Wednesday, June 11, 2014

21st Century Learning Skills

School starts exactly two months from today, and already I am pondering all the things I DON'T know when it comes to my new library space.  I don't know how to use the catalog, where they keep the spine labels; in fact, I'm not even 100% on the actual hours of the library.  Needless to say, the next two months will be VERY educational.  One of the few things I'm not worried about is technology.  My library houses a computer lab of about 30 computers actually in the library space, and another 40 are in the adjacent lab.  Our school district is also launching its beta test of "which technology should we commit to?" this fall.  They plan to purchase 500+ devices total of at least four different types of tablets and laptops to see what device works best for most teachers.  As the new library media teacher, I will be directly involved in the distribution, use, and maintenance of these devices on my campus.  I am so eager to help teachers incorporate these devices into their classrooms.  As a classroom teacher, I struggled to find almost mythological computer lab time, and having devices on a daily basis would truly revolutionize the way I teach.  

The library at most high schools is now referred to as the Library Media Center.  It is important that this not simply refer to the fact that that is also where the TV "rolly" carts are stored.  The library media center is truly the center of transliteracy on the high school campus.  It is where students can find the printed word as well as learn how to find legitimate sources for a research paper or learn how to fix an engine by watching YouTube videos.  Because the Internet offers an infinite amount of information, what library wouldn't want to host such a valuable tool?  Rather than eliminating librarian positions and cutting funding to school libraries, the library media center is the FIRST place new funding should go.  Many administrators preach the promotion of "21st Century Learning Skills."  It's truly a case of administrators needing to practice what they preach.  If these skill are as valuable as they claim them to be, the funding should go to promoting these skills the best way possible, and the first stop should be the library media centers.