Sandbox #8

How to stay up-to-date on technology

For myself, time seems to be the biggest factor with staying up-to-date on technology.  It takes a lot of time to search for new blogs/websites or read articles and explore various tools.  I think the easiest way for me to think about it is how “Raphael Arar, a designer and researcher at IBM Research, said he tries to reserve time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, to learn a new skill” (DeNisco Rayome, 2017, sec.1, para 3).  If I can tell myself to take 15-20 minutes every day (or even five days a week) to play around with new tools or to read an article about tech and its applications, that can go a long way.  This term I have started a document of curated resources to refer back to and reference in the future.  I will keep adding to this list and take 15-20 minutes every day to look at these resources.  I think sometimes I can get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the different directions one can go when reading and researching new technology.  I liked when DeNisco Rayome, 2017, said, “find a few bloggers that are relevant to your area of expertise and follow them” (sec. 7, para. 2).  If I take this advice, maybe it can be that easy.

I have the luxury of having a position where I can play around with technology on the job.  I have access to a 3-D printer and makerspace activities.  I enjoy hanging out with students to explore with them and watch them go through the process.  We learn a lot together when we play!  I also enjoy collaborating with teachers and learning what they are teaching in their classrooms.  “With the increase in educational technology, many librarians spend much of their time addressing one of the core challenges of modern education: integrating technology into pedagogy in ways that fundamentally elevate learning” (Burroughs, 2022, para. 5).  It is important as an aspiring librarian, that I take time to play around with and evaluate various tech tools to see how they could be applied to lessons.  It is also valuable to collaborate and talk to colleagues to see what they are already using, and what has been successful (or not).  Teachers love to talk about their lessons and their classes, so finding the time to connect with colleagues is important.  As this article suggested, “talk to friends and colleagues about what they are working on, and ask a lot of questions about what they’ve learned” (DeNisco Rayome, 2017, sec. 4, para 1).  One can glean a lot of information from colleagues, so I will make the time to connect to my network. 

I found the article on technophoba quite fascinating (Szmodis, 2021).  She talks about how being tech-savvy is not something you’re necessarily born with, rather it’s a skill that takes practice (Szmodis, 2021, para. 4).  I need to invest time as I mentioned earlier to continue researching tools and practicing its applications.  I have never really considered myself a “techie” but as an educator I have learned a lot of tools.  The image of myself being super into technology is one I continue to work on as I don’t feel it comes naturally.  “We’re information professionals, and curiosity should be one of our driving forces.  A need to know a need to learn” (Sarah, 2022, para. 6).  The past twelve weeks in this MLIS program, I have become much more curious.  I have enjoyed exploring a wide variety of tools, and have read countless articles and blog posts about different technologies.  I hope this curiosity will continue to guide me into my future in librarianship!

References 

Burroughs, A.  (2022, July 8).  Tech-savvy school librarians provide value to modern learners.  EdTech. https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2022/07/tech-savvy-school-librarians-provide-value-modern-learners 

DeNisco Rayome, A.  (2017, September 7).  10 ways that IT pros and developers can keep their tech skills up to date.  TechRepublic.  https://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-ways-that-it-pros-and-developers-can-kee  

Sarah. (2022, July 16).  Staying sharp during the summer.  Hack Library School.  https://hacklibraryschool.com/2022/06/16/staying-sharp-during-the-summer/   

Szmodis, P.  (2021, July 27).  How to get over technophobia.  Hack Library School.  https://hacklibraryschool.com/2021/07/27/how-to-get-over-technophobia/ 

6 Comments Add yours

  1. trich037 says:

    I agree that it is easy to get overwhelmed with technology. When this happens sometimes I just feel like giving up and forgetting about it. However, taking just 15 minutes a day to review, learn something new, or read an article is very doable and doesn’t feel overwhelming.

    1. eweid001 says:

      I totally agree! I give up too easily sometimes. I need to have a simple and easy plan so that I can stick to it! No wasting time and no getting overwhelmed thinking about it!

  2. sblak004 says:

    I like that you mentioned 15 minutes a day. It breaks down something that could be overwhelming and makes it possible. I also think keeping a list of resources is a great idea. It helps to keep everything you need in one place so that it’s easier to find, and so that you will be able to use it!

    1. eweid001 says:

      If I don’t have a simple plan like that- 15 minutes (Monday through Friday) with a list of resources to go off… I won’t do it. It needs to be simple and easy to access! I can utilize those minutes I’m waiting in line at the grocery store or hanging out before a meeting, or even a quick read over my lunch break. That’s how I need to frame it so I do it! 🙂

  3. mstee007 says:

    Time is definitely my biggest obstacle! I love the idea of setting aside time daily too. Not sure how to manage that quite yet but I love the Feedly site. It curates for me and helps me find interesting topics that I probably wouldn’t find on my own.

  4. afree011 says:

    I also like the idea of carving out time to do some researching and staying up to date with new trends. However, for my own personal life, I know that dedicating 15 minutes daily would be unsustainable for me. I feel like I could make it work for once a month, which may be a better fit for me (my life usually super busy).

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