Librarians are more than just specialists in information science; they are also resources for students to learn necessary digital skills to perform 21st-century tasks in their academic careers and professional lives. Burroughs (2022) states for many students, “the library might be the only place where they have access to drones, robots, and various machines.” The same is true for adults like myself. Last year was my first encounter with a true Academic Makerspace when I visited UVA. My favorite area included the 3D printing room. I was thrilled to learn that any community member can make an appointment to tinker, not only students. Providing students and your community with opportunities to create, build, discover, and explore through various technological modalities elevates critical learning and skills for a working professional.
As a librarian, ensuring I stay up-to-date with technology trends and forecasts is vital to performing the job well by staying abreast of the latest technologies and how to incorporate them into the school library. According to Rayome (2017), there are several ways IT professionals keep their skills current that librarians can also follow. In the past is setting time aside to take online classes and tap into my network to reach out to my techie buddies I previously worked with via LinkedIn or Twitter. Other resources Rayome suggests are following innovators and diversifying your knowledge.
Sarah from HLS (2022) advises librarians to stay sharp during the summer. Curiosity should be explored continuously to think about ways to improve ourselves professionally, personally, and academically. How can we utilize technological resources to our best advantage? By seeking them out!
I was asked to check out blogs and websites for this week’s sandbox. I first went to Tech 4 School Librarians’ blogsite. I found the blog site a little clunky for my taste. However, I checked out her YouTube channel and found it much easier to navigate. There are numerous video tutorials for Google Slides, Google Classroom, Noodletools, and Peardeck! (Turner 2011-present). I can see myself referring to her YouTube channel when I need tricks to make my presentations stand out!
I also loved the information on Free Technology for Teachers from Byrne (n.d.). There are countless tools and resources for educators to use in classrooms. I bookmarked this site and plan to share it with my colleagues this fall.
In addition to the blogs and websites we were asked to review, I found some fantastic resources on my own that I plan to use to remain up-to-date on technology.
Cue the librarian (n.d.), is an interesting blog by award-winning library media specialist Karina Quilantán. She’s received various digital credentials, maintains several social media channels, and moderates a professional learning network called RGV Library Squad, which earned her the Texas Library Association Media Virtual Presence Award. Following Cue the librarian will help me stay on trend with what is happening in school libraries.
The Library Pros (2016 – present) is an innovative podcast by a technology librarian and an Information Technology professional employed in the public library sector. Chris and Bob will discuss new and developing technology and how it will apply to the public library world and do it with some laughs. They also have guests from the library world doing innovative things in their libraries. Although school librarianship is my path, it is important to learn what is happening in public, academic, and special collections libraries.
The Future Ready Librarian’s Hub (n.d.), is focused on equitable and accessible student learning through powerful librarianship, embracing change and innovation, and integrating engaging digital tools in lessons. This resource is vital to school librarians because the framework helps define ways librarians can lead, teach, and support in their schools and systems.
There are countless resources available for librarians to learn about technology trends in education and how to incorporate them into your library and lessons. I am excited about what the future holds!
All4Ed. (n.d.). Future ready librarians® hub. https://all4ed.org/future-ready-librarians-hub/
Byrne, R. (n.d.). Free technology for teachers. Byrne Instructional Media, LLC. https://www.freetech4teachers.com/
Burroughs, A. (2022, July 8). Tech-savvy school librarians provide value to modern learners. EdTech Focus on K-12. https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2022/07/tech-savvy-school-librarians-provide-value-modern-learners
DeCristofaro, M. & Johnson, R. (Hosts). (2016 – present). The library pros [Audio podcast]. https://www.thelibrarypros.com/category/podcasts/
Quilantán, K. (n.d.). Cue the librarian. https://cuethelibrarian.weebly.com/blog
Rayome, A. D. (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-keep-their-tech-skills-up-to-date/
Sarah. (2022, June 16). Staying sharp during the summer. HLS: How Would You Hack Library School? https://hacklibraryschool.com/2022/06/16/staying-sharp-during-the-summer/
Turner, H. (2011-present). Turner tools: Ed tech tips & tricks from a teacher librarian. [YouTube]. Retrieved July 25, 2022 from https://www.youtube.com/c/TurnerTools/videos