Network Society, Network Neutrality & Teacher Librarians

social_network_analysis_visualization
Grandjean, M. (2013). Social Network Analysis Visualization.  CC attribution -SA 3.0 Unported

In my reading from INFO281 (Seminar in Contemporary Issues: Globalization and Information) this week, I got a look at globalization theories.  I was particularly interested in Manuel Castells’ Network Society.  Perhaps it is because I was inundated by neoliberalism, or that I couldn’t help but equate Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire theory with Star Wars— Emperor Palpatine and the Rebel Alliance and all. Whatever the case, Castells’ Network Society theory was like a breath of fresh air, because I felt like it resonated with me.  It’s not because “technological change exercises underlying causal determination in the myriad of processes referred to as globalization” (Robinson, 2007, p. 132), although that does play a big part.  Honestly, I appreciate a theory that, rather than focusing on the economic or political pieces of globalization, sees something like advances in technology making an impact on the various, interconnected parts that make up what is, to my budding understanding, globalization.  The reason it resonates is because I, in my role as a teacher librarian, thoroughly embrace Sir Francis Bacon’s famous saying, “knowledge is power.”  Part of the theory of Network Society is the idea that the economy is knowledge based.

So how does that relate to network neutrality?  Well, the September/October 2017 issue of American Libraries includes a news article, “ALA fights for an open internet” (p. 8). Part of librarianship for any librarian is the support and championing of freedom of information: as ALA president Jim Neal notes, “Network neutrality is all about equity of access to information.”  It’s necessary to support the 2015 Open Internet Order, which puts in place rules that protect access to information.  The article’s author reminds readers that “access to the internet and other library resources empowers all to participate fully in today’s digital economy.”

The language current to most of today’s school standards focuses on students that are able to function in a digital environment, with the understanding that today’s technology does empower as it breaks down barriers to knowledge (see AASL Standards for 21st-century learners, 2007 and NGSS “The need for standards” & Monica Burns’ 2015 Edutopia article “The Common Core and digital skills development”).  All of the standards recognize the fact that successful students are prepared for life in a highly technological society.  In order to support these students, it’s imperative that knowledge is accessible, that it’s not restricted by government and commercial internet service provider interference.

References:

American Association of School Libraries. (2007). Standards for 21st-century learners. [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/files/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_LearningStandards.pdf

American Library Association. (2017, September/October). Ala fights for an open internet. American Libraries 48(9/10), p. 8).

Burns, M. (2015, July 1). The Common Core and digital skills development. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-digital-skills-development-monica-burns

Next Generation Science Standards. (n.d.). The need for standards. nextgenscience.org. Retrieved from https://www.nextgenscience.org/need-standards

Robinson, W.I. (2007). Theories of globalization. In G.Ritzer (Ed.), Blackwell companion to globalization (pp. 125-143) Malden, MA: Blackwell.

 

 

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Symbaloo for Professional Development

It was the first day teachers were back today, and my professional development colleagues and I talked about tech best practices.  Professional Development Co-coordinator is one of my roles as a teacher librarian, and I have to say that being a tech coach is one of my favorite hats to wear. As we (my fellow students and myself) have learned over the course of the summer, “Twenty-first-century standards progressively call for librarians to step in as instructional leaders, connecting educators and students to materials, methods, and technology across the curriculum” (Parrott & Keith, 2015, p. 12).

So this morning, our collaborative team had so very little time, just half an hour, before the educators in the audience moved on to the next back-to-school meeting.  Which meant that we stuck with the basics.  No delving into nitty-gritty how-tos.  Just overviews. And while this works in a broad sense, as we are covering bases that need covering, I know that two things need to happen for follow up.  First, our team needs to ensure that new teachers have access to tutorials for our LMS and other applications.  They also need access to a tech FAQ.  Secondly, our team recognizes the importance of documentation. We can point back to teaching as a means to measure what teachers know.

Fellow INFO233 student Katrina Bergen suggested using a tool called Symbaloo to organize my professional developer ideas and lessons into one place, and I thought it would be a great idea to do a little trial with Symbaloo for filling in professional development gaps like the ones I KNOW must have happened this morning, especially for the new teachers.  Here’s what I’ve got so far…

symbaloo_example

Now this isn’t the real deal, in case you were wondering why the buttons don’t work. Our school uses Google Apps for Education, and while our teachers would be able to open all the links, you won’t since they’re proprietary to my school.

