Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the sweet spot!

Joyce Valenza hits it on the nail again!  "Co-presenting a session at educational technology leader Alan November’s 2012 Building Learning Communities (BLC) conference on July 19 with Shannon McClintock Miller, district librarian and technology integration specialist at Van Meter Schools in Iowa, Valenza outlined five areas in which K-12 schools should turn to their librarians to empower learners with valuable 21st-century college and career readiness skills."  Librarian's ability to support teachers and students with digital curation, citizenship & compassion, creation, connections and the Common Core place us squarely in "the golden age of librarianship."

Goldenview Middle School mashup with the library at Melk Abbey
Read the article in eSchool News for full description of the five C's that place librarians "in the sweet spot of education." My apologies to Valenza, McClintock Miller and

Curation: "Notebooks, bibliographies, and research papers, [are] inadequate for the digital landscape."  "School librarians, with their specialized training and background in collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating information, must now teach their patrons—students and educators alike—to" "use emerging technologies to showcase their progress as they acquire, organize, contextualize, and archive both existing content and new learning. Transparency is a critical component in growing what media scholar Pierre Levy calls knowledge citizens. The presenters stressed the value of teaching learners to purposefully contribute to society’s collective intelligence."

 Citizenship/Compassion:  “'With great power comes great responsibility,' said Valenza. Building society’s collective intelligence requires contributors to respect its infrastructure. This is the essence of digital citizenship.  Students must be taught how to publish their work for the real world, with their real identity (not anonymously), to build their digital footprint with purpose."  They discussed importance of accountability, compassion, awareness and potential repercussions along with the need for supervision and guidance.

Creation:  "The participatory nature of 21st-century culture emboldens students to create and publish content—all kinds of content, but particularly multimedia content. Given the opportunity, students will transform work into play. Audience fuels their creativity, not standards and rubrics." "Valenza and Miller described the importance of granting students permission to experiment and explore, and the time to reflect and process their learning, to make it into something new. Students need to take ownership of their learning before it becomes relevant to them. Librarians, who have always served as matchmakers of sorts—pairing books with readers, resources with research questions, and, more recently, problems with tools to solve them [digital and multimedia options for publication]—should be the “go-to person(s)” to support learners as they construct their knowledge."

Connections:  Twentyfirst century literacy is incumbent upon connections and the development of personal learning networks.  Ideally these connections include a blend of experts, collaborators and audience.  While not all connections are reciprocal, collaborations can occur in real time or asynchronously as needed and available.  Collaborations can be built within classrooms, between classes within a school or around the world, or, as students become more motivated and involved with their own learning, with experts and collaborators they seek out on their own. 

Common Core:  "According to Lauren Davis, senior editor at Eye on Education, there are five things every educator should do to meet the Common Core State Standards. Her list includes focusing on process, publishing for real audiences, and engaging in discourse. Valenza and Miller explained that curation, citizenship & compassion, creation, and connection embed experiences into instruction that make the CCSS gel for learners. They make learning authentic and relevant. They are the Common Core."

Curation, citizenship & compassion, creation, and connection also fit exactly into the definition of information literacy with it's focus on students' ability to locate, evaluate, ethically use, create, share, and synthesize information.

It has long been recognized that many of us learn by writing and teaching.  The process allows us to synthesize topics that may at first be confusing.  These focus areas are only the progression from writing in a vacuum or a box for an audience of one or two to writing on a stage with an audience of many.  Today's students who can communicate with the entire student body and friends and strangers around the globe instantly, see little value in writing or even learning without an audience.  

Note:  "The following curation tools were referenced during the presentation: Diigo, LiveBinders, Paper.Li, Pinterest, PearlTrees, Posterous, Scoop.It, Sqworl, Storify, Symbaloo."

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