teacher with phoneTechnology is an integral part of a teacher librarian's professional life. From the circulation system to professional communications, technology provides the tools needed in today's information-rich world.

eye means readGain another perspective of Joyce Valenza, the teacher librarian at Srpingfield Township High School (PA) in her online article from Tech & Learning: 14 Ways K-12 Librarians can Teach Social Media (Sept. 2009).

Read The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies (Sept 2009) from ISTE's SIGMS (Special Interest Group Media Services).
The article provides information on the role that school librarians play in promoting the use of educational technologies in their schools and the need for libraries to have adequate available technologies.

Also read Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support (2008) by Suzie Boss at Edutopia.

One minute you may be on the cell phone talking to a teacher on the third floor about a technical issue. The next, you may be getting email from a professional colleague in China who wants to set up a video conference with the high school science teachers. In between, students are checking out books using the automated circulation system, locating materials using electronic databases, watching a documentary on the DVD player, and taking notes on the laptop.

All this is happening between 8:01 AM and 8:03 AM.

This project (Video clip below) was conducted as part of dissertation research implementing the use of networked learning and construction of personal learning environments in a 7th grade life science class.

What does your middle school library have to offer students like this?

eye means readRead S. Martinez's posting, Students say Teachers Limit Technology Use at Generation YES. She discussed issues related to technology use in schools; primarily issues on discrepancies between student use and teacher / school policy and practice. Food for thought, and perhaps we teacher librarians (teachers too) can share discussion with teacher and administrator colleagues. The posted article connects to related writings by Doug Johnson and Will Richardson; all worth attention.

Also read a recent research article: Johnston, Melissa (Apr 2012). School Librarians as Technology Integration Leaders: Enablers and Barriers to Leadership Enactment. Johnston describes the research she conducted identifying the enablers and the barriers that are associated with this leadership role. Reading this research will make the school librarian more aware of the technology integration and how to embrace it.

How do teacher librarians use technology?

The teacher librarian uses technology for information, instruction, administration, collaboration, and communication.

Today's effective teacher librarian should serve a key role in the selection of, the instruction about, and utilization of electronic resources and technology tools such as online databases, Internet resources, and streaming video programs - - the varied equipment and technologies used in the school, classroom, and learning community. Teacher librarians should model the effective application of instructional software and technology tools in their planning documents, presentations and lessons, and professional communications. They can develop and distribute high quality, professional documents that convey evidence-based support for their ideas and programs. These communications often incorporate data from a library automation system combined with digital imaging and computer-generated graphic elements.

eye means readRead Teachers’ Link to Electronic Resources in the Library Media Center: A Local Study of Awareness, Knowledge, and Influence by T.D. Williams. School Library Media Research; 7, 2004. (Access requires login)

Also read Teachers’ Link to Electronic Resources in the Library Media Center: A Case Study of Awareness, Knowledge, and Influence by T. D. Wiiliams, B. J. Grimble, & M. Irwin. Knowledge Quest, Mar/Apr 2005; 33(4), 26-9. (Access requires login, download PDF document)

Read Barack, Lauren (Nov 2012). The League of Extraordinary Librarians. School Library Journal.
The article summarizes the results of a recent tech survey. Compare to Brewer, Sally and Milan, Peggy (Jun 2005) SLJ's Technology Survey.

In order to extend the school media center's presence beyond the constraints of their building location(s) and school day schedules, today's teacher librarian also can maintain a "virtual library" presence through online, digital collections that may incorporate student and teacher resources; collaborative projects, pathfinders, links to the online catalog and database resources, selected Internet portals, plus provide needed online instruction and assistance to users.

eye means readRead The School Library Media Center Web Page by D. J. Baumbach. Knowledge Quest, Jan/Feb 2005; 33(3), 8-12. (Access requires login, download PDF document)

Read Building Web Sites That Work for Your Media Center by D. Warlick. Knowledge Quest, Jan/Feb 2005; 33(3), 8-12. (Access requires login, download PDF document)

Also read Judith Pasek's Content with Your Library Blog (Nov 2012) from SLIS at Wayne State University.