However, I am going to add the link to Karen Hume’s Teach Magazine article, “Managing Technology Use in Your Classroom.”   I found her points highly relevant — technology use in the classroom was one of the big points of our talk this morning.

Going back to the Symbaloo tile board, I imagine that this will go great on our PD website. I’m using the old Google Sites, which allows me to embed a widget, so the tile board will show nicely there…

Now, in terms of measuring effectiveness, I will need to talk to new and old teachers about whether the Symbaloo tile board helped them learn the tools.  I can make changes or scrap the tile board if the teachers didn’t get much or anything out of it.  To say the least, I have attempted to fill in learning gaps for teachers in an accessible, simple way.

Thanks, Katrina, for the suggestion!

References:

Hume, K. (n.d.) “Managing technology use in your classroom.” Teach Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.teachmag.com/archives/3510

Katrina’s response to my August 3, 2017 blog post, “Professional developer seeks organizational assistance”

Parrott, D. J., & Keith, K. J. (2015). Three Heads Are Better Than One. Teacher Librarian42(5), 12-18.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=103235147&site=ehost-live&scope=sited

 

 

 

 

Professional Developer seeks organizational assistance

one_hell_of_a_mess
Cronin, Tom. 10 July, 2004. One Hell of a Mess…CC Share-Alike 2.0 Generic

One of the many hats the teacher librarian wears is the role of professional developer.  Yes, we are bound to develop our own skills.  These days, we find professional development opportunities through conferences and workshops, but more and more of us are moving to OERs, webinars, and connections through social media sources like Twitter and Facebook.  As Carolyn Foote notes in her 2013 Library Media Collection article “From professional development to personalized learning,” personalized learning is “something that you do for the benefit of your own learning on your own time and at your own convenience, and it’s tailored to what you need.” Foote points out that we have ample choices at our fingertips, and we need to use them.

How do we transfer what we’re getting to the teaching staff and classified staff at our schools?  I’ve been pondering this question as summer comes to a close and I will be looking for ways to get into the classroom to support teachers since, as Kristin Fontichiaro states in her 2013 article “Librarians as professional developers,”  “being a professional developer allows librarians to reach kids by empowering their teachers” (p. 47). In past years, I have been able to incorporate what I’m learning into weekly emails that I send out to the staff, called “Tech Tip Tuesday.”  I’ve also been able to use what I’ve learned in tech menu sessions and in department meetings.

But part of my problem is organization.  My tech tip emails are in one spot; my tech lessons in another, etc.  A lot of the professional learning comes at me in bits and bytes, and winds up relegated to a back channel.  I would love to have all my little bits and pieces in one spot so I can find it easily AND direct staff to it.I love Pinterest for that, and I’ve used my Google+ account to do a little of this, too.  The new Google Sites can also be a great place to put stuff, except for the fact that it’s not ready to work with Widgets (my Twitter feed and Pinterest boards are just links).  I love WordPress, and have a feeling I’ll be moving everything onto a site here…

Any of you out there have some good tips on getting my professional development ideas organizing your good stuff?

References:

Foote, C. (2013). From professional development to personalized learning. Library Media Connection31(4), 34-35.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=84557824&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Fontichiaro, K. (2013, May). Librarians as professional developers. School Library Monthly, 29(8), 47-48.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=87773567&site=ehost-live&scope=site

 

Why I’m not going to ISTE this year, and why I think you should care

Hello my name is badge sticker

Conferences, conferences.  Every professional has the opportunity to attend conferences for professional development.  Conferences are often run by industry groups or organizations. As teacher librarians, we are encouraged to become involved in various library-related associations (see 4 C  Blog “Top 10 reasons to join a professional organization” to understand why).  Encouragement for me has initially come from professors in my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program through San Jose State University. Thank you, professors.   If you’re lucky, you have administrators that encourage you to take part in library-related associations.  I, myself, am a proud member of several of these.   First is the American Library Association (ALA), the big guns, along with two ALA divisions, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  I am also a member of  the California School Libary Association (CSLA).  I have attended ALA and CSLA conferences, and will be attending the AASL conference this fall in Arizona. Yes, I know.  Sounds awesome.

