Monday, August 26, 2013

Career change with a silver lining

With a change in career direction imminent, I’ve been doing some online trawling to get my head back around what’s important in the world of Teacher Librarianship. After about a decade away from the library coalface, working in technology integration, I can see there’s plenty of exciting things happening in school libraries in the 21st century that marries nicely with my technology experience. The following is what I've been thinking about while I look at new employment options in Libraries.

My last post listed some tools which have been useful to sort and keep online resources.  From a TL perspective these tools are heaven sent.  There are lots of amazing TL’s sharing ideas on platforms such as Pinterest, Learnist, Scoop it! and Educlipper and these are great places to find inspiration. For students and subject / classroom teachers too, collecting information can be overwhelming and curation tools hold the key to sort and keeping useful material.
Watch Know is also an interesting tool to find and share online videos with students and teachers.
I’m looking forward to following and learning alongside some very creative professionals in these spaces.

Digital storytelling:
There are a plethora of online tools that are perfect for students to share their own stories, retell the stories of others, make book trailers or have fun with a fractured tale. The story writing process is enhanced greatly by the ability to see stories spring into life. Photo and video editing tools as well as animation tools such as Puppet Pals, Powtoon and Goanimate for Schools present lots of choice for students to create quality productions with minimum fuss. The free editing tools on You Tube are also a simple way to create a video story and upload it to a wide audience.

Perhaps the most exciting addition to any school library are the possibilities presented by iPads. Ebooks and animated books such as The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore offer a wonderful experience to share with students.  This genre is bound to become a huge force in the world of childrens' and young adult literature and already I'm dazzled by the creative output of publishing houses such as Moonbot and can't wait to see this genre explode.
iPads also offer the possibilities for students to share their own ideas and interact with literature in ways that were previously not possible. Aurasma is one app that holds enormous possibilities for students to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for books.
QR codes are a fun way to engage students with content and ideas as well – easy to make and a great way to engage the book collection with students via mobile technology.
From presentation to productivity, creativity to collaboration, iPads make video and photo editing, comic making and information creation and sharing all extremely easy and achievable with all age groups including our youngest.  The iPad also adds mobility to its reasons for success.

Social Media:
It’s all about collaboration. Sharing and discussing books online opens up the possibilities to engage in the online space – for all learners. TLs can set up Edmodo book chat groups, a Library blog can publicise new goings on in the Library and Twitter can connect the Library with other like minded professionals sharing and learning from each other. Collaboratively working on information gathering and presenting online brings the process into the 21st century and the creation of authentic projects that include online learning and sharing enhances the learning experience.

There are so many tools out there to publicise what’s going on in the Library. Print publishing tools such as those on BigHugeLabs are fabulous for quick poster creation, and in an online format Glogsters are a great way of quickly presenting on a subject matter. Having a web presence to publicise the Library is easily achieved via website creation tools such as Wix and Weebly. Librarians are now animators as well using formats such as Powtoon and Go animate as publicity tools for their Libraries in engaging ways.

Information skills:
Online is king here. From tools such as Custom Google searches and Instagrok, online and collaborative graphic organiser and mind mapping tools, through to the different note collection tools such as Evernote,  Livebinders and Sling Note, and Easybib for citations, the information skills process is totally transformed. Students and teachers need to be aware of and be able to use effectively the online tools that are available to streamline the process with a 21st century perspective.

Virtual worlds:
Creating and meeting in virtual spaces is a fascinating area where Libraries can engage with the outside world and there's lots to learn here. Second Life (an over 13's only space) holds incredible possibilities for connecting learners and I'm looking forward to venturing further into these realms.

Digital Citizenship:
With the continued opening up of spaces to communicate, collaborate and create online, it is part of the Library's responsibilities to assist students and teachers to understand what they can and cannot, should and should not do in the digital space. There are some great places online to help and Common Sense Media is a comprehensive website with curriculum materials that is a good starting point.

So the possibilities are awesome, and this is only scratching the surface. I'll be exploring all of these ideas and more in depth while I search for the perfect job to utilise my skills and keep excited about learning. I’m ready to combine my last 10 years of experience as a technology integrator and my professional background as a Teacher Librarian and embrace the change.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic Sunny, you'll be welcomed back into libraries. What a pity you weren't available when I retired from TGS last year!! All the best for your library bound future, lucky the library that gets you and your skills.