation on resources, then Digitally Yours might just be the place. This slightly-adapted series is booked for second Wednesdays in January, February, April, and May. Teachers and teacher-librarians may attend one or all session(s).

One New Resource Reading

Beyond Google: Fifteen tools and strategies for helping students (and your colleagues) ...

Two New Teaching Resources from TC2

Pivotal Voices -- Exploring Identity, Inclusion and Citizenship: The 1907 Vancouver Riots. This print resource offers a new approach to teaching history. It recognizes there is no one story for most historical events, but rather differing accounts depending upon whose story is being told.

Investigating Images: This print package of 9 lessons helps students understand historical and contemporary times and places through the critical examination of vivid and evocative images.

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