September 25, 2011

Module 2- Learning Log 5- Final Log

Posted in Learning Logs- Module 2 at 5:08 pm by lmt84

I found the media center observations to be extremely worthwhile. I had never stepped foot into an elementary media center to observe students or a lesson in action. I am very used to the high school setting, so this environment was a major shock for me. However, it was actually quite fun to see the students engaged in their work. I witnessed more engagement with the 5th graders than I did with the 9th graders. Maybe if we change the lessons and assignments in a high school to those which truly catch and maintain the interest of the students, we will see an increase in their engagement as well.

Both of these observations have taught me the value of collaboration and the impact that this collaboration can have on the inquiry based learning that occurs. Fontichiaro writes that “information inquiry is based on a continuous questioning cycle, the essence of lifelong learning” (121). I feel that I observed this to some extent in the elementary school observation, and was disappointed to find this absent at the high school level. In my reflections for the assignment, I commented on how I would go about changing both assignments, allowing for a more true learning experience. Both lessons were missing an essential question to guide the student learners. If we want to develop students who constantly question and engage in dialogue with the information presented to them, I feel that it is only necessary to model these strategies for them. If we truly mold our lessons around essential questions that require our students to be more critical in their thoughts, in turn we will develop more independent learners.

Collaboration is key to creating authentic learning experiences. We, as librarians, must use our knowledge of information literacy skills as well as technology, and insert them into the content curricula of the classroom teachers. When we work as a team, we can ensure that our students are mastering content skills as well as becoming information literate learners in order to survive and thrive in the 21st century world. Collaboration will lead to lessons that challenge our students, which will lead them to deeper engagement with and synthesis of the material at hand. When this type of collaboration occurs, “Both student and teachers alike will begin to see that a true sense of accomplishment in the library media center comes from the genuine struggle to make meaning” (Zmuda 62). Learning is not easy. By creating inquiry based learning projects, teachers and librarians can work together to ensure that the learning process is engaging, which will ultimately help students to see the information presented to them as being invaluable.

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