12 Ways Librarians Can Promote Digital Literacy

I am doing some research for an upcoming publication and ran across this excellent list of ways that Librarians can teach and promote digital literacy, including digital citizenship, within the community.

  1. Serve on curriculum development and professional development committees

  2. Contribute to school and district technology plans (which, among other reasons, are required for e-rate discounts).

  3. Survey the school community about their physical access to technology

  4. Provide in-school and remote access to digital resources

  5. Circulate technology, such as e-readers, cameras, and mobile devices.

  6. Produce and disseminate webliographies about digital literacy, including digital citizenship.

  7. Provide face-to-face and online instruction on the evaluation and selection of digital resources.

  8. Provide face-to-face and online instruction to the school community on using technology as a learning tool.

  9. Explain to the school community about intellectual property and ways to give people credit for their ideas.

  10. Promote the Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) and contribute to its database of documents.

  11. Teach the school community about cyberbullying and ways to respond to such bullies.

  12. Support and supervise youth social networking and podcast productions (e.g., book talks, library promotions, tech tips).

From Lesly S. J. Farmer.  Information and Digital Literacies (c) 2016

For me personally, the most challenging aspect from the list above is to get involved in the instructional lesson very early in the planning process.  This requires attending grade level meetings – offering resources – tracking curriculum – offering a variety of instructional strategies for integrating technology — be available to co-teach or help — the list goes on and on.

Luckily I am very involved in the professional development planning for our faculty and my staff sees me as a technology leader but it’s developing that consistent scope and sequence of informational literacy skills and lessons that are essential at the high school level. The key is to meet with department leaders, determine grade level indicators for research, develop assessments to check for understanding, and create a comprehensive 9-12 curriculum map for our school.  This takes time because you need to build trust and relationships with the faculty, and it takes administrative support to make it a priority.  I have been at my school for 1 1/2 years now and I am just beginning to get a grasp on our curriculum map and this will be my priority for the remainder of the year.

Do you have a curriculum map that you can share?  If so, please share — and stay tuned — I will publish mine when it’s done.

A shared vision to support student learning

Throughout the EduBloggersphere Scott McLeod has encouraged bloggers to write about leadership for Leadership Day 09. How do we help those in leadership positions understand …

  • what it means to prepare students for the 21st century;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (budget, staffing, infrastructure) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective

Teaching in a small Catholic high school where the leadership team consists of a few members with no larger school district or bureaucratic system has its advantages and disadvantages.  As a classroom teacher I am allowed a lot of freedom and ownership of my classroom.  We are considered “professionals” who are hired in our expertise area.  I can constantly reevaluate my instructional practices to focus on student learning and creating an environment that is conducive to collaboration and sharing.  It’s easier to make changes in my own domain, but harder throughout the school or Archdiocese.

The disadvantage of this system is that teachers can become very isolated and focused on their own subject area.  Socially, the teachers get along but there are various degrees of support or encouragement between departments and with other schools.

The one area of leadership that I would love to focus on is a shared vision for supporting student learning.  I believe that this type of shared vision is essential for moving forward as a school.  Are we engaging our students to be critical and passionate thinkers?  Do our students have a love of learning and sharing?  How are we assessing our students in authentic and relevant ways?  While individually I am sure many of our teachers are addressing these questions – what are we doing as a school to encourage and create a shared vision among our whole staff and how are they being implemented?  And another question I have for myself if “What is my role as a “traditional” technology instructor to infuse technology into every subject area and support learning?”

I find it very challenging to lead from the middle of the pack.  On one hand I want to model effective teaching practices using technology but without shared planning time or regular Professional Development – opportunities for sharing just don’t exist.  Many students learn valuable technology skills in my classes and then have a hard time using those skills in other subject areas.  Due to recent cutbacks, positions have eliminated from our school and funds for outside PD have been scaled back.

So, I guess this post really is what I hope to achieve as a “leader” in my school – especially in regards to technology and supporting student learning:

  1. I am thrilled to work with the middle school teachers this coming school year to systematically plan and infuse technology into the curriculum and give suggestions how it can support what the students are already studying.  My dream would that this would be a model of how my “Computer Applications” course will be moved into the regular curriculum.
  2. With the help of a newly formed PD team, plan and conduct (optional) professional development workshops throughout the school year for our faculty – ones that focus not only on technology, but also on assessment, questioning strategies, Project Based Learning, etc..
  3. Share how being involved in my own PLN has shaped and challenged my own views of student learning and has encouraged me to grow as a teacher.
  4. Continue to attend the monthly Archdiocese Technology Teachers meetings and encourage this group to develop workshops that serve the entire Archdiocese.

As I am writing these, I am stuck how ambitious my plans are but I hope to create some sort of synergy and excitement around what we are trying to accomplish.  One of my biggest take aways from NECC09 was the importance of community when conducting Professional Development.  Our small school community has that advantaged – we already do have a sense of community – now to just to move our vision forward so we are all working towards the same goals.

Read more about Leadership Day 09