Help Is Available from the Local Learning Commons and Teacher-Librarians
Teacher-librarians (T-Ls), along with other technology specialists, are increasingly trained in digital/online technologies. Learning commons are increasingly replacing traditional libraries: the books are still there, but so is access to a variety of digital resources and equipment, and spaces to create and collaborate.
Learning Commons in British Columbia:
Do you have “yeah, but(s)…”? Teacher-librarians can help with these. A teacher-librarian can help teachers to reach “the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2011). Teacher-librarians and other tech-oriented coaches do so in these ways (for more detail, see http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS-C.sflb.ashx):
How else can T-Ls in a Learning Commons Setting Help?
Teacher-librarians and other technology specialists can help transfer “social media skills into academic skills….[and] teach learners to question and think critically about all information, both print and digital.” (Loertscher & Koechlin, 2012, p. 51). They can also: research and curate online material, and help teachers develop a “textbook” out of these online and database resources; assist students and teachers with making connections with other students, teachers, and experts in the world through digital tools and social networking; help teach digital-citizenship; aid students with online research and the use of different kinds of technology for various educational purposes; assess apps, Web 2.0 tools and software for educational purposes; help design activities that are more engaging and effective using technology; make curricular connections using online curricular mapping (such as with Rubicon Atlas) and assist teachers in doing the same. If a T-L does not know how to do any of these things, they will be happy to learn it or find others with expertise in order to assist classroom teachers. They will also work to provide professional development for teachers to develop some of these same skills.