Monday, May 18, 2015

Future of Librarianship Series: Teacher as Technology Integrationists

I desire to investigate the varied roles of 21st century teacher librarians. In our state I have noticed that job titles, duties, and descriptions are rapidly changing or not at all. This movement or lack of movement impacts our profession and K-12 environments. Since technology is transforming our world there are many uncertainties associated with our positions.  I sense that some of us have hit a bit of an identity crisis.  I think that the bottom line is that school leaders must put teacher librarians into action.  One way this may happen is by changing our job titles and descriptions to teacher librarians/tech integrationists.  We understand that "technology is a tool and not a solution" (Day). The bottom line is that I would like to know why some teacher librarians have successfully evolved into technology integrationists and others have not. What are the barriers and potential solutions during this time of transformation?

Teacher librarians/technology integrationists are experts in information and media literacy skills. We are here to support the curriculum and help bridge the digital divide.  Curriculum updates require computer and information knowledge that utilizes teacher librarians.  I believe that our job is to lessen the digital divide and equip students with skills that match present and future job experiences in the 21st century.  I think that the digital divide is a huge piece of the puzzle that prevents teacher librarians from evolving to technology integrationists. Factors that impact the digital divide include access to hardware, software, internet speeds, virtual and physical space of the library, and collaborative curriculum based instructional practices.

To find out more about teacher librarians moving towards technology integrationists, I plan on studying informational literacy practices, learning commons, educational relationships, and STEM libraries. I want to present how teacher librarians bring invaluable support to our educational system. Some questions to ponder during the journey are how will modifications of the teacher librarian roles impact future library science majors? What skills and abilities will we need as well as future graduates so they can respond effectively to the K-12 world?