Tag Archives: Technology

#FutureReadyLibs #BlogChallenge Week 6 Building Instructional Partnerships

27 Apr

One of the “wedges” of the Future Ready Librarians framework that is probably already a part of most school librarians current practices is building instructional partnerships. When I was taking graduate classes for my library media certification back in the early 2000s, collaborating with teachers was a major focus for us. The “holy grail” of collaboration at that time seemed to be finding ways to co-plan, co-teach and even co-assess a research project. However, I don’t feel this is always practical or even desirable. While making sure students are taught information literacy skills is one of my roles….it is only one of many, and it is not really feasible for me to “push in” to a single class for weeks at a time.

Leveraging instructional partnerships is still very important in my work. In the five years I’ve been in my current library, getting staff “on board” has been key in building a culture of literacy at our school.

I have taken inspiration from Belleville West High School, who were the 2014 grand prize winners of the Follett Challenge. Their video, “Making literacy a school-wide effort” inspired me to pay them a visit. Although I did not adopt the million page challenge at the center of their program, I did come away with lots of ideas I have incorporated. I am really impressed with how they leveraged instructional partners in their building including teachers, administrators and even athletic coaches.

Of course yet another area of instructional partnerships for Future Ready Librarians is in the area of technology integration. Here are some questions to consider: How are you leveraging digital tools and resources to improve your instructional practice? Do you model effective integration across content areas? Do you encourage through collaboration the strategies for encouraging discovery, analysis, creation and presentation?

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

Check out this padlet for some great ideas on the many ways Future Ready Librarians are building instructional partnerships.

Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has almost 6,000 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.






If you build it, they will figure out a way to hack it.

8 Nov

Recently, the LA school district decided to slow down their 1-to-1 iPad deploymentbecause some of the students figured out how to hack around the firewall system that blocked them from “undesirable” web sites. In almost every school I have taught, students have figured out a way to circumvent the internet firewalls that have been placed on the school districts’ network. Even if one of the work arounds is discovered by the district IT staff and disabled, the students will find another way. Technically, it is a violation of the district acceptable use policy, but it makes me smile. This shows they are learning in the most authentic way possible, about topics that matter to them. They have been given access to technological tools that are supposed to help them learn, and they want to use them to access apps and web sites that interest them and are figuring out a way to do it. They are problem solving, using their creativity, and exploring. Isn’t this what education should be all about?
The fear of unknown regarding technology has to end. As educators and parents, we need to model and instruct students in the appropriate and responsible use of all technology, and trust our students to make the right decisions. Yes, there will always be a few that can’t handle it, but you would be amazed at what students can create when you give them the tools and let them go.