This summer I am joining the #cyberPD discussion of the book Who Owns the Learning: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age by Alan November. Thanks to Cathy Mere, Jill Fisch, and Laura Komos for organizing and hosting the event! This book was not on my Professional Reading list, but once I read a bit about it I was interested in reading it this summer. After I read the first chapter I am even more excited to finish it! My perspective on the book may be a little different since I am a library media specialist. Also, this is a new blog, so thanks for reading!
First things first, to have school librarians mentioned in the first chapter and to be given our own text box about transforming the school library (p.18) was very exciting! As part of his Digital Farm Model November sees libraries as global communications centers where students can connect to collaborate and create work and also as a place from where students can present work to a global audience. He also believes that librarians are critical resources to other teachers who wish to help their students connect globally and work collaboratively. Supporting students in their job as researchers is another critical role of school librarians in the Digital Farm Model. These ideas complement the thinking I have been doing about where school librarians fit into the Common Core research standards, the ways in which I hope to further incorporate media into my physical library space and the teaching I will do, and the ways I can collaborate with classroom teachers in the coming year. I also really identify with giving students more responsibility for their learning and encouraging them to become collaborators, contributors, and researchers. These are goals to strive for in terms of student learning in the library.
I enjoyed reading chapter two, as well, and it made me think about some work that the third graders had done in the library last spring. In groups or on their own the students designed a digital learning object of their choosing to teach younger students to use some aspect of the library or a technology application (they also chose what they wanted to teach others). They created things like movies showing how to find books in the library, step sheets showing how to use our online catalog look up books, screen casts showing how to use PebbleGo, wiki pages with book recommendations, and QR codes for the most used library websites. This project was by far one of the most successful I did last year. It took a long time for students to complete, especially since I see them every four days for forty-five minutes, and I needed lots of support from our district technology support teachers! However, I think the students learned skills in the areas of planning, technology, collaboration, and communication. It was also very motivating to know that younger students would view/ use their work and I also think it helped that the work was not being graded. My next step for this project will be to become the “global publisher” that November describes in Chapter 2. Before the beginning of next year I plan to have the projects displayed on our library wiki page with a link from our library website, so that students and others can view this work. I also need to continue to explore other ways that my students can connect and communicate globally. In addition, I need to play around more with Quicktime (which can be used to create audio, video, and screencast recordings) and Explain Everything, which are available on our library computers and ipads and will be great tools to use to create future tutorials.
I look forward to reading Chapters 3 and 4!