Module 4

As the role of the library continues to evolve so does that of the teacher librarian. As technology garners more and more space in our schools, teacher librarians have had to take on more of a leadership role in curating and delivering digital learning to our students. It is imperative we have an understanding of the needs of digitally connected learners who may not have developed habits that make them truly information-literate and finding ways to introduce strategies that will help them develop into critical thinkers and ethical users of information. This module helped us explore the different terms, understandings and nuances of digital citizenry and the teacher librarian.

The New Literacies

Marlene Asselin’s and Ray Doiron’s article Towards a Transformative Pedagogy for school Libraries played an important role in recognizing the attributes and needs of today’s student learners. Their article helped create a shift towards libraries moving towards the learning commons model. They shift the focus to having student based learning centred around a democratic knowledge based community, while stressing the importance of creating tools and space for students to investigate and discern between reliable and unreliable sources in a collaborative learning environment. Module four starts with an introduction to the literature, the following is a reflection of some of the key points:

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship has become an important part of learning in todays technological schools. As TL’s we can play an important role in helping lead the charge in building a safe digital community within our schools. The second part of this module encouraged us to create a mind map to help display the importance of digital citizenry and the role of the learning commons and TL. It was another great opportunity to explore and learn how to use some of the technological tools at our disposal that can help us become better educators. The following is my mind map:

Resources to Support Digital Citizenship

The next step in the module was getting acquainted with digital citizenship online programs that we could use in our learning commons or classroom settings. I was fortunate enough to review a few sites and have summarized my experience below.

I haven’t ever taught digital citizenship in the classroom. I have talked about etiquette before but never had the opportunity to teach it. Therefore I decided to look at a few sites out there. I chose three sites to explore. My favourite of the three was digitalcitizenship.org. However I did find Everfi interesting too. 

Everfi.com

This site takes a simple sign up listing your name and school and you get immediate access to different interactive lesson plans and courses on a wide range of topics. Resources are free for teachers. The site has quite a few courses/lessons available. The following are a list of topics that are covered:

  • Stem projects
  • Financial literacy
  • Mental wellness
  • Plants, Animals, and our World, Sustainability
  • Diversity
  • Bullying
  • Math
  • Science

I looked at Ignition, Digital Wellness and Safety for 11-14-year olds. The material is pretty simple but could be good for grade 6 and 7’s. I just took a look at the first lesson: Connections and Community. It Does a great job illustrating how online social networking happens. They do mini examples then provide simple interactive questionnaires. They provide student resources and a glossary of terms. It provides and example of a student posting pics and what can happen. Gives a real-life example of how quickly things travel on the internet, what comments look like and what a fall out could be. The program provides what a comment section would look like and then asks the user to respond to different scenarios. The program offers advice on your responses as you move along the program. It then works on helping students work towards building a great online community.   It takes about 25-30 minutes to walk through the lesson. There are six lessons in all:

  • Connection and Community
  • Safety and Privacy
  • Screen Time vs Offline Time
  • Technology and Data
  • Rights and Literacy
  • Evaluating Data

Overall, I would give it a 7 out of 10. For a free course it is pretty decent, and it helps educators come up with a weeks’ worth of lessons that would be a great addition/compliment to a discussion on Digital Citizenship. For young learners it would be a good resource on its own. However, for the grade 8’s it would be wise to use some other sites to help build the knowledge base and use this site as a method of enhancing and demonstrating what they have learned.  

DigitialCitizenship.org

A great resource that can help educators navigate their way to not only learning about digital citizenship but also a great site that recommends different sites that we can use in our learning commons and classrooms. The site has been put together by Mike Ribble and educator and author. He has been researching and writing about the importance of Digital citizenship since the early 2000’s. Ribble outlines the 9 key elements of digital citizenship thoroughly and seems to be a pioneer in the field.  It is a very thorough site that provides many links and resources for anybody looking to teach or learn about digital citizenry.

Ribble has great links for the following:

  • Free Lesson Plans
  • Websites
  • Podcasts
  • Social Networking safety
  • A tool kit for accessing videos, lesson plans, and resources for teaching Digital Citizenship
  • Articles and Books on Digital Citizenship

Highly recommend taking a quick look. It seems to be a one stop shop with free access to materials and links to other sites and sources that require sign up access.

EdTechEndeavours.com

Is a website with a lot of podcasts and discussions on the importance of digital citizenship. The site has been put together by Amanda Brace, teacher from Regina, Saskatchewan working on her Masters in Educational Technology and Digital Media. I believe the site has been put together as part of her program. She does a great job discussing the importance of Digital Citizenship and Literacy and lays out the fundamentals. Not something I would use in the classroom, however a great site to help refresh or introduce the topic.   

Tech Tool Inquiry

The Tech Tool Inquiry was my favourite part of the course. We were tasked to use some form of technology to create something we could use in the learning commons. At the beginning of this course we had to research blogs and I found one I love…the mischievous librarian. On the blog I found the game clue. So, I set out to create that for my learning commons and school! I sought out some leadership students and ran the idea by them and they loved it! Next I sought out some staff members who would be willing to participate. With the covid regulations, its been challenging for the kids at my middle school to meet staff as they normally would so I thought this could be a great way to profile some staff members. That is why I chose a secretary, a counsellor, a custodian, two teachers, a vice-principal, an ADST teachers, and an EA. To my surprise other staff members came to me later saying if I did something else they would love to participate. Once the cast was set we were ready to film!  I have attached the clue sheets and a preview of the videos we made so that we to air on our daily newscast that we play for the school at lunch hour. Hope you enjoy it!

References

Asselin, M., & Doiron, R. (2008). Towards a transformative pedagogy for school libraries 2.0. School Libraries Worldwide, 14, 1.

Maughan, S. (2017). School librarians are teaching digital citizenship. Publishers Weekly, 264(34), 30.

101 web 2.0 teaching tools. (2018, August 02). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://oedb.org/ilibrarian/101-web-20-teaching-tools/