The topics that I am considering exploring are all goals that my library team has identified as part of our 5 year plan to transition our library to a Learning Commons Library. These topics include: digital citizenship, virtual learning commons, and digital portfolios.
Eventually we would like to incorporate a digital citizenship orientation into our current Grade 8 Library Orientation Program to cover key topics such as safe and ethical online behaviour, appropriate use of technology at our school, and awareness of one’s digital identity online. Further, our library currently lacks a strong online presence. It is one of those library tasks that continually gets pushed to next week. Through the website I would like to provide more information literacy and research resources, promote our library events and services, and encourage student interaction through comments, and blog posts. Finally, I am interested in working with students to create digital portfolios, as discussed by Richardson (2012) in his book Why School? How Education Must Change when Learning and Information are Everywhere, when highlighting the practices of High Tech High. He explains how digital portfolios can be a useful tool for students to document their achievements, network and share with other students through comments and blogging, and publish their own work (Richardson, 2012). Educators can also use digital portfolios to help assess non-traditional student learning (Richardson, 2012).
I think that all of these topics are related directly to 21st Century Learning and information literacy. Richardson discussed how “learning and literacy are changing radically in the Internet age” (“Better”, para. 4). I think that librarians have a strong role to play in helping our students with these changes whether or not they show up directly in our prescribed learning outcomes. These key topics all involve a digital component, which is in line with the librarian’s role in the school as a technology leader. As the librarian in my school I am given a linear prep to work on technology projects and help other teachers to incorporate technology into their classrooms. I would love to work with a class during this block to get feedback on the development of all of these projects. In the case of the digital orientation or digital portfolio projects, I would like to recruit a class to pilot the program. For the purposes of this course, I will need to select one topic. I will have to spend some time exploring the literature on each before I decide what to focus on this semester. I will try to keep in mind Richardson’s (2012) challenge to schools when he says, “How can you make sure that every student who walks on graduation day is well Googled by his or her full name?” (“Share everything (or at least something)”, para. 5).
Richardson, W. (2012). Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere. TED Conferences Publishing. [EBOOK]