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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Week 3 (Technology Ideas for Integration & Engagement)

Two of the technology ideas that I plan to use next year are a Book Club Wiki (this is still a work in progress for this class) and a Library Newsletter. Part of my goal for next year is to increase the circulation and use of the library in my new position. Another goal that I have is to increase the use and application of technology into the curriculum and into the library. I have already collaborated with one of the other middle school librarians in the district in order to set up a book club on each of our campuses. We will work together to choose books and to encourage students to join the book club in order to promote reading for pleasure as well as discussing literary works. One of the objectives that we will use technology to achieve is increasing the students' exposure to other people outside of their own campus. Since the two campuses which will be involved are very different demographically, this also has an added benefit of increasing the students' exposure to multicultural ideas and insights. We will conduct discussion meetings on our individual campuses to reflect upon the books, but we will also have a Wiki set up where the students from both campuses will be able to input their ideas and thoughts regarding our current literary selection. In this way, the students will be reading the books, analyzing them, reflecting upon them as well as learning a new technology which will help them to communicate their thoughts in an electronic forum. I am very much looking forward to this aspect of my job next year. One of the plans I have in order to promote student engagement is collaborating with the reading and ELA teachers to hand pick students who they believe would be interested in participating and who would benefit from the program. The book club will be open for anyone to join; however, I plan to ask each of the reading and ELA teachers on campus to nominate at least 3 of their students whom they believe would benefit from the program. From that list, I will send home letters to the students and parents inviting them to join and listing the positive rewards of such a program. Wish me luck getting around the firewall problem!

The second technology that I plan to implement is a monthly library newsletter which I will link to the Library Website that is already in place. Our district uses a program called Contribute to edit and post to our sites; however, it is not the most user friendly program. I plan to maintain a newsletter in Publisher which I will link to the library's homepage. Through the newsletter, I hope to more effectively communicate not only with staff and students, but also with the parents. I will post the monthly newsletter to my website, but I will also make several physical copies to distribute. The newsletter will be a forum for events and happenings, literary news, curriculum ideas and technology tips. I want to use the newsletter to share short technology tips and tricks that the teachers will be able to easily implement in their classrooms. I will also offer short trainings and tutorials to go along with the monthly technology tips for any of the teachers who would like further instruction. As part of the tips, I will make sure to include ways that the teachers can realistically use this technology in order to better teach the current curriculum on our campus with the current technology available. I want this to be painless and hassle free for the teachers in order to overcome any resistance to change or technology phobias!

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