Monday, September 15, 2014

Journal Reflection #1

Ray, M. (2014). Follow the classrooms' lead. School Library Journal, 60(6), 24-n/a.

     In follow the classroom's lead self-directed student activities are brought into focus.  Looking at everything the students are doing and seeing how the library can strengthen those goals brings great opportunities for collaboration and creative instruction.
     An important piece of a 1:1 classroom was how information literacy and problem solving are one and the same.  Students are constantly doing research to solve many of the problems that the past would have had a teacher regurgitating the information.  Students are now free to explore, discover, collaborate, and research, but how can they properly research if they are never taught how?  Once a library skill, this is now an everyday classroom skill.  How do we get students to understand something they find online is credible, accurate, or objective?  How do we get them to analyze the information and make sure that the source is reliable?  This is where the need for information literacy becomes vital.  Having students research on their own and take accountability for their learning is key.
     Ray (2014) also focuses on another way to work with self-direction; having student centers that focus on the use of collaboration.  Technology driven tools such as google drive and edmodo make that possible.  However, we can't underestimate the use of pods of desks, paper, and the ability to communicate.  Librarians need to be experts on all of these matters and if students are using technology tools to collaborate, then the library needs to be ready to support what is happening in the classroom.
     With the use of 1:1, Ray (2014) points out that libraries need to be where the patrons are, not where they once were.  This is important to remember, so we can grow with our students.

     This article really hit home with me on many pieces.  I am always looking at how the library can stay relevant, when so many things are happening in the classroom that I should be a part of.  I can't be everywhere, but it is crucial that books and information literacy are at the forefront of where I need to be.  I see kids doing research on google and taking everything at face value.  I also see teachers doing it.  The need for proper website evaluation is a constant need that I am always addressing in and out of the classroom.  I want students to be information literate and be able to search databases, use the library catalog, and search website for research and to do it seamlessly, so it does not interrupt their learning.  It should be second nature at the point of middle school.  Taking ownership of their learning is key to the way I teach.  I was always the classroom teacher who made the assignment as long as it needed to be to get the job done!  However, I hope that made them think differently about why they were the work.
     I strive everyday to make my library a warm, inviting place to learn and ask questions.  I try to make students feel that there is something there for everyone, even the non-readers.  The library is so much more than a place for books.  It is a place to learn.  By book, collaboration, or technology based; it is a place to learn and hopefully learn to learn.