Thursday, June 26, 2014

Digital Divide Series: Inequality + Poverty + Access to Information + Support For Instruction & Resources

Digital Divide Stems From Inequality and Poverty

“Inequality is fixed by mobility but do we have opportunities for mobility?” -Robert Reich on Bill Moyers


If you are interested learning about poverty and wealth inequality dating back to the Roman Empire read the Science of Inequality.
Teacher Librarians can help to lessen the digital divide by actively working towards improving funding for technology, gaining support from the educational community, and instructional time along with access to resources.


Our Library Environments...Access Is Everything


Access to information. I am curious about the information seeking process. Once people have access to information how are they processing the information? I think that we may be short changing the steps of processing and applying information.  Technology is changing our world at warp speed.  So I wonder if technology tools are matching curriculum? Is technology training relevant? How much collaboration is going on?  People need guidance as well as independent navigation skills when using technology.


We Need To Give And Receive Support  


My central focus for next year working as a teacher librarian is observing and setting up group and individual technology tool kits. The goal is to give and share informational tools seamlessly so students and staff reach their potential. Sometimes I think that the biggest hurdle is figuring out what we all need and asking for help. Changing the conversation can really change the direction of a technology plan. Keeping the crew engaged while we all move along is important.


Instructional Practices


We can teach and model the following topics so people become independent learners and ask questions that require deep learning and thinking.




Resources That Bring Results


Collections


Students with access to relevant and current libraries materials increase the amount of interaction and engagement with resources. Also certified librarians are more likely to select library resources that represent different points of view and support the curriculum.

Budgets


There is strong relationship between a well funded school library and academic achievement. A few years ago Iowa legislators decided against guaranteeing a percentage of the overall budget allocated to school libraries.  Losing this safeguard has greatly impacted the budget that I have to work with. More advocacy is needed. Administration awareness can only go so far. Spending money for library needs makes a difference, it is easy for them to spend the money elsewhere.

Tools lead to potential solutions...I believe if teacher librarians prosper the digital divide lessens.



Next on the digital divide series lessons learned from a technology course.