September 11, 2011

A Reflection on Library and Educational Technology Blogs

Posted in Module 1 Assignments at 4:36 pm by lmt84

To me, this assignment proved to be very worthwhile. I have very little experience with any sort of blog, so I was excited to see what librarian and educational technology blogs would look like. I was quite surprised by the wide variety of blogs that are readily accessible to librarians and general educators. I enjoyed reading the blogs, but sometimes found myself getting lost in all of the links and pages. Time seemed to slip away from me, but it was for good reason. The Edublog Awards page is a resource I intend to reference, both currently as an English teacher and in the future as a librarian. I feel that it provided excellent samples of all types of blogs, and  although they differed in style, they all served the same function—to educate members of the school community on the wonderful resources that exist to supplement school curricula.

Before this activity, I would have told you that I was doubtful on blogs’ place in the school. I now see that I was drastically wrong. I was thrilled to see that many of the blogs were excellent sources for professional development opportunities. I saw countless sites that advertised conferences such as ISTE, free online webinars, as well as other groups to join such as content area and library Nings. As someone who will be a brand new librarian, I feel that I will need all of the support I can get in order to gain the confidence that it takes to do this very demanding job. The blogs showed me that librarians truly value networking and working with others to create the very best products for our teachers and students. I feel that I will be entering a community of people who really see the value of collaborating, as I believe working together often has the greatest impact on student achievement (AASL 4.1) I look forward to the day where I can use these blogs as a means of resource sharing with other librarians in my county. Not only would I use blogs for this purpose, but I see the chance to use them in the school community as well. I can show sample school blogs to my administrators, in hopes that my school will create one too. I can show blogs to parent organizations, inspiring them to create a presence on the web and further spread their information.  It is evident that by viewing blogs and possibly creating my own as well as those for others, I am continuing to increase my role as an educational leader at the school.  

Who would have known that blogs were such an incredible resource to use when laying the groundwork for collaboration? I hope I’m not alone when I say that I did not know about this. I was truly amazed at the wealth of information at my fingertips. The blogs I examined not only offered general information on a variety of technology tools, but also tutorials, honest reviews, and real life samples. There were tools that I had never heard of, and also others that I know well, but never thought of their place in the classroom. In her article Be the Web “Go-To” Person for Parents, Judy Hauser writes “most of these tools can be used with students and applied to the curriculum and information literacy.” Hauser is in fact correct in this statement. These blogs offer the librarian the opportunity to learn the tools and then examine content curricula to figure out where the technology would best be used. The technology then becomes the springboard for the librarian to seek out teachers who could benefit from these tools, and hopefully this leads to the birth of a strong collaborative relationship. As if the sheer information on the tools weren’t enough incentive for using blogs in the school environment, many blogs also offered free lesson plans that are rooted in almost every content area. All of the lessons I viewed were of high quality, and most also already included a technology aspect that had students developing their information literacy skills. Sometimes people think that collaborating with the librarian will be an extra time commitment, but with blogs offering resources that are ready to go and easy to implement, time is actually saved. If I were a librarian, I would spend our collaboration meetings discussing how we can take the lessons at hand and tailor them to fit our exact needs as well as our students. The time spent between teacher and librarian would thus be less focused on time management, and more so on what matters—the quality of the lesson and impact it will have on the students.

Overall, I am pleased with the new knowledge I have received as a result of this assignment. Educational blogs certainly have a place in our schools; it just takes a librarian to show everyone their true potential. If this is achieved, the exchange of information will be more prevalent than ever. An environment steeped in collaboration can only affect every member of the school community in a positive way.

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