Sunday, June 22, 2008

What is School Library 2.0?

I am in the middle of preparing for the graduate Summer Institute I will be teaching this July about School Library Web 2.0. As Kristin Fontichiaro, a media specialist with the Birmingham (MI) Public Schools, points out,
Web 2.0 tools tend to have some common themes and concepts:
  • Working together (to develop open-source software, to build collective knowledge such as in the Wikipedia, to make conference calls using Skype, to share tags and favorite Webspaces via Delicious or Furl)
  • Finding and sharing one’s voice (via blogging, videocasting, YouTube, or podcasting to an authentic audience)
  • Responding to the work of others (via blog comments or “talkback” audio recording features or working on one’s own blog)
  • Finding a community (via social networking like Facebook, Myspace, or LibraryThing, or via interactive environments like SecondLife)
  • Expressing oneself in a variety of modalities (audio podcasts, videos, writing)
  • Learning by interacting with content and with peers (all of the above!)

...Now let’s strip away the technology for a moment and look just at the activities that are bolded above. Are there tools beyond Web 2.0 that we can use to strengthen our school library’s importance in our students’ learning lives? Let’s try the list of important themes and concepts again, this time mapping to non-technology things we find in strong libraries:

  • Working together (combining individual research into a group project, being part of a broadcast team, re-enacting a storytime tale through drama, contributing findings to a community “graffiti” bulletin board)
  • Finding and sharing one’s voice (via meaningful instructional projects that call on students to wrangle with authentic, real-world issues and share their findings with others — think about student research on global warming, invasive species, etc., a writing center where young writers can explore storymaking and storytelling)
  • Responding to the work of others (conferencing with peers)
  • Finding a community (book clubs, hanging out in the library at lunchtime)
  • Expressing oneself in a variety of modalities (synthesizing research in a variety of ways that go far beyond a PowerPoint with three bullets per page, such as written projects, drama, songwriting, original historical fiction, original stories and puppetry, etc.)
  • Learning through interactivity with content and peers (What can I learn from you? What can I learn from this source?)
After reading the above, I would like my graduate students to fill in the following sentence and leave it as a comment to this blog post:

My ideal school library is a place where ....

1 comment:

  1. LIS Students: I have not been happy with the blog I originally sent you to, so I am switching over to my blog on Blogger. I am copying and pasting your comments in from the pre-course assignment.


    My ideal school library is a place where students feel confident and comfortable in their use of the multiple technologies of accessing information and where they take ownership and pride in their involvement , sharing their knowledge and abilities with others. Students like to be actively involved, listened to, and appreciated. Web 2.0 technologies could help greatly to engender this teamwork approach to learning.

    My ideal school library is a place where students can learn. Where they feel welcomed and at home. Where they can find a book to read or information for school or for themselves. Where they can ask questions or connect to the internet. Where they can hear booktalks, participate in author interviews, and discuss books; learn how to use databases, search the Internet and evaluate Web sites; read and write book and Web site reviews, recommend books and Web sites, and find books and Web sites recommended by others.

    But it is not just a physical place, it is also a virtual place online, available at anytime. It is a place where they can communicate and collaborate with students locally or elsewhere via blogs, videocasts, and podcasts. Where they can find other students with similar interests, and also learn by interacting with Web sites and others. It is a place where they can learn to responsibly use information and technology.

    My idea school library is a place where students can congregate, work together, and explore new worlds and ideas (SecondLife, podcasting, e-books, blogging, creating and contributing to wikis), in a safe environment while not forgetting the building blocks of information literacy!

    My ideal school library is a place where . . . all children will succeed.

    Students can use technology to conduct interesting, thought provoking, valid and appropriate research no matter what their age.