I’m really not trying to brag, here.  In talking with other teacher librarians, I’ve found that most are part of 3-5 associations, and many of them even more.

Now, in my first post, if you read it, I talked about librarians wearing lots of different hats?  Well, one of the biggest hats we wear is the hat that I call, very unoriginally, “Tech go-to.”  We are that person at our sites.  As Steven Abram noted in his recent January 2017 Internet@Schools article titled, “What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents,”  “The next phase of libraries will expand our role in schools and our communities into lending 3D printers, 3D scanners, drones, games, IoT devices, artificial intelligence and aug­mented reality tools, robots, robotics, and the full range of digital and other tools needed for successful learning.”  So yeah, better get up on all that. As a quick side note, Abram quotes the 2016 Thomas Frey Futurist Speaker article, “‘122 Things’ you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today,” which is a great read.  

See, inasmuch as the library associations mentioned heretofore help us connect, and actually do a good job in helping us keep up with technology, it’s wise to spread out and form professional attachments to groups that FOCUS on tech. To that end, I became a member of Computer Using Educators (CUE), the Silicon Valley offshoot (SVCUE), and the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE).  With CUE, I get out of the library box and into seeing how subject-area educators are using new applications.  ISTE pushes global awareness, and has developed up-to-date international student and teacher technology standards that echo the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

It’s hard to pick and choose which professional conferences you want to attend, if you’re lucky to even have that choice.  When I look over my year, I try to spread things out a bit, attending 1 library-associated conference and 1 tech conference.  I have experienced good and mediocre conferences.  The greatest takeaway at EVERY conference is network building. Yes, you learn about trends and technology too.  But if learned anything, it’s the acquaintances and friendships you strike up, because they will enrich you over and over again.

I’m not going to ISTE this year because it coincides with a much-needed family vacation.   Maybe I’ll go next year when it’s in Chicago.

Why should you care?  Well, if you’re interested in teacher librarianship, and you want to stay connected through attendance at conferences, maybe this post will pique your interest in the professional associations I listed above, but that’s not my main point.  My hope is that you, dear fellow teacher librarian, in your attempt to perch the many hats you wear atop your head AT THE SAME TIME, can read this little post and either say to yourself, “She’s such a lightweight!” or “Aha! I’ve found someone that’s just as involved as me.”  If you’re one of the former, I take one of my many hats off to you.  If you’re one of the latter, cheers!

References:

Abram, S. (2017, January). What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents. Internet@Schools, 24(1), 8-10. Retrieved from http://www.internetatschools.com/Articles/Column/The-Pipeline/THE-PIPELINE-Whats-in-the-Pipeline-Teacher-Librarians-as-STEAM-Vents-116124.aspx

Frey, Thomas. (2016, October 26). “122 Things” you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today. [Web log]. Futurist Speaker. Retrieved from http://www.futuristspeaker.com/business-trends/122-things-you-will-be-able-to-do-in-the-library-of-the-future-that-you-cant-do-today/

McClellan, J. (2015, November 5). Top 10 reasons to join a professional association. [Web log]. 4CDesignworks. Retrieved from http://blog.cccctech.com/top-10-reasons-to-join-a-professional-organization/

 

Bibliodidaskalos-ity?

This is my newest blog, and this time, it’s about making connections.  I have another blog, Bibliocity, where I do reader advisor book summaries.  I call it Bibliocity for two reasons.  First, most people are familiar with the Greek root “biblio” which means book.  I chose “city” because it means “a place or situation characterized by a specified attribute” (Google definition).  Combine the two together, and you get a place for book summaries.   Second, I was a teenager in the 80s when The Police came out with Synchronicity and Bibliocity made me think of great music AND connecting things.

220px-police-album-synchronicity

For Bibliodidaskalos-ity (biblio-di-das-ka-los-ity), I inserted didáskalos, which means teacher in Greek.  To get technical, I think I am a didáskalissa, but that would have meant the blog’s name, which is already crazy, would end in “issa-city”  and I prefer the sound of “os-ity”.

So connections.  Teacher librarians have to be really good at this.  They connect students to information, teachers to information, and often wear other hats besides.  They are tech coaches, professional development leaders, curriculum developers.  They have to be up-to-date with subject area standards and technology.  They are reader advisors, champions of all kinds of literacies.  That makes them superstars and superheroes on school campuses.