In the article, Technology Trends Reshape Today’s Libraries by Wendy McMahon, I clicked on the example of the Vancouver Schools innovative library spaces link and found a Tedx talk, Changing the Conversation about Librarians by Mark Ray. In it, Ray discusses how librarians are moving toward the future. They’re the ones to teach digital citizenship and information literacy. Even in a school with 1:1 iPads, students need guidance as they navigate information and new apps. Librarians are the ones to do it. Ray also discussed moving the unused reference section of the library and creating a collaborative work space. This is something I want to do, right now, today, in my library. There are cabinets full of teacher reference books that haven’t been touched in the three years since I’ve been in my building. We need that space for collaboration and creative thinking.
In Idea Watch by Carolyn Foote, she discusses the various ways libraries are evolving and the fact that from year to year they will evolve. We can’t expect libraries to remain the same in any way. I’ve found that is especially true for me. While working with ePals and connecting with people around the world, you can’t predict who will be available to collaborate or to be an interactive audience. You have to use the resources available and change and modify as necessary. She also discusses how students are creating information and they want to be in social media platforms that enable the sharing of creations. If students lives’ are this way, shouldn’t we challenge them to share their learning in the same manner? Learning how to speak clearly in front of a camera or to create visual messages that are easy to read quickly and easy to understand are important skills in the 21st century.
At the elementary level we may not be encouraging students to create YouTube videos and post to Twitter, but giving them the skills to do so responsibly and intelligently as they get older, is important. Foote writes, “to reinvent libraries, we have to be the future we want to see.” Character building is important on and off technology devices. I think every teacher would agree we want the future to be full of citizens who are responsible and intelligent on and off technology devices.
While reading some of the articles, I also encountered the idea that some libraries are creating the future library space as a quiet place to unplug. I wish there were more places like this and that it was a more common idea. Unplugging is so important, especially, I feel, for our youngest students. The infograph on the page for Thing 22 shows the statistic that 46% of 3-5th graders are smartphone users. My children don’t own smartphones but I would admit that they know how to use mine quiet well. My thought it that children and teenagers don’t have the skills to self-regulate yet and if they don’t know what calm and unplugged feels like, how can they understand how important it is to unplug? Therefore, there is no intrinsic incentive to unplug.
While reading the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report, I was pleased to see there are no shockers, as in that I am aware of newest developments and hurdles. Evolving is just part of my role and like I said before, I need to create a space for collaborative learning. Something with flexible furniture and makerspace supplies. This means that I can continue on my trajectory and aim to overcome some of the hurdles by providing even exposure to many different tools as often as possible. More coding, more problem solving, and more creating are all on the agenda for next year. I think my biggest hurdle may be a lack of contact time with students.
I did this Thing last year but I feel CoolTools is one of the ways I stay current and learn new tools best. So I wanted to be sure I was on track with the newest trends on the horizon as well, especially as I begin to look forward to next year. This job will never get boring, that’s for sure!!