The teacher librarian must be proactive in helping teachers and students use technology resources and tools - - whether that be learning to use a digital camera or handheld PDA, finding information about using blogs in learning, or considering the educational value of online simulations and electronic games.

Teacher librarians are often centrally involved with a school's televison studio, distance education initiatives, and networking / media distribution systems. At any given time they might be creating step-by-step instructions for using a new equipment item, beginning the planning of an upcoming staff development session, developing a lesson presentation to use in the classroom, and finalizing a project proposal to take to the school board . . . all tasks involving technology. All of this means that an effective school media librarian must continually look for ways to effectively partner with students, teachers, administrators, and other support personnel in the effective use of technology tools. One person cannot do it all.

Visit and explore the ideas, information, and instructional strategies at Idea Showcase from Intel Education and Technology in the Classroom from Education World.

Words of Wisdom

"The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do coworking and to coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided  by a librarian who understands the Mesh (Refers to The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing by Lisa Gansky), a librarian who can bring to bear domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information.

The next library is a house for the librarian with the guts to invite kids in to teach them how to get better grades while doing less grunt work. And to teach them how to use a soldering iron or take apart something with no user-serviceable parts inside. And even to challenge them to teach classes on their passions, merely because it's fun. This librarian takes responsibility or blame for any kid who manages to graduate from school without being a first-rate data shark.

The next library is filled with so many Web terminals that there's always at least one empty. And the people who run this library don't view the combination of access to data and connections to peers as a sidelight—it's the entire point

practicitionerThe above excerpted quote comes from Seth Godin's (2012) manifesto (Online book, Section 123 on the future of libraries) in which he imagines a different set of education goals along with discussion of how to reach them:
Stop Stealing Dreams: What is School For?

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Is technology an effective tool in schools?

Many studies indicate that technology is important as a tool in teaching and learning. Skim the report Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology in Our Schools (2004) an ACT Policy Report by Richard J. Noeth and Boris B Volkow.

Why do we need library media specialists? With budget constraints, some schools are asking whether teacher librarians are really needed in this time of Internet and technology specialists. What do you think?

eye means readRead the article Don't Touch That Dial! by Vaughn Bell (Feb 2010) at Slate Magazine. Learn about the history of technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.

Also read Why We Still Need Libraries and Librarians (Mar. 2010) by J. McKenzie at From Now On.

Imagine a school without needing classrooms, where students can attend online classes any time day or night, and any or all days of the week. Imagine students working online, cooperating and collaborating with others from a wide variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, and geographic locations. Consider students being able to complete courses of study not available at their local school. What you are beginning to visualize are the possibilities of the virtual high school.

Most states (FL, IL, MD, MI, and KY for example), some school districts (York County, VA, Springfield, OH, and Clintondale Virtual School, MI), colleges and universities, and several enterprise organizations - - profit and nonprofit (Virtual High School Collaborative, KC Distance Learning and Mosaica Online) - - have established accredited virtual middle and high school programs. Learn more at:

What if any do you think are the significant ramifications of this virtual high school movement for teacher librarians of the future?

Words of Wisdom

"Without instruction for teachers on the classroom of technology, putting laptops, iPads, or SMARTBoards in every classroom won't improve students' learning experiences" (Mar 2012, Richard Byrne).


Teacher, writer, speaker / consultant, Richard Byrne is the author of a popular blogsite: Free Technology for Teachers.


What is a technology plan?

A technology plan specifies the manner in which technology is to be integrated into the school curriculum. In the state of Indiana, every school corporation must have an approved and current three-year technology plan (per Indiana Code: IC20-10.1-25-1.2).

Explore resources at the National Education Technology Plan (2010) site.

Visit the National Center for Technology Planning. Here you will find links to several technology plans: Planning Section has state, district, and building level plans. Several of the links are broken; however, there are some good example documents here. Several articles on technology planning can also be read; be sure to look at Developing Effective Technology Plans by J. See, MN Dept. of Education.

It is important that teacher librarians become familiar with their school district and building's technology plan(s). They should work to insure that needed revisions are made to to fit new and emerging technologyies and actual use and practices in the classroom and learning environments. Focus the pland on the actions and processes needed for completing identified goals and tasks. Be sure to include the measures to be employed in assessment and summarize results in followup reports.

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Check Your Understanding

info powerInformation Power: The library media specialist is a primary leader in the school's use of all kinds of technologies - both instructional and informational - to enhance learning. (p. 54)

Read that section online in the preview of Information Power at Google Books.

Write about day in the life of a media specialist. How many different technology applications can you fit into a narrative describing one day? Keep in mind the use of technology for information, instruction, administration, collaboration, and communication.

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Make It Real

circulation system" . . . Web 2.0 has become essentially meaningless, what it means for learning is not known without more details. Talking about Web 2.0 tools and learning is meaningless as well – until you  explain what the tools are, what they are used for, and what the students do with them. It's just not good enough to talk about how the Luddites don't get it. Simply using the term 'Web 2.0 tools' deliberately obscures the facts — no wonder people don't get it." Excerpted from Sylvia Martinez (Sept 2010) blog posting Words Gone Wild 2.0.

The teacher librarian must be a teacher in the use of all kinds of technologies.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the use of technology?

Often we do need to work with our teachers, administrators and colleagues to change some things. It's disappointing to hear examples of roadblocks encountered in schools - - like a situation forbidding the use of Skype in the classroom. Feed information about the positive use of technologies and help people recognize the need to change.

Skim through information and ideas for using Skype:
Many Roles of Skype in the Classroom by N. Stephenson (Feb 2009) in the ISTE Connects Blog.
Skype in the Classroom from Skype
Using Skype at School by L. Abdulezer, S. Abdulezer, and H. Dammond at Skype for Dummies.

As you reflect on the use of technology for information, instruction, administration, collaboration, and communication, develop a list of priorities for your own professional development.

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Read More About It

Distance Education in Public High Schools (2009-2010). National Center for Education Statistics.

Early Connections from Northwest Educational Technology Consortium & Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.
Connecting technology with the way young children learn: resources and information for educators and care providers.

Fast Facts: Educational Technology (2009-2010). National Center for Education Statistics.

Educational Technology in Public School Districts (Fall 2008). National Center for Education Statistics

Enhance Learning with Technology
Links portal links on to help teachers discover what a useful tool technology can be in the classroom, develop the processes of integrating computers into the learning environment, and locate good resources for professional development.

Minkel, W. A Smarter System. School Library Journal, Nov 2003; 49(11), 48. (Access requires login) . . .
Automation software is better than ever – even encourages sharing (alludes to need, costs, etc. related to technology updates).
Related Article:
Minkel, W. Automation Systems Update. School Library Journal, Dec 2003; 49(12), 30. (Access requires login) . . .

National Educational Technology Standards Project (NETS) from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Includes the updated ISTE Standards.

Savage, C. Lights, Camera, Action. School Library Journal, Aug. 2002; 48(8) 39. (Access requires login) . . .
The ample rewards of turning your media center into a student-run TV studio.

Pew Internet & American Life Project
The Project produces reports exploring the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. Check out the Topics index.

Technology and Young Children from National Association for the Education of Young Children
To lead discussions, share research and information and demonstrate best practices regarding technology so it can be used to benefit children aged birth through eight years.

Other Tech Resources

Product information portal with new software and equipment reviews added weekly.
Related section at CNET:

PC Magazine Product Guides and Reviews,1738,13,00.asp

Technology terms defined . . .

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