April is School Library Month: discover the latest library technology trends
Across the country, communities are celebrating School Library Month, which is themed, “Because School Libraries Empower Students”. The 2017 theme couldn’t be more apt: Today, school librarians not only partner with educators to design curricula and teach students to protect their privacy, they actively engage students in critical thinking and use new technology in the library in hundreds of innovative ways. Specifically, research by the American Association of School Librarians, (AASL), a division of the American Library Association, shows these library technology trends:
- 85% of school librarians answer questions about technology tools
- 66% participate with teachers in professions learning communities
- 33% train teachers how to locate and evaluate digital content
what are the latest library technology trends?
Despite budget cuts, new technology in the library is in high demand. Librarians are seeking out professional development opportunities and grants, allowing them to continue taking a leadership role and helping students to evaluate what is good quality information in all sorts of formats. These are key library technology trends:
1. Future Ready Librarians(FRL). The idea that all schools can and should have equitable access to trained librarians, digital resources and books is gaining ground: This year, FRL is holding eight regional training institutes at schools from Denver to Detroit. The institutes each focus on connecting librarians with library technology trends, including more information on curating digital resources and tools, determining what to invest in and empowering students as creators and building instructional partnerships.
2. New Media Mentors Although students understand a great deal about devices and screens, they are not necessarily media literate. “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one,” said author Neil Gaiman. No doubt this is why the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) refers to school libarians as “media mentors.” You can find an in-depth look at the critical thinking skills students need and how librarians are managing new technology trends at school libraries, including real-time monitoring and other instruction tools through Impero Education Pro, here.
3. The Maker Movement 2.0: Using Technology to Engage Students. In school libraries, students (and their families) have the time, space and opportunity to get creative, even if they are not connected digitally at home. Teen librarians at the Durham County library bridge the digital divide through [email protected], which offers 3D printing classes programming. Some schools are using Mobile Maker Spaces, production carts outfitted with an iPad Pro, professional lighting, mics and various items to aid in the production of everything from short films to podcasts. (Get more details on mobile school library technology funded by grants, including STEM and Art Carts, here.) Education Pro is compatible with Windows, Chrome OS, iOS and MacOSX.
4. Student Safety, Software & More. Experts say that a clear library technology policy, often called an Appropriate Use Policy (AUP) can help schools to improve mobile and online safety and make acceptable use of online materials clear. Scholastic offers librarians a summary of what to include in an AUP. Software can help identify keywords used in students searches and online communication that indicates possible incidences of bullying, grooming, self-harm or radicalization. Here’s a short video on how Impero Ed Link (used in conjunction with Impero Education Pro) works to provide mobile device management.
5. Good Use of Resources and Budgets School librarians who teach digital skills and technology in the library report that the sheer volume of information and resources available online can be overwhelming to students. With more than 60 percent of teachers reporting that digital technology makes it harder for students to find and use credible information, according to the AASL, librarians need to be able to coordinate with teachers and system administrators to make informed decisions about who, when, where and how technology resources are being used. Find specifics on Edu Pro, here.
Find out more about how Impero Education Pro is used in school libraries, watch this video about Stephenville ISD in Texas.