Update: Librarians ARE the Digital Literacy Corps

Wow.  Joyce Valenza noticed my little post last week (Calling School Librarians to Action) and reposted it on her NeverEnding Search blog.  It then grabbed the attention of thousands of librarians as well as the American Library Association.  I was pleased to notice that ALA  responded quickly to the same newspaper article that had grabbed my attention (see “ALA Wastes No Time – Our Work on Digital Literacy“).

I was informed today that Matt Richtel, author of the article and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist,  provided us with misinformation.  The digital literacy corps referred to in his article has NO money associated with it.  I have sent him an email through the NY Times requesting more information. (You may request the same information from him here.)

Although the article was misleading, it hit a nerve among librarians who feel that the public still does not have a clear up-to-date understanding of our profession.

Evidently many of you are contacting the FCC as I requested. Deb Logan, one of the co-founders of Act4SL, contacted me yesterday and has given me permission to share part of her email here:

“The great news is that people are inspired to action… In all advocacy efforts, speaking up is important, but it is critical to not put people on the defensive…Communications need to be persistent, professional, positive and polite…This situation, in particular, is a great opportunity to position ourselves as part of the solution.”

Let’s keep in mind that all of us are working towards a common goal:  to teach our citizens digital literacy skills. 

Please continue to exercise your right to communicate with our governmental agencies and let the FCC know that librarians are trained information professionals who already address their concern that our citizens need to be taught digital literacy skills. Our efforts here may well help lay the foundation for future partnerships to better prepare Americans to navigate the digital landscape.

May the Digital Literacy Corps be with you! (With apologies from a former English teacher who cannot pass up plays on words.)

Image used through a Creative Commons license:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/starwarsblog/793008715/

Professional Development Round-up

As part of my school’s end-of-the-year check out procedure, teachers must turn in a Professional Development form that indicates sessions/conferences attended and courses taken.  If I were as brilliant as Tamara Cox, I would include this info in my monthly report.

Instead I must backtrack and list the workshops/webinars/conferences that impacted my teaching this year.  (I wish I could list individual blog posts on the school’s form – sometimes those influence my work as much as, if not more, than some workshops I attend.)

I am sure I have overlooked some awesome webinars that I attended, but this is what I remember of formal professional development for this school year:

Informal Learning

My finances don’t allow me to attend many conferences, but when you have a PLN, you can attend conferences vicariously. This allows me to still grow from these conferences (while sometimes sipping coffee in my pj’s!).  A few conferences I attended through Twitter:

  • American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition, June 23-28, 2011
  • Unlocking Potential,” June 26-29, 2011: ISTE’s Annual Conference
  • “Turning the Page,” Oct. 27-30, 2011:  AASL’s Conference

What conferences/webinars/classes helped develop you professionally this year?

Image used through a Creative Commons license:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/comedynose/4783448281/

Inspire Your World!

“We must stop reacting to the world around us and start inspiring it!

For too long have we defined the core of our profession – service – as standing ready to serve. No one ever changed the world by standing ready. We do it through action. This is the time – this is the place – we are the people.” ~ Dave Lankes, “Libraries and Broadband:  Forging a New Social Compact”

Changing Nature of Libraries

In his recent presentation at the Delaware Library BTOP Launch, Dave Lankes, associate professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, challenged several long-held beliefs that we as librarians have used to guide our work. He then  focused on the changing nature of libraries:

  • [from]quiet buildings with loud rooms to loud buildings with quiet rooms
  • [from] places of knowledge access to places of knowledge creation
  • [from] territory of the librarian to territory of the community

However, these changes are nothing new to those of us in the school library field.  Joyce Valenza and Buffy Hamilton have long been promoting these changes.

What Else is Changing?

What else have we been doing because “that’s the way it’s always been done”?  When we hear that statement, we should automatically reexamine the issue at hand.  This is a new day.  This is a new time.  And I am excited to be part of it!

Image Attribution:  Stock photo: beach, playa 6  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1270499

AASL Conference: Concurrent Sessions “2.0 Learning Tools Smackdown”

Photo by Brenda D. Anderson

Posted at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30556726@N04/4082021020/

Hot Ticket

This session was one of the hottest tickets on Friday.  I left the Exhibition Hall, still a bit dazed from meeting James Patterson, and headed to Room 207AB early to try and get a front row seat – only to find a crowd already awaiting entrance to the session. So, no front row seat, but I was still able to snag seats for Heather Loy and myself.  I’m sure many were not as fortunate, so I’ll share links to information posted about the session below.

Organized and lead by Joyce Valenza and Robin Williams, the session was divided into “timed” sharing sessions in the following categories:

  • Reading Promotion
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Audience Sharing

As always, being in a room with educators wanting to share ways to enhance student learning through the use of Web 2.0 tools was energizing.   I still haven’t had time to check out all of the new tools and sites that were shared.  AND plenty more are on the AASL Smackdown Wiki.  Bookmark this site because it is one you will want to revisit.

One of the shared sites that I have had time to explore is  Morgue File.  “Where photo reference lives” is the tagline of this site.  Great source of free photos for students (and teachers!) to use in projects.  I have now been recommending this one in conjunction with Creative Commons.

History

The Learning Tools Smackdown is now something of a tradition at library and technology conferences.

Links to “2.0 Learning Tools Smackdown” from AASL Charlotte

  • If you have a “b There” Virtual Track Pass, you can listen to a podcast of the session. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the podcast